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A Place for Inspiration

Finnich Glen. A deep and narrow rift in the gentle undulation of the land. Perpendicular rock walls and at the bottom a burn that only the most determined gorge walkers could negotiate. In Victorian times a steep stone staircase had been set into a crack in the side of the gorge, so that guests could descend the seventy feet to the floor of the glen and immerse themselves in its romantic splendour. Curiously, Finnich Glen, though never quite forgotten, did not become one of those sites to which every visitor to Scotland is pointed. Even now, despite its featuring as a backdrop in film and TV, and its closeness to Glasgow, it still seems off the beaten track. There are no road signs nor dedicated parking, no visitor centre nor café. The only signs warn of the danger of death.

Maybe that’s why the members of the South Lennox Ladies’ Writing Group were so pleased at the opportunity of a night-time visit. They’d been there the previous summer on their annual outing, during the day of course, and, clinging to the rope tethered at the top of the semi-ruinous staircase, managed to clamber down into the glen to marvel at its romantic potential. The four poets who made up half the group drew into themselves the sights, sounds, smells, and textures which they would distil into verse.

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iScot Magazine
December 2017

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