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Cromarty Image Library

Concreted 'gate' blocks popular Braehead access - another local access route lost
The Cromarty Archive
Concreted 'gate' blocks popular Braehead access - another local access route lost

A real pity this. Apparently someone had concerns that a tourist might be stupid enough to fall down the damaged sandstone stairs below (!!!?). Never happened, probably never would. So to avoid this vanishingly remote possibility, the path and stairs are now permanently blocked by faux gate (fixed in with concrete) and lost to everyone, including locals and schoolchildren who've been using it safely in this condition for decades. It's far more likely that injuries will now be caused by people trying to climb over it.
Picture added on 24 June 2010 at 15:08
To my memory, this gate was looked at on a daily basis on my morning walk to school from December 1940. This gate was always closed, and never constituted a right of way, as was part of the extension to Barkly House Garden. It was only when the barbed wire perimiter fence of the former Polish Camp was removed after 1946, that I ever
saw that gate used. I laugh to myself when I see the ivy still growing there, it's where I used to hide the notes passed by Kate Todd, to my mother regarding my educational ability, or otherwise.

The GATE IS ACTUALLY SAFER locked, and the railing is smartly painted. Health and safety etc.
Added by Clem Watson on 08 August 2010
Sorry, Clem, but safer than what? I've lived here for 44 years now and have never heard of anyone falling on these steps, though in that period I've seen many people tripping and falling in the street. Should we block the roads to reduce this risk too?

Yes, safety is important, of course, but it seems great pity to block this convenient access to the Links for everyone because of a perceived, but remote risk.

(Incidentally, there hasn't been a gate here for locking for many years. This one is brand new, and not actually a gate so much as a permanent barrier.)
Added by Colin Dunn on 08 August 2010
I'm with Colin on this one! I will be going home to Cromarty from Canada next week and as my days there are spent commuting between the cottage on Shore St. and Allan Square the short cut will be missed!
Added by Hazel Clark on 01 September 2010
They could have put a hand rail down the steps instead - that would have left the access open and complied with the health and safety aspects.
Added by Mary Campbell on 01 September 2010
Two handrails are better than one, but aye, handrails are a big help.
Added by Margaret Tong on 02 September 2010
Speaking of going from the sublime to the ridiculous:look at the padlock! Seriously, though; in these days of the"Blame Culture" and "Trip and Slip Litigation", local authorities can be sued for a lot more than the price of a gate, for less than the traumatic consequences of falling down a flight of steps. An alternative solution could have been a real gate (minus the 5 spikes) with a self closing spring. A more ambitious and expensive project could have developed the steps into an official tourist route to the Links, with an ice-cream kiosk at the bottom and donkey rides up and down the Links.
Added by Christopher Hart on 05 September 2010
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