Carbeth Huts

Mick at Carbeth

I’ll be going up to Carbeth Huts very soon to take photographs there. I’ve been led there by two separate paths: the one which has taken me to other communities of huts and sheds, and the other via my late dear friend Mick Parkin. Carbeth Huts feature in his novel “Grey Dawn”: the protagonists Sandy and Fiona have a weekend away there, which involved dragging a load of rationed food (which you had to buy from your registered grocer) on the train to Milngavie and then a four-mile walk, to arrive at a hut with no water or electricity. Of course, as this is 1947, they’re grateful of any kind of holiday and they have, by our decadent 21st-century standards, pretty low expectations.

In fact, I visited Carbeth briefly back in 2005 when I visited Mick in Glasgow then took him there so he could see the place, probably in preparation for “Grey Dawn”. I have this lovely photo of Mick standing, holding what looks like a feather, at the end of a long bit of stone, brick on concrete which juts out into a beautiful body of water: possibly Carbeth Loch.

I’m really looking forward to my visit. I’m hoping to photograph not just the huts but also some of the inhabitants, though I’ve been told, regarding one of the hutters, “not to approach …. especially with a camera,” so I will be discreet and tactful.

Afterwards, I am going to perform a small but important rite: a visit to Mick’s old place (just the outside; I’m not going to break in) in Bruce Road, Pollokshields – a small pilgrimage in his memory. Looking forward to it.

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