In search of my dad’s secret Scottish bridge
This story starts with a murder….
The murder of an artist in Dorothy L Sayers novel ‘Five Red Herrings’.
Set in Galloway in Scotland this murder mystery tale uses real locations around Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet, Newton Stewart and the now closed railway line that linked these communities.
My dad loved the tale and took my mum on holiday to Gatehouse of Fleet in September 1966, to see the places mentioned in the book.
He took with him his oil paints, canvas and easel and on a lovely sunny Wednesday afternoon September 28th he wrote in his dairy that he and mum took a taxi to Skyreburn and found a lovely wooded motif with stream and bridge and painted happily until 4:30 when they walked back over the moors.
We have the painting and I wanted to know where this secret bridge is and if it’s changed at all in half a century.
I asked the new museum at Kirkcudbright if they could help me find out and with some patient detective work they pointed me to the right place with a little note “access is a little tricky” It was!
I found the spot, stood on the same mossy rock my dad chose to paint his image and imagined my mum and dad having a picnic and my mum boiling a kettle on a camp fire for a cup of tea.
Painting my version of his inspiration was a joy. I’m delighted to have found the spot and enjoyed it’s magic in the same way they did all these years later.
Father and son enjoying painting the same image half a century apart…..