Turas air an Tam O’ Shanter Express #gàidhlig

Nuair a thòisich mi am bloga seo bho choinn fhada air an t-saoghal, b’ e an t-amas a bh’ agam a dhol air gach rathad-iarainn ann an Alba – beag is mòr.

Nis, tha e meadhanach furasta a dhol air gach rathad-iarainn mòr (ma tha an tìde agad) ach chan eil e idir cho furasta a dhol air gach rathad-iarainn beag. Bidh meanbh-rathaidean-iarainn (miniature railways) a’ tighinn is a’ falbh meadhanach tric agus tha e gu math doirbh fios fhaighinn mu na làithean is uairean fosglaidh aca cuideachd.

Bha mi air beagan meanbh-rathaidean-iarainn nach eil ann tuilleadh, mar eisimpleir Kerr’s Miniature Railway ann an Obar Bhrothaig agus Rathad-iarainn Mhuile ach tha gu leòr ann a tha gu math ùr cuideachd.

Dh’fhosgail trì loidhnichean ùra sa bhliadhna no dhà mu dheireadh. Air a’ Ghàidhealtachd, tha loidhne ùr ann am Baile nan Granndach ann an seann Stèisean Bhaile nan Granndach an Ear. Cha robh cothrom agam a dhol air fhathast, ach tha e air an liosta!

Seo bhidio a lorg mi den loidhne ge-tà:

Ann an Siorrachd Lannraig, tha loidhne ùr ann an Clyde Valley Family Park ann an Crossford. ’S e pàirc do theaghlaichean a tha seo le go-carts is àiteachan cluich is beathaichean is eile. Mus do dh’fhosgail a’ phàirc seo ann an 2019 no mar sin, b’ àbhaist dhan Valley International Park a bhith ann – làrach le bùitean beaga agus soft play is eile aig an robh rathad-iarainn. Dhùin a’ phàirc – agus an loidhne – mu 10 bliadhna air ais. Bha an loidhne ann an cruth “dumb bell” – loidhne dhìreach agus lùb tionndaidh aig gach ceann. Anns a’ phàirc ùr, chaidh cuid de làrach na loidhne a chumail ach a-nis ’s e cearcall a th’ ann. Rud eile a tha inntinneach, ‘s e gur e trèana bataraidh a th’ ann seach trèana diosail.

Mar a bha:

Mar a tha:

Agus ann an Siorrachd Air, dh’fhosgail loidhne bheag ùr anns an Heads of Ayr farm Park is mar sin, chaidh mi ann leis na nighnean agam gus sùil a thoirt oirre.

’S e pàirc do theaghlaichean a th’ ann le dreallagan is trampoilinichean agus bàtaichean is beathaichean gu leòr bho chaoraich is gobhairean gu emu-than agus càmhalan. Tha an rathad-iarainn ann an cruth lùb le stèisean mòr, drochaid agus bogsa-siognail. Coltach ri loidhne Clyde Valley Family Park, tha an loco dealanach seach diosail.

‘S e an Tam O’Shanter express an t-ainm a th’ air an trèana agus ged nach fhacas Auld Nick no Mons Meg no duine sam bith eile bhon dàn, ’s e turas snog a bh’ ann!

An Tam O’ Shanter Express
Drochaid Ghleann Fhionghain na Galldachd?

Agus tha mi dìreach air ionnsachadh gu bheil loidhne ùr gu bhith a’ fosgladh ann an Ayton sna Crìochan ann an ùine nach bi fada cuideachd. Tha sin a’ dol air an liosta cuideachd.

Is math gu bheil an uiread de loidhnichean beaga ùra ann.

Alasdair

Air a phostadh ann an Uncategorized | Sgrìobh beachd

Mucan os cionn Lunnainn! Stèisean ùr Battersea Power Station

Chan ann tric a thig na prìomh rudan anns a bheil ùidh agam còmhla.

Tha loidhne tiub agus stèisean ùr gu bhith a’ fosgladh ann an Lunnainn aig deireadh na mìos seo – leudachadh air an Northern Line gu Battersea Power Station.

Tha mi daonnan toilichte nuair a dh’fhosglas rathaidean-iarainn ùra ach tha ceangal sònraichte aig seo ri ceòl roc.

Fiù’s mur eil thu air Animals le Pink Floyd (1977) a chluinntinn, tha mi cinnteach gum faca tu an còmhdach – fear de na dealbhan còmhdaich LP as suaicheanta riamh!

San dealbh, chithear muc plastaig os cionn stèisean cumhachd Battersea. ‘S e muc a bh’ ann a chionn ’s gun robh an clàr stèidhichte air an leabhar Animal Farm le George Orwell, (a tha a-nis ri fhaighinn sa Ghàidhlig – taing Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul!)

Leis an fhìrinn innse, chan e clàr sona a th’ ann idir – tha an cuspair gu math dorcha, tha an ceòl gu math gruamach agus aig an àm, is gann gun robh Roger Waters agus David Gilmour, prìomh sgrìobhadairean òrain a’ chòmhlain fiù’s a’ bruidhinn ri chèile. Ach aig an aon àm, tha an ceòl cho math is gu bheil e daonnan a’ toirt togail dhomh, gu h-àraid an t-òran Dogs – air a bheil fear de na solothan giotàir as fheàrr riamh.

Dhùin an stèisean cumhachd ann an 1983 ach thathar a-nis a’ togail flataichean is oifisean san togalach agus tha feum air deagh sheirbheis còmhdhail dhan sgìre.

Nis, tha an dà chuid an clàr agus an stèisean cumhachd fhèin cho suaicheanta is gu bheil mi an dùil is an dòchas gum bi muc ainmeil Pink Floyd a’ nochdadh san stèisean ann an dòigh air choireigin! Mural le mucan ann is dòcha?

Chì mi nuair a thèid mi ann!

Tha mi gu bhith a’ dol gu Lunnainn air an ath mhìos agus thèid mi air an loidhne ùr fhad ’s a bhios mi ann is sgrìobhaidh mi mu dheidhinn an seo.

Agus fhad’s a bhios mi ann, tha mi an dùil fear de na tursan rèile as ainmeile am measg nan trainspotters a dhèanamh. Seo an Kennington Loop – turas goirid is toirmisgte ach gu math mòr-chòrdte do dh’aficionados Underground Lunnainn! Tha i cho ainmeil is gu bheil lèine-t fiù’s ann airson innse dhan t-saoghal gun do rinn thu e!

Dè th’ anns an lùib?

Bidh a’ mhòr chuid de na trèanaichean air meur-loidhne Charing Cross an Northern Line a’ crìochachadh ann an Kennington. Bidh na daoine a fàgail na trèana agus bidh an trèana an uair sin a’ tionndadh air lùb Kennington agus a’ dol gu tuath a-rithist bho stèisean Kennington. Chan eil e ceadaichte do luchd-siubhail a dhol timcheall air an lùib – ach bidh gu leòr dhaoine ga dhèanamh co-dhiù,

Feuchaidh mi ri a dhèanamh (ged a bhios an t-eagal orm gun tèid mo shadail dheth leis an dràibhear!) agus ma bhios mi soirbheachail, ceannaichidh mi an lèine-t!

Alasdair

Air m’ fòn làimh: Pink Floyd, Animals (1978), 8/10; Big Audio Dynamite, Live in Glasgow 2011 (bootleg – bha mi ann!) 9.5/10 – còmhlan cho Lunnainneach sa ghabhas!

A’ leughadh an-dràsta: Lonely Planet guide to Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands (2001)

Air a phostadh ann an Uncategorized | 1 bheachd

English is artificial – another unwise foray into the Gaelic debate

A few years ago, I had a revelation about Gaelic. I was visiting the natural history museum in London with my family, back in the day when Dippy the Dinosaur was still in the Lobby.

Dippy – gaisgeach na Gàidhlig!

We were in the cafè and I was waiting to order food. There were three people out front serving and there were a couple of people in the kitchen area who they were talking to via walkie-talkie.

As you’d imagine, they were talking in English but I noticed that every single one of them had learnt English as a second language.

This is of course very common in London – and indeed in most places today. We speak to second language fluent English speakers ever day and don’t think twice about it. Why? Because it’s normal!

As a Gaelic speaker, my revelation was that in a situation like this, the use of Gaelic between a group of people who are all or mainly fluent second language Gaelic speakers would be likely to be seen by some as artificial and condemned as such both by those who are anti-Gaelic and amongst some within the Gaelic community.

Of course, Gaelic and English aren’t the same thing. Gaelic is a minority language and sometimes there are different factors to be considered over and above pure communication. But not in this case. To paraphrase Freud – sometimes a language is just a language.

I learnt Gaelic, I use Gaelic every day. There’s nothing artificial about it. And even if there was, what does it matter?

But in the Gaelic world, the need for authenticity is so great that some Gaelic speakers not only consider learners or use of Gaelic outwith traditional Gaelic communities as artificial but even call Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the national Gaelic college in Skye and attempts to promote Gaelic in Stornoway artificial. I’ve heard this often over the years and the social media controversy over the last few days is nothing new.

Part of the problem is a simplistic understanding of the word community. As a sociologist, I often joke “every time I hear the word community I reach for my gun”. But there is a serious point behind this. The idea that only communities of the type you get in a rural areas are real or authentic communities ignores the fact that the vast majority of people in Scotland don’t live in communities like that. And more importantly, it ignores the fact that the communities of the type perceived as authentic have actually changed a lot too.

I live in Glasgow. I don’t know my neighbours more than to say hello to. I don’t see them socially. I don’t bump into them at local events – in fact there are few local events. And this isn’t a new thing. I’m pushing 50 and the experience was largely the same for my parents who grew up in Glasgow and were born in the late 1940s. It’s certainly the experience of my children and most of their friends.

But I do live in a community – I have many friends who live in other parts of Glasgow and I see them regularly and I have a sense of community which isn’t just based on the small area I live in and based on me knowing the people who live closest to me. This isn’t individualism or being anti-social – it’s just a different type of community. A type of community which enables me to use Gaelic very regularly.

Basically, the talk about “real” communities in the Gaelic context doesn’t only hold that using Gaelic in an urban area is artificial but condemns urban community itself as being artificial. This is clearly daft given that Scotland is particularly urbanised country.

And the discussion of “real” communities fails to recognise how much they’ve changed. In recent years, rural communities have become far more like urban communities due to various social changes. As Tim Armstrong has pointed out, the Gaelic community in traditional communities are becoming more like urban networks. When people are comparing Hebridean communities with new Gaelic communities, they are often comparing idealised versions of these communities or communities as they were before Internet 2.0 (and to quote Big Country’s song Beautiful People, I suspect that to some extent “things were never what they used to be”) .

In fact, differences between native speakers and fluent learners and between urban and rural communities are smaller than they’ve ever been before and they are more interlinked than ever so I think it’s time we laid all the talk of artificiality to rest once and for all.

And most important of all, languages are social and not biological. Nothing social is artificial. And even if it was, using English in new contexts would be just as artificial.

The Gaelic world is and always has been diverse and I for one welcome this.

It’s time for more Gaelic use and less judgement of who is using it and where IMHO.

Alasdair

Air a phostadh ann an Uncategorized | 3 beachd(an)

Turas dhan Aln Valley Railway, Northubria #gàidhlig #gaelic

Air ais san Iuchair, bha an teaghlach air làithean saora ann an Seahouses ann an Northumberland agus fhad ’s a bha sinn ann, chleachd mi an cothrom a dhol air loidhne glèidhte meadhanach ùr a tha air a bhith air an liosta agam fad beagan bhliadhnaichean a-nis.

A’ chiad rud a chì thu aig Rathad-iarainn Aln Valley

Is e sin an Aln Valley Railway a tha ag amas air an rathad-iarainn ath-fhosgladh eadar Alnmouth, aig a bheil stèisean air Prìomh Loidhne a’ Chosta an Ear, agus baile margaidh Alnwick (‘Annick’), baile a tha gu math mòr-chòrdte do luchd-turais le caisteal is garaidhean is eile.

Airson a dhol ann, bha agam ri bus fhaighinn. Tha stèisean rèile meadhanach faisg air Seahouses aig Chathill, ach chan eil ach dà thrèana ann gach latha – trèana tràth sa mhatainn agus trèana caran anmoch feasgar is mar sin, chan eil cus feum air.

Mar sin, fhuair mi am bus, an X18 a tha a’ ruith eadar Bearaig agus an Caiseal Nuadh. Is e sgìre àlainn a th’ ann agus mar sin, bha mi air mo dhòigh ghlan gur e bus dà-ùrlar a bh’ ann oir fhuair mi fìor dheagh sheallaidhean den àite bho shuas an staidhre – a’ mhuir, achaidhean, callaidean, flùraichean fiadhaich is eile. Chaidh am bus air tòrr rathaidean beaga agus chaidh e gu tòrr mòr bailtean beaga breatha. Bha e sgoinneil dhomh mar neach-turais a bha airson an t-àite fhaicinn, ach thug e uair a thìde an taca ri leth uair a thìde sa chàr – rud nach eil cho freagarrach do mhuinntir an àite. Mar a tha fìor an Alba, tha feum air siostam còmhdhail tòrr nas fheàrr ann an sgìrean dùthchail.

Aig deireadh an turais, bha e caran doirbh an rathad-iarainn a lorg.

B’ àbhaist dhan rathad-iarainn a bhith a’ ruith a-steach gu stèisean mòr àlainn ann am meadhan a’ bhaile gus an do dhùin an loidhne ann an an 1968. Gu mì-fhortanach, chaidh obair leudachaidh mòr a dhèanamh air rathad an A1 bhon uair sin agus bhiodh e uamhasach fhèin doirbh is cosgail a dhol a-steach gu meadhan a’ bhaile a-rithist.

Mar sin, tha an loidhne a’ tìoseachadh ann an stèisean ùr air a bheil “Alnwick Lionheart” ann an ionad gnìomhachais air iomall a’ bhaile.  Tha e doirbh a lorg agus chan eil an turas ann air chois uamhasach snog – ach ma shoirbhicheas leis an loidhne, dh’fhaodte gun tèid seirbheis bus no mini-bus a chur air dòigh dhan loidhne gus am bi e nas fhasa faighinn ann.

Ach nuair a lorgas tu an stèisean, tha e dìreach àlainn agus tha e doirbh creidsinn gur e stèisean gu tur ùr a th’ ann. Tha dà àrd-ùrlar, seada einnsein, cafè agus taigh-tasgaidh beag ann cho math ri bogsa-siognail mòr ùr.

Bha mi air mo dhòigh glan oir ’s e latha diosail a bh’ ann. Agus chan e dìreach trèana dìosail sam bith a bh’ ann ach Pacer!

Pacer ann an Alnwick Lionheart

Mur eil fhios agad dè th’ ann am Pacer, tha e furasta am mìneachadh: bus air chassis trèana! Chaidh an dèanamh le BR a’ cleachdadh busaichean Leyland National air cuibhlichean rèile anns na 80an gus airgeadh a chaomhnadh.

Bha iad saor a dhèanamh is saor a ruith aig àm nuair a bha BR cho falamh ri sporan an Sgìtheanaich agus bha BR comasach air tòrr loidhnichean beaga a chumail a’ dol mar thoradh orra. Ach, cha robh an luchd-siubhail measail orra. Sa chiad dol a-mach, cha robh ach ceithir cuibhle orra an àite ochd (ann an dà bhògaidh) agus mar sin, cha robh iad math air lùban san trac agus rinn iad fuaim uabhasach. Agus a bharrachd air seo, bha seataichean bus ann agus cha robh iad ro chomhartail is bha droch suspension ann. ’S e Nodding Donkeys a bh’ aig daoine orra mar thoradh air seo.

Chaidh an toirt à seirbheis eadar 2019 agus 2021 leis an trèna mu dheireadh a’ ruith air an lìonra nàiseanta san Ògmhios 2021 agus chaidh grunn aca a ghlèidheadh. Bha e caran neònach a bhith a’ ruith air trèana ghlèidhichte a bha dìreach air tighinn à seirbheis bho chionn beagan làithean. Agus dhomhsa, ’s e trèanaichean ùra a th’ annta fhathast oir tha deagh chuimhne agam nuair a chaidh an toirt a-steach sna 1980an.

Ach leis gur e trèana meadhanach ùr a bh’ innte, bha e a’ sealltainn mar a bhiodh cùisean nan robh seirbheisean trèana cunbhalach a’ ruith air an loidhne airson còmhdhail phoblach a-rithist.

Tha an loidhne mu mhìle gu leth a dh’fhaid aig an àm seo agus thathar a’ togail stèisean aig Drochaid Greenrigg a tha mu letheach slighe eadar Alnwick agus Alnmouth.

Bogsa siognail Alnwick

Tha an stèisean cha mhòr deiseil agus nuair a dh’fhosglas e, bidh e comasach coiseachd gu Alnmouth.  Tha mi a’ dèanamh fiughair ris an latha sin!

Tha an loidhne a’ dol tro achaidhean is coilltean a tha gu math àrd agus pìos air falbh bho na rathaidean agus mar sin, ged a tha i goirid, tha i brèagha.

Tha mi air a bhith air iomadh loidhne ghlèidhchte thar nam bliadhnaichean, agus tha na saor-thoilich daonnan laghach ach bha na saor-thoilich seo gu sònraichte laghach air an loidhne seo.

Alasdair

Air a phostadh ann an England, rathaidean-iarainn, Rathaidean-iarainn glèidhte, Sasainn, Uncategorized | Air a thagadh , , , | Sgrìobh beachd

Fois / Break

Haidh a h-uile duine. Dh’fheuch mi ri cumail orm sa Bheurla ach chan eil e a’ còrdadh rium a bhith a’ sgrìobhadh sa Bheurla agus mar sin, tha mi a’ dol a ghabhail fois fad beagan mhìosan.

Chì mi a-rithist sibh airson trèanaichean, tramaichean is tràilidhean!

———-

Hi everbody. I tried to keep the blog going in English but I don’t enjoy writing in English so I’m going to take a break for a few months.

See you later for more trains, trams and trolleybuses!

Alasdair

Air a phostadh ann an Uncategorized | 1 bheachd