A long short cut
Avro Anson K6255 on Cauldron Hill.
(Distance covered = 8.5 mile/Ascent = +416m)

 I'm begining to run out of crashsites I know about to visit in the vicinity of Glasgow but there was one at the top end of the Clyde Muirsheil Park that I hadn't been to yet.

Heather was dancing in the Glasgow Championships which are held in the Music Hall at Paisley so I didn't have very far to drive to reach Greenock, where I was starting my walk from . Although the Carpark at the Greenock Cut Visitor centre was a lot closer to where the Anson crashed it was around the other side of the hills so was farther to drive so I was going to park at Overton which is at the southern end of Greenock.

Parked up at Overton, just above Greenock.

My plan was to walk down from Overton to where the Anson crashed on Cauldron Hill then drop off the other side of the hill onto the Greenock Cut and follow that around to the Visitor Centre. One of the Anson's Engines is in the carpark there so I could check that out as I passed. This would make the walk a lot longer so fill my day in better.

Leaving the top end of the carpark

There was going to be no heather bashing (the plant not the daughter) involved in reaching this crashsite as there was landrover tracks all the way, one of which could be followed right up to the old disused No1 dam which the crashsite is beside.

There was lots of small reservoirs dotted around.

The track I would be following back, the visitors centre is in the trees in the distance.

Being so close to all the towns along the Firth of Clyde meant there was lots of people out on these hills: walking, running, cycling and fishing and there was someone jumping off Dunrod hill with a parachute.

above and below:-He seemed to stay airborne for a long time so perhaps it was one of those parachutes with an engine.

On Scroggy Bank, I had a good phone signal for a change.

From the Mobile Phone masts on Scroggy Bank there was a good view down to Gourock and the Firth of Clyde and over the other side of that was the Cowal Peninsular and Dunoon. Dunoon was where Heather qualified for the finals of the World Championships in 2015 which meant she was one of the top 20 Highland Dancers in the world in her age category. I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to mention that again#proud Dad!

above and below:-A Spanish Frigate 'Alvaro de Bazan' making its way out from Faslane.

Royal Navy type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke following the Alvaro de Bazan down the Firth of Clyde from Faslane.

There seemed to be a steady stream of Warships coming around the corner from Faslane, I photographed two of them then was able to google what they were when I got back home as they had large code letters on their side. I would have photographed the others but they were moving so slowly I became a bit bored of waiting for them to get near enough.

Above and below:-Over the top of Scroggy Bank.

View south east towards Hill of Stake.

As well as there being not much map reading necessary to find the Anson crashsite other than making sure I was following the right Landy track; there was also not much climbing involved either so I was soon at the old dam where one of the Anson's Cheetah engines lies.

above and below:-This nice grassy track branches off from the stoney landrover track and leads right up to the old dam.

I thought it would be pretty easy to locate the engine as I knew exactly where it was but there seemed to be no sign of it. I searched all the long grass in the vicinity about three times. I was beginning to think that perhaps this engine had been recovered as well so decided to give up and go and have a look further up the hill at where the Anson crashed. As I stepped on a moss covered  boulder to get across the burn I dislodged a lump of moss just enough to reveal that it was actually the engine. I had walked past it about six times and not spotted it as it was so well camouflaged.

The engine is right there lying in the stream bed.

Even this close it is hard to spot it.

The cylinder liners have corroded away so the cylinder heads have fallen off leaving only the crankcase and the very base of the cylinders with the pistons still inside. This is after I cleaned some more of the moss off, it was so well camouflaged with the moss that if I hadn't of inadvertantly stood on it I may never have found it.

Arrows showing the location of the engine and the location the Anson crashed a little further up the hill, there is nothing to be found up there without the use of a metal detector.

On top of the old dam, the trees are growing where the reservoir used to be.

Heading downhill to join the Greenock Cut.

Instead of going back the way I came I continued to the north following a track that went down the hill and intersected the Greenock Cut.

The location of the engine and the crashsite.


Above and next two photos:-Track leading down the north side of Dunrod Hill

Nice views north to some 'Big Boys' Hills

The Greenock cut is a 5 mile long aquaduct that runs all the way around Dunrod Hill about half way up the hill. It used to carry water from the reservoirs along to the industries in Greenock, it was also the Towns water supply for a period of time.

On the path that runs alongside the Greenock cut.

Once at the Greenock cut I followed the nice path that runs alongside it in an anticlockwise direction around the hill. I passed several small stone bridges which were used for accessing the hill and a couple of small bothies that workers used to live in during the winter when they had to keep the cut free of ice.

One of the numerous small stone bridges.

The path runs alongside the aquaduct all the way from the carpark at Overton where I had parked the pug, around the side of the hill to the Greenock cut visitors centre. Although it seemed level all the way it must have been going slightly uphill  otherwise the water would not have flowed the other way down to Greenock.

passing below Cauldron Hill.

Above and next 3 photos:-Making my way around the cut to the visitors centre.

Above and below:-An old pump house

A bunch of pansies

Passing Sheilhill Farm.

On the last leg from Sheilhill farm to the visitors centre the path and the cut run above a burn which contained some very impressive waterfalls, but as I was now starting to get a little tight on time and as they were a bit of a scramble down a steep bank I resisted the temptation to go down for some photographs.

A large outflow at the southern end of Compensation reservoir which runs out of Loch Thom.

Arriving at the Greenock cut visitors centre, this used to be known as The Cornalees visitor centre but when it was refurbished it was renamed.

above and below:-The second of the Anson's engines in the car park at the visitors centre.

This plaque is fixed beside the engine with information about the crash and how the engine was recovered.

From the visitor centre it was a more or less straight road back to Overton and my car.

A recentley restored Well that was originally built here in 1915 by the 6th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regiment who were stationed here during WW1.

Map not needed much here, the Old Largs Road seemed to be little more than a boggy quad track.

View along The Old Largs road from the signpost.

Distant view of Loch Thom Cottage where the Well is located and beyond that in the middle distance is Greenock Cut visitors centre where there is also a cafe and a Farm Animal petting centre.

Back over Scroggy Bank.

The other end of the cut at the carpark at Overton.

I probably could of made it to the engine beside the dam and back again in under two hours but my diversion over the hill and around the far side filled the day in nicely. By the time I arrived back at the Music Hall in Paisley town centre they had just started giving out the results so I had timed it perfectly to see Heather receiving a rather immpressive trophy for finishing in fifth place in the line-up.