A bridge too far
Avro Anson L7949 on Lairside Hill.
(Distance covered = 5.9 mile)
One of my earlier expeditions during my second shift of Wreckhunting, and my first visit to Clyde Muirsheil Country Park
This was to be the first of many visits I would make to the Clyde Muirsheil Country Park. On this occasion I had planned on parking to the west of Lochwinnoch and walking in to the crashsite from the south, there was ruins of a Castle marked on the map which I would pass from that direction so I thought that would make a more interesting route. Walkng in from the south also meant it would be a shorter route than starting from the Clyde Muirsheil Visitor centre to the north. However I could not find the start of this path and a couple of locals didn't have any idea of it's whereabouts either, other then it went through some woods and no-one used it. I changed plans and headed north to the visitor centre, much easier to locate.
Misty Law, living up to it's name.
I went to check in with the Ranger at the
Centre who advised me the River Calder was quite swollen so I would have
to head north a bit further to where there was a bridge to get across,
this mean't I was now on the wrong side of a tributary called the Raith Burn which flowed down
into the Calder from the North side of Misty Law.
Once I'd climbed up Misty Law high enough to find somewhere to negotiate the Raith Burn I headed back south to pick up a track that ran from Misty Law down past Lairdside Hill. The grid ref in High Ground Wrecks and Relics gave the location of this Anson as being on Misty Law but this was obviously way off.
The Anson wreckage was easily spotted from the top of Lairside Hill.
During the first year after resuming my wreckhunting activities I hadn't hit on the idea yet of making a website so I didn't bother as much taking photographs other than at the wrecksite. I also hadn't quite fully got the hang of my new DSLR camera and I also hadn't yet developed my good luck with the Scottish weather, all evident on this page!
The Anson wreckage lies in a boggy hollow and is in poor condition.
When I arrived below Lairdside Hill I must have only been about 20ft from the crashsite but it was concealed and I turned right to look for it and after failing to find it I then went up onto the top of Lairdside Hill to spot it from there, of course if I'd turned left first I would have found it straight away. I knew I'd only been 20ft away because when I was having a root around for other pieces after I'd found the crashsite I came across my own footprints coming in from the north.
I've mentioned this piece before, it has survived at most of the Anson crashsites I have visited.
At the crashsite was the that piece of undercarriage assembly that seems to have survived at most Anson Crashsite, most probably because having to support the aircraft as it landed necessitated it being very sturdy.
One of the two Cheetah engines, the other one was about 200yrds away on the other side of a hillock.
Lairdside Hill with the remains of Cockmalain on the top, don't know what that used to be but it sounds a bit like an std.
above and next ten photos:-Pieces of Anson
wreckage in the crater and some close-ups of the engine.
The second Cheetah engine was about 200yrds away down the hill and was a bit tricky to find being hidden behind a hillock and well concealed in some long grass.
above and next two photos:The second engine
although missing more cylinders than the other one was in better
Not far away from the second engine were the remains of two small tanks, the kind used for containing liquid not the tracked armoured vehicle kind. As I was making my way over a wet boggy area to photograph them I snagged my foot in the long grass and proceded to fall forward, I quickly deduced that I had two options, 1-save myself or 2- save my camera, I therefore held my camera above my head to stop it getting wet and fell face first into a muddy puddle.
above and below:-The two tanks that cost me
a dunking in the mud.
I started back towards the Visitor Centre this time taking a more direct route as I figured I could just wade across the River without having to worry about getting my feet wet so close to arriving back at the car, this would also clean my boots nicely. As I preceded down the hill I noticed there was a metal footbridge down there, so the diversion I made at the start of my walk wasn't necessary. When I arrived back at the Carpark and mentioned the other bridge to the Ranger she told me it was deemed dangerous so she couldn't tell me it was there.