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366 Days of Architecture

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Saturday 10th December 2016

Perhaps it’s not the answer that’s blowing in the wind in this picture?

It’s the day when the great and the good are mostly gathering in Stockholm for the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and also in Oslo for the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. The 10th December was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, who on his death in 1896 left his wealth to found annual prizes awarded to those who have offered the ‘greatest benefit to mankind’ in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and peace. Nobel was the Swedish inventor and engineer, the creator of dynamite, gelignite and ballistite, a precursor to cordite. Ardeer in the Ayrshire was Nobel’s first factory in 1870, known as the ‘Dinnamite’, merging into Nobel ICI in 1926 and seen here from the air in 1947.

Friday 9th December 2016

Variety of landmarks.

We’ve a couple coronation streets today to celebrate another one, this is Edinburgh in 1902 bedecked for the coronation of King Edward VII, but 58 years later there was a landmark event in British television as the first episode of Coronation Street was broadcast in 1960, now the world’s longest running soap opera. As with the loss of characters Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner, the Ogdens and Bet Lynch, a number of the landmark buildings shown along Princes Street in 1902 are now long gone, the Palace Hotel and Life Association Building among them, but the decoration coiled around the columns of the former Commercial Bank on George Street may seem familiar for there are similar Christmas decorations on The Dome, as it is now known.

Thursday 8th December 2016

She really did spend a night here!

More than one in fact, as we’re at Linlithgow Palace on the birthday of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was born here in 1542. The building had been remodelled in the previous century as a large pleasure palace situated between the strongholds of Edinburgh and Stirling Castles. Mary’s early life was changed when her father died when she was only six days old and she became queen. Scotland was governed by regents and Mary herself spent her childhood and youth in France as the fiancée and then wife of King Francis II of France, until her return to a troubled Scotland in 1561 and the rest as they say is history. The palace is now an HES property in care and well worth a visit as an example of remarkable Scots renaissance architecture.