P S Waverley with the island of Arran on the horizon.

The Paddle Steamer Waverley is the only surviving ocean-going paddle steamer in the world. She causes eyes to flutter as she cruises around the coast and the islands of the UK.

Dunure Castle.

The little fishing village in south west of Scotland is close to Maybole, the birthplace of, Robert Burns. There are a multitude of places of historical interest in the area, including Culzean Castle. The south west is a haven for golf, fishing and other sports.

Dunure Harbour

The Castle in Ayrshire is now a ruin falling into the sea. In 1570 it was the scene for the roasting of the Abbot of Crossraguel. Dunure was in the hands of Gilbert the Earl of Cassillis, he had the reputation of being a greedy man with a fiery temper. Gilbert’s Uncle had been the last Abbot of Crossraguel. After his death in 1564 the Abbey lands passed on to him. One year later the King appointed Alan Stewart as the lay commendator to the Abbey, giving Stewart control over the lands the buildings and the duties paid to it. Gilbert was not pleased at this usurping and had Stewart kidnapped. He was thrown into the Black Vault and roasted on a spit over a well stoked fire. After much screaming he agreed to sign the lands over to Gilbert. Stewart was eventually freed and outlived Gilbert. It is said that when the wind blows gently through the ruin, the screams of the Abbot can be heard as he is roasted alive. The tourists parked the campervan beside the harbour. There is an excellent little pub opposite the marina. They have a varied menu of locally prepared dishes. My advice would be, do not order the ‘Roasted Abbot.’


The lads left the girls sitting outside of the pub enjoying two pints of lager shandies. It was a lovely sunny day and they decided to walk along the foot-path on the shore, alongside the Dunure links golf course. Suddenly a golf ball whistled past their heads, narrowly missing them. It landed somewhere on the beach;

‘Bliddy hell,’ screamed Francie. ‘That could’ve taken my bliddy heid aff, Josie,’ he said.

The two golfers arrived on the scene, one was wearing a fancy Argyle sweater, he shouted at Francie;

‘Hey, wee man, did ye see where my ba’ went?’ he asked.

‘Your bliddy ba’ nearly knocked my bliddy heid aff, ye numpty,’ said Francie, his petted-lip trembling. ‘I thought that ye gentlemen golfers, were supposed tae shout ‘Fore’ afore ye killed somebody,’ he said.

‘Awa’ ye go an’ bile yer heid, wee man,’ said the guy with the fancy Argyle sweater.

The golfer dropped another ball and played on. The lads continued on also. They stopped to watch the two golfers driving off at the next tee. The fancy sweater guy was addressing his ball;

‘Hey, Jimmy, wait,’ called Francie.

The golfer stopped in the middle of his back-swing and glaring at Francie, he asked;

‘Whit is it noo, wee man?’

‘There’s a big lump o’ shit on the end o’ yer club,’ Francie called out.

The fancy guy lifted his club to look at the sole of the club-head;

‘It’s on the other end, ye stupid big eejit,’ shouted Francie.

‘Let’s skeedaddle fast, Francie,’ called Josie.

‘Sure, Josie, sure, Josie,’ said Francie.

Josie was first off his mark, running fast back towards Dunure, closely followed by a loudly laughing Francie.

Joe Sharp. 

You may wish to purchase the Adventures of Francie and Josi, click here.

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