It is always fascinating to read archive newspaper reports, particularly those written during the war. The August 15 1945 edition of the Glasgow Herald is full of reports of celebrations following the announcement of the surrender of Japan which marked the end of the Second World War in the Pacific, and therefore the end of the war overall (the war had ended in Europe in May). In Brodick there was an impromptu church service at one o'clock in the morning attended by flocks of people who came "from along the foreshore, lit by the windows of boarding-houses and the V-flashing searchlights of warhips in the bay". The report goes on to describe how the minister who took the service was woken by the hooting of the ships' sirens. After the service church bells were rung, bonfires lit and flares ignited on the sand.
Brodick, which is dominated by Arran's highest peak, Goatfell, is the main tourist centre on Arran, largely due to the fact that it is served by the ferry service from Ardrossan on the opposite side of the Firth Of Clyde. The town's attractions include a Heritage Museum which tells the island's history and an 18-hole golf course. However, the biggest draw is Brodick Castle and its extensive grounds, located on the north side of Brodick Bay. The present-day stately home dates from the 19th century, although the site was originally defended by the Vikings, and a castle was built here in the 13th century for the Stewarts of Menteith. The castle has had many severe knocks over the years, whether on the part of the English, including the forces of Henry VIII and of Oliver Cromwell, or during the frequent clan skirmishes that took place here. The interior of the castle is open to visitors, with many sumptuously furnished rooms on view, as well as the more mundane areas such as the kitchen and scullery, and there is also a dungeon. The gardens are charming to walk around, while the surrounding country park offers a range of waymarked trails. Probably the most unusual feature of the grounds is the Bavarian Summer House, which looks like something out of a children's fairy tale, with the exterior imitating tree roots and the interior covered with pine cones.
For events in Brodick and Arran, see here.
Map of the area.
© 2002 Nick MacNeill, via Wikimedia Commons