What’s The Big Idea

Tedium settled in early doors today as I fought with ideas to break the monotony of residing indoors on a rather bleak day. Finally I grabbed one of the cameras and headed to the town of Irvine – a so called New Town.Harbour Master's House

There is affluence aplenty when it comes to building new housing for people to purchase and move up the property market but financial support appears to be sadly lacking when it comes to preserving historic buildings or places of interest such as the Magnum Leisure Complex, which although much of it is still is use, the building is an eyesore.

Down at the harbour near the Magnum is the old Harbour Master’s House, a C listed building, which is classified as at risk. Built in the early 1800s this wee cottage should be saved and would complement the nearby Scottish Maritime Museum too. Surely money can be found to save this piece of history and open it to the public as a period reminder of the town’s past?

Boyd's Automatic tide signalling apparatus

Another piece or maritime history lies a few hundred yards to the west. I am not going to pretend I understand the workings of this apparatus, so I have plagiarised the following from Wikipedia.

Irvine Harbour is home to unique and distinctive category B listed building, which displayed the tide level to ships entering the harbour until the 1970s. It was opened in 1906 and was designed by Martin Boyd, the harbourmaster at that time. The Automatic tide signalling apparatus indicated the tide’s state in two ways depending on the time of day. During daylight, the level was marked with a ball and pulley system attached to the mast. At night, a number of lamps marked the tidal level. Unfortunately the building has fallen into disrepair and the mast that once stood atop it dismantled.

I recall the building many years ago when it was in pristine condition, at least on the outside but yet again, we see another neglected structure in dire need of some TLC.

The Big Idea

Finally, a more up to date construction that has also been abandoned and uncared for. The Big Idea was built as a museum and sits on a piece of land which was once home to Alfred Nobel’s dynamite factory. Access issues meant they had to build a bridge over the River Irvine, which splits in two when the attraction is closed.

However despite the venue hosting information on John Logie Baird and Alexander Fleming for instance, visitors were few and far between. The Big Idea attracted over 100,000 visitors in its first year but numbers soon declined and the inevitable closure occurred.

Opened in 2000 and closed three years later, it has suffered badly through lack of use and neglect. I often wondered if it would make a great venue for a casino and nightclub.

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2 thoughts on “What’s The Big Idea

  1. Such brilliant photos. Makes me melancholy for another visit to such a beautiful landscape. The old, abandoned and unkept history is breath taking.

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