Friday, 11 December 2009

A Very Very Lucky Girl Indeed

The above picture is taken from the Rumbling Bridge, a beauty spot in Perthshire between Dunkeld and Crieff. It's one of these unspoiled beauty spots which is tucked away from the main tourist track and mainly used by those undertaking the Hermitage walk from Dunkeld.

You leave the main road a few miles from Dunkeld and drive down a steepish hill towards the bridge. Parking is provided some 200 yards from the bridge, although cars can cross to access the properties set up on the hill on the opposite side. This is a spot which I find tranquil although not relaxing, because I can't look over the north side owing to vertigo. It is steep. The River Braan drops away to a deep gorge (90ft deep) from one side of the bridge to the other.

There was a near-tragedy there at lunchtime on Wednesday. A 16 year old school pupil from Dundee plunged down the 90ft gorge into the river. She was part of an organised group from the Dundee City Council-run Ancrum Outdoor Centre who were biking in the area and apparently lost control of her bike and collided with the bridge. The RAF airlifted her to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee where her condition is said to be non life threatening.

Tayside Fire and Rescue station manager Kevin Lennon described the area as "very dangerous" adding that the girl was "very very lucky to be alive."

"It is a very tight and narrow ravine covered in rocks. She had fallen down and been swept into the water to the other side of the bridge and into a pool where she was located."

The sooner Ancrum Outdoor Centre is investigated for taking children anywhere near this bridge (which has no safety barriers) the better. I wouldn't even take children to this spot far less riding a bike. This appears to be gross irresponsibility by the organisers who allegedly often use this area for recreation.

Why weren't the children in school? We have a literacy and numeracy problem in Scotland these days and biking round the countryside, spectacular as it is, is not going to improve these skills.

Close this place down. The Ancrum Outdoor Centre has previously been in the news for endangering the lives of children.

Pupils should be in school or on educational day trips and not on jaunts. If they wish to cycle round the countryside they should be encouraged to do so at weekends.


wisnaeme said...

Do I know this place?

Do monkeys scratch their @rses?Ah'll say so. I know this place better than most folk. ...and it's awesome but bluidy dangerous. For four years, I attended Naemoor residential school in the sixties which used to be a country estate and big house belonging to the De Mobray family of yor.
Rumbling Bridge is actually one bridge built apon an earlier one. You can see the first bridge span from the downriver side of the bridge. That was the place where one of the first hydro electric turbo stations was built; not only in Scotland but one of the first in the world.
Many a time have I explored that ravine as an adventurous school kid. In the 1960's parts of the wooden walkways in the ravine were still usable but with caution because they were so, so rotten and the iron supports were rusted, paper thin and extremely dangerous. There are some caves there that I know inside out and when the river is in spate the whirlpools and falls are spectacular. the force of the flow of water as it forces it's way through the narrow part of the ravine caused the bridges to rumble, hence the name. If I'd have been a cat I would have lost at least eight of my nine lives there exploring alone.The place was strickly out of bounds but then the young do not always do as they're told, do they? Danger, keep out signs abounded, put up by the then owners of the Rumbling Bridge Hotel.

You could say I knew the place and the surrounding area very well indeed at one time.

subrosa said...

Wisnaeme, hate to say it but I think you know the Rumbling Bridge Glendevon, not this one near Dunkeld.

Your one is famed for the 'double bridge' and has the hotel nearby.

There's no hotel nearby this one, the nearest hotel would be Birnam.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rosie, for God's sake, kids have to be able to grow up with a few scrapes and bumps. It won't do them any harm, it's all part of growing up.

subrosa said...

DL, of course they do I'm not saying they shouldn't at all. I'm saying they shouldn't be doing this in school time and also the place where this happened is unsafe - yet so called 'responsible' adults tell kids it's an acceptable environment for messing around on bikes. It's not, it's obvious to anyone.

OK DL? ;)

wisnaeme said...

OOPS. Should have engaged brain before posting.

subrosa said...

No it's a very easy mistake wisnaeme. 'Your' one is much more popular than this one.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rosie, I see you've got your serious head on. A little satire goes a long way ;-)

subrosa said...

Aye I had my serious head on yesterday DL, sometimes I just get so angry at what's going on with youngsters. They should be in school learning. These youngsters need to get jobs and cycling round Perthshire won't do that. Haud me back... :)

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