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Modelling in Stromness
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Modelling in Stromness

Pic taken last week. A few years ago, while visiting Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, in the shop in the then newly-opened visitor centre my eye was caught by a cut-out-and-build book presumably intended for kids. What attracted me was the photo on the cover: it was the Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers, in Syria, which I had visited not so long previously. I had to have the book and build the model shown here - a pretty accurate representation of the real thing. Only afterwards did I read the small print giving the name of the book's designer; it was Iain Ashman, a longtime resident of Stromness. I asked him if he had ever visited the subject of his handiwork and he said no, it was done from reference material. And superbly done too. I can just see myself standing again on the meticulously-drawn flagstones atop one of those towers. Only problem: what to do with the model. It's nearly 2 feet across so won't fit on the mantelpiece. It's perhaps a little too fragile for kids to play with (assuming they play with such oldfashioned stuff as castles). Iain Ashman himself felt it would probably live out its days under a bed. Any other suggestions?
Picture added on 05 August 2011 at 11:19
Ian, as we may have to invade this fort soon, perhaps you should send this model to SAS HQ for training purposes. I do hope this little joke does not come true.
Added by Sandy on 05 August 2011
Yes, Sandy, that area is figuring heavily in the news, for all the wrong reasons, but I hope 'the west' will leave them to get on with it in their own way.
Added by Ian Hourston on 05 August 2011
Great model, how about donating to a school for history lessons?
Added by Johnny Johnston on 08 August 2011
If a school would care to have it, it's theirs. I'll even deliver it (within Orkney Mainland or linked isles). But I don't want to hawk it round schools or other establishments that would probably prefer not to have it but might not like to say so.
Added by Ian Hourston on 09 August 2011
Sandy's comment above is ringing increasingly true, more's the pity.
Added by Ian Hourston on 02 September 2013
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