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SEDA Island Expedition

An early 8am start had 4 of us eager to leave our draughty corner meeting place. Note to group, we have to find a warm coffee shop for winter, but not too comfortable. Heading out west from Glasgow we were treated to some quiet roads, fine weather and views over the Clyde. We must have made good time as we had time for a coffee and bacon butties before catching the ferry over to Rothesay, here we were joined by 2 more tourers who had come over from Edinburgh.

Over in Rothesay we were greeted by Chris Stewart of SEDA with freshly printed maps and itinerary, and a bagful of sugary goodies. Heading along the prom we stopped at The Rothesay Pavilion which this week achieved it’s £14m funding target, before heading up to the Fyne Futures Recycling Centre, a community enterprise recycling the domestic waste for Bute. Chris, also the Project Architect behind the recycling centre, explained the unusual sources of material used in the building including second hand bricks, recycled glass and locally sourced steelwork! Reeni, General Manager of Fyne Futures explained about the success of the project since its inception in 2005 and her aspirations for the future.

We then headed off to Bute Brew Co for lunch for some locally brewed ales and freshly made pizza. A slightly longer than planned feed stop, but plenty of time to sample the full range of  brews. Fed and watered we then set off down the coast to the Mount Stuart biomass boiler plant. This now supplies hot water and heating to the House and there is capacity for expansion. The plant uses chips from it’s own wood yard. Results are encouraging with the heating having to be turned down to protect the fabric from shrinking. It was now time to head back after a great day. Good weather, great scenery, interesting venues and good chat all playing a part. To be repeated.

Chris Johnstone is a Director at Glasgow based Dallman Johnstone Architects 

The SEDA Island Expedition Map is available from http://www.seda.uk.net/architectural-tours/ 

Michael Dougall