Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Remembering the Maillé Brézé

The Maillé Brézé was a Vauquelin class destroyer of the French Navy lost in an accidental explosion during World War II.

On 30 April 1940, at 14:15, as Maillé Brézé was anchored at the Tail of the Bank off Greenock, a torpedo tube misfunctioned and launched an armed torpedo on the deck, setting fire to the fuel tanks and the forward magazine, which however did not explode.

At 15:15, the crew abandoned ship due to the danger of explosion, except for numerous sailors trapped in the mess hall. Around 16:30, a few sailors returned to the ship to flood the aft magazine, and by 19:30 the fire was controlled by the Greenock firemen. By that time, Maillé Brézé was so low in the water that she began sinking before she could be towed, and she went down with those still trapped in the forward part. The accident killed 25 and wounded 48.
She was raised in 1954 and broken up by 1956

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Vive la France, allez les bleus, etc...

France 12-10 England

It's all over for another year, the Six Nations title will reside in Paris for the next 12 months as France stumble over the line to claim the Grand Slam and the Six Nations Championship. Congratulations les bleus.

Sadly Scotland could only manage to finish second from bottom. So let's celebrate another famous French victory over the English with the memory that all Scots were once French citizens, until that right was revoked by the French government in 1903.

In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous than yours with its friendship.
Charles de Gaulle

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Castle Semple Collegiate Church

Castle Semple Collegiate Church was built in 1504 by John, Lord Sempill, in the grounds of Castle Semple. Lord Semple was killed at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513, along with many other Scottish peers. This conflict began when King James IV of Scotland declared war on England to honour the Auld Alliance with France by diverting Henry VIII's English troops from their campaign against the French king Louis XII.

Like other collegiate churches founded at around the same time in Scotland, it was built to house a college of clergy, whose main role in life was to pray for the souls of the Lord and his family.

At Castle Semple Collegiate Church there would have been a senior priest, or Provost, six other priests, two altar boys, and an administrator. The college of priests would have lived nearby and the church became the focus of an important centre of learning.

The Abbey of Cluny

The 1,100th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, France presents Scotland with a chance‐in‐a‐lifetime to be part of wonderful pan‐European celebrations. They started in Cluny in September 2009 and will reach their climax there in September, 2010. The Cluny 2010 Scotland Joint Organising Committee has set up a programme of events to take place between 14th‐16th May, 2010 centred on Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire and Crossraguel Abbey, by Maybole, Ayrshire.

The associated sites of Kelburn Castle and Country Park, Dundonald Castle and Maybole Castle will also be part of the celebrations programme.

Download the European celebrations programme here:

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