The Early Bird Avoids The Virus

14 April 2020 0 By Fred Carrie

Another fine walk this morning 8 KM or 5 miles round trip. Friockheim – Leysmill via old tracks and paths – Border Hole Quarry (or at least that’s what it used to be) – Border Farm and back then to Friockheim. Nice walk.

It took about 1 ½ hours or so. Met only one party of two walkers near Leysmill then no one at all until back near Friockheim. There is no doubt that getting out early vastly reduces social contact. I think the stiff, cold wind may also have discouraged some folk. Well done to all the dog walkers around the village today, all had their dogs on leads.

There was a lot of quarrying went on in this area and one of the biggest was The Border Hole situated at approx NO 59690 48585 adjacent the old Arbroath – Forfar railway line which closed in the early 1960s. That was the closure of the railway, not the long abandoned quarry which probably closed in the 19th century. Details are not easy to find. My grandfather, who used to take me there in the 1950s, could never remember it being in use. I’m old enough to remember steam trains on the line. Yeah, I’m that old. 🙂

The Border Hole, its official name was Legaston Quarry, is sadly no more. It was deep and full of crystal clear water, held fish and was sometimes used for swimming. My parents used to swim there in the 1940s and we used to swim there in the 1970s. There is no doubt it was dangerous.

I remember sinister looking massive pipes vanishing into the depths below a towering chimney which may have been part of a steam driven pump system used to prevent the quarry filling with ground water as it did after it was abandoned. This area is low lying and the water table will be high.

Incidently the quarry sometimes used by rock climbers on nearby Legaston Brae (Arbroath – Brechin road) and referred to as Legaston Quarry is actually Middleton Quarry.

It’s all very confusing!

I was living out of the area at the time, but I’m pretty sure there was a death by drowning at the Border Hole and that was the motivation (or perhaps the justification leapt upon) to turn it and other quarries in the area into landfill sites, but honestly I don’t know the details.

Anyway you would hardly know it had been there at all now.

To be fair they have made a reasonable job of “rewilding” the site if anywhere that is used by motor cyclists can be seriously described as “wild”. That said I had a few motor cycles in the 1970s, was pretty “wild” myself and probably would have used an area such as this, so I can’t criticise without feeling a tinge of embarrassment. 🙂

Here are a few photos of The Border Hole as it is today. The old quarry rock faces that used to drop sheer into the water are clear to see.