Travels along the Tay: Day 2 on Location

Top of The Law

Yesterday we completed our second ‘location scouting’ trip–visiting possible filming sites for a selection of the Watermarks poems and short stories. We even had glorious sunshine to set the scene!

We started our day with some ‘hands-on’ introductions to the iPads and iMovie–which we will be using during the project–and have learned that feet and thumbs tend to feature quite a lot in our out-takes (we like to think of this as ’embodied’ impressionistic filming)!


After our mini-iPad tutorial, we headed up The Law and chatted about how we can use this expansive view as a broader scene-setting location. We then travelled back down to the River Tay and the Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial. The Horn Cafe once again provided fuel for the rest of the trip, which took us back to Perth City Centre.


Perth BridgeThe River Tay has been a prominent feature in Perth, connecting it to people and places near and far. The Perth Bridge (shown here) features in one of the Watermarks stories, and the author–Stuart Wardrop–along with the rest of us, were collaborating to come up with ideas for some special sound effects linked to a dramatic point in this particular narrative. More updates are to follow on these technical discussions!



Glass Ceiling--Perth Museum and Art Gallery

The Perth Museum and Art Gallery  provided us with some wonderful artistic inspiration, including a highly acclaimed exhibition by Alison Watt.

Eagle of PerthAfter a wander around the galleries–including the very informative Geography/Nature learning exhibition designed to be accessible to children–we walked along part of the nearby, and recently launched, River Tay Public Art Trail. Including a range of stand-alone sculptural pieces and a series of designs carved into the embankment walkway wall, the trail provides another platform through which to creatively experience the River Tay and its surroundings. The guide to the trail notes, “The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland and the most powerful river in Britain. It flows through the City of Perth and it is to the river that the city owes its existence–having grown up in the middle-ages around the lowest point that the river could be bridged” (Perthshire Public Art Trust, 2014).





IMG_0516We completed our trip with an impromptu visit to The Old Council Chambers at 3 and 5 High Street, Perth, where we were kindly given a unique opportunity to admire its intricate nineteenth century stained glass windows. The chambers host many marriage, civil and naming ceremonies, and provide an atmospheric venue–a hidden gem, not at all obvious from the street below.



Nethergate Writers on the Minibus

It was then back to the bus, and the competent hands of Alan Long, our intrepid photographer, field technician and minibus driver!


Welcome to the Ties to the Tay Project

University of Dundeeteh River Tay from the Tower Building

Welcome to the Ties to the Tay blog. This  site provides information about activities and ongoing research related to the Ties to the Tay project, which is a collaboration between an interdisciplinary group of academics at the University of Dundee, the Nethergate Writers, artists, and community organisations.



The project aims to explore the changing relationships with, and representations of, the River Tay and its surrounding environs. Drawing on the work of creative writers, artists, film makers and many others, we hope to engage, document, create and celebrate diverse Ties to the Tay.


Watermarks-Nethergate Writers


Through the process of storytelling we will investigate how we produce and challenge connections to places, and how we formulate new relationships with various landscapes. To begin this journey we are drawing on Watermarks–a new collection of poems and short stories related to the theme of the River Tay–produced by the Nethergate Writers. (The Nethergate Writers Blog provides further information about the group, as well as their related Nethergate Writers Twitter feed.)




The project is coordinated by Susan Mains, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Dundee.




This project has been made possible with financial support from Geography (School of Environment, University of Dundee), the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR, University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute) and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Carnegie Trust for the Universities of ScotlandCECHR Logo