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Monday 21 February 2011: First Scottish Flight

This is clearly a week for memorials. Yesterday the Kames Gunpowder Works and today Andrew Blain Baird, who was responsible for the first Scottish heaveir-than-air flight.

The memorial stands at Ettrick Bay in Bute. Before I got there at lunchtime I had met Christopher Markwell in the Post Office at Port Bannatyne where he had told me about the story. Chris organised the centenary celebrations last year which included a remarkable fly past by a number of small planes, and a display by a specially designed kite. I told him I had unveiled a plaque to the Barnwell Brothers in Balfron in 2009, when I was Culture (& Heritage) Minister, to mark the first flight in Scotland, but he pointed out (qutie correctly) that this was a different thing !

Chris also has a comprehensive website about Baird. It tells you much more than I could about this intriguing story and this enterprising and adventurous man.


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