100 Weeks of Scotland: outdoor workers

Picture: Alan McCredie

Picture: Alan McCredie


Outside my window right now lies the dilapidated remains of our garden fence, an entirely predictable casualty of the storms of last week. I barely ventured into the garden for two days partly because I didn’t want to face the realization that I would have to replace the thing and partly because the weather was just so horrendous.

Convenient then that I had been thinking in vague terms about a theme of those poor souls who have to work outside in the Scottish winter. I am outdoors occasionally as a photographer, more often when the weather is warmer but often enough to realise that the odd hour or two of low temperatures I have to cope with is absolutely nothing compared to what others have to endure.

The first image of this week happened by chance when I took a wrong turning in the car. On the pavement outside a little white-painted workshop, there was a woman, a metal polisher, doing her thing with a huge bumper that must have come from the front of an HGV vehicle. Too good an opportunity to miss, as I once again thanked the fact that I no longer have a satnav and get happily lost on a regular basis.

I have been doing photos off and on over the past year along the route of the Borders Railway Project and the second image this week, a worker on the new line, was taken on a bitterly cold morning somewhere between Stow and Gorebridge.

The final two images, of arborists (tree-surgeons) near Kinloch Rannoch and of workers on an electricity pylon in Edinburgh are the kind of jobs that must be a bit scary in summer and, frankly, terrifying in winter.

So I will stick to my occasional forays into the freezing Scottish winter for work, and leave the real outdoor work to the experts.

• Alan McCredie began the ‘100 weeks of Scotland’ website in October last year, and it will conclude in Autumn 2014. McCredie’s goal is to chronicle two years of Scottish life in the run-up to the independence referendum.

McCredie says ‘one hundred weeks...’ is intended to show all sides of the country over the next two years. On the site, he says: “Whatever the result of the vote Scotland will be a different country afterward. These images will show a snapshot of the country in the run up to the referendum.

“The photos will be of all aspects of Scottish culture - politics, art, social issues, sport and anything else that catches the eye.”

Follow the project at 100weeksofscotland.com. You can also follow Alan on Twitter.

All pictures (c) Alan McCredie/ 100 weeks of Scotland




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