“As a warning to disobedient youth of future generations”

On Monday, my friend, the poet Rab Wilson, took me to Glenarlie Brig:

Rab drew my attention to this plaque on the side wall of the brig:

A dire warning indeed! But whit truth lies ahind this story [circa 1870]?

Weel I hae done my baist to search through auld newspapers and yet hae failed to find ony mention of this alarming story. This does not mean that it didnae happen. I have been able to establish that John Penman o’ Shinnel wis a blacksmith and that he died not so long ago [relatively spakin’] at the age of 87 years. His ashes were scattered by the church door of Tynron church:

This was his Smithy:

As a young man John Penman had a serious accident – as reported  here in a local newspaper of 1916:

There is a lovely picnic spot beside Glenarlie brig.

T . A. Johnston included apoem aboot this brig in his not jist parochial anthology. This is how the poem begins:

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