Chapter 230 – Princess’ Vale Rises

“Anne, come with me.”, I said.

We walk to my office, and on the left-hand side, I throw open the large double doors and walk into the room, which is sixty feet long and thirty feet wide.

“I call this ‘Theatre of the Orb of the World’, after the first modern atlas published by Abraham Ortelius in 1570.”

“Or Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.”, said Anne, smiling over her thick-rimmed glasses.

Not for the first time, Anne and I conduct intellectual sparring. Everyone underestimates Anne, which is why she is my Front of House.

“Indeed. This room holds a copy of every map we’ve created.”

Shelves line the right-hand wall with every region of Scotland, and I pull out The Lennox drawer. “Do you know why they call it ‘The Lennox’?”

“This is my home, and it means The Elm Grove in Gaelic.”


I pull out a regional map, lay it on the large table, and follow my finger along the River Leven flowing out of Loch Lomond, through Balloch, Alexandria, Bonhill, Renton and spilling into the Clutha in Dumbarton.

“The Vale has a rich seem of sporting talent, and we need to impress upon them the future is Association Football, and not the rugby code.”

“You are asking for help?”

“Yes, I need a local’s knowledge to navigate this problem.”

2 thoughts on “Chapter 230 – Princess’ Vale Rises

  1. Hi Graeme, It’s interesting to me that you are looking at the hotbed of early Scottish football in the Vale of Leven. I worked there for a few years in the Polaroid camera factory, though our job was promoting good health. I was there in 1988 when a match was organised to commemorate the 100 years since 1888 Scottish Cup winners, Renton became ‘world champions,’ by defeating 1888 FA Cup holders, West Bromwich Albion. I missed the match unfortunately, where folk would have cheered on The Ranton, without pronouncing the t. John O’Hare who played a 13 times for Scoland was a Renton boy. There was a large photo of him in the local pub which was otherwise the most time-warped hostelry I have ever entered. Vale of Leven, of course, were by far the most successful Vale team, as well as Dumbarton, but Renton did alright for a one horse town.


    1. Hi Martin. Great you are still following this – love that story about the 100th anniversary – i will need to make the trip up to the Vale to take a look. I havent been yet – managed a Dumbarton Game with Stephen Watt a couple of years ago but that is it. The Vale is a fascinating tale and so few folks dont realise that without Queen’s Park intervention they would have turned to the rugby code rather than association football. Although you will realise that now with the last few chapters. Now its going to get very exciting – only a few months out from #SCOENG1872. By the way we cover the 1888 Championship of the World on the footy tour. Always has folks going eh? A wee team fae Renton are Champions of the World. Hope all is grand.


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