CSI Langholm

War memorial

Today’s guest picture showing our war memorial was taken in the park last night by my friend Bruce who saw it while walking his dog and thought it would be appropriate for today.

War memorial

In terms of crime, Langholm does not usually figure in the news as we are generally a very law abiding and peaceful town.  Today however the High Street was swarming with police….

bank job

…and the mighty organs of the media were out in force….

bank job

….and there were crimes scene tapes on every side and officers in white boiler suits doing any number of….

bank job

….arcane things….

bank job

…all because someone had lost their bank card and had to resort to blowing up the cash machine of the Royal Bank of Scotland to get their money out.

bank job

The criminals had apparently filled the cash machine with gas which they had then caused to explode and blow the safe up. A member of the gang had leapt through the window and thrown the cash out to his accomplice (or accomplices) and then they had driven off in a stolen Land Rover, leaving money scattered about.  The Land Rover was later found burnt out down the Tarras road.

The bank….


…had not seen anything like this in its 150 year history, though it must be said that another cash machine in Langholm was forcibly dragged out from the wall of the Co-operative store not so many years ago.  Obviously cash machines are tempting for criminals but you would wonder if there was enough money in a small town machine like ours to make all the work and preparation worthwhile.

As the RBS is currently in the process of paying back 400 million pounds to small business customers it has treated very badly, I don’t think that this theft is going to register very high on their list of worries but it is still quite depressing for us to have it happen here.

On a brighter note, Dropscone came round for coffee  with his traditional supply of treacle scones which we enjoyed very much.

It stayed very near freezing for the whole morning even though the sun was shining brightly.  Passing planes covered the sky with their trails…

vapour tra

A lot of planes pass over us mostly without us realising it and it is only on a day with particular weather conditions like today that they are so obvious.  This morning every cloud in the sky was caused by a passing plane…

vapour trails

…with more being added all the time.

I saw one effect which I have never seen before.  I don’t know whether it was a trick of the light or something that was caused by the way the aircraft was flying but this was the result.

vapour trails

If any reader can explain it, I would be grateful.  It looks as though the plane crossing uppermost has split the cloud leaving no trail behind it but I suppose it might be a normal trail which had been put in the shadow by the cloud above it but it looked very curious indeed.  Lovers of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy might see it as a tear in the space time continuum.

The birds down below didn’t care at all.

The green finch was saying, “Not sunflower seeds again! Has the man no imagination?”
goldfinches and chaffinch
The goldfinch was just concerned to keep a looming chaffinch away…Note the mysterious flying seed at the top right.
blue tit and chaffinch
A blue tit keeps an eye on an approaching chaffinch

The sun finally got round to the feeder.

blue tit and coal tit
A blue tit and coal tit enjoyed it.

It is difficult (for me at any rate) to tell male and female goldfinches apart but I feel that this pair shows a male on the left and a female on the right…


…but I may be wrong (again).

I saw a brambling arrive at the feeder while I was having coffee with Dropscone but it flew off before I could record it.  He remarked that I might have to stand at the window all day in case it came back but in the end, I didn’t have to wait too long.


In the afternoon, we went off to Gretna to do some shopping.  Having put winter tyres on the car in a failed effort to stop cold weather arriving, I foolishly thought that it might be the right time to buy a new pair of wellies so we can presumably expect storms and snowdrifts now.

We were hoping that we might see some signs signs of a murmuration of starlings but we only saw the tiniest whisper as a few birds flew across the road so maybe the days of seeing sights like this one at Gretna in 2013 have now passed.

starlings at gretna

We will have another look later on just in case.

The flower of the day is a combination of marigold and viola, both looking a bit depressed and who can blame them…

marigold and viola

…and the flying bird is a chaffinch in the cold, cold morning air.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “CSI Langholm

  1. Only one way to describe today’s blog, “wow” !!! Thanks for keeping us up to speed as usual Mr H.

  2. Interesting times in Langholm! Glad Dropscone was able to come by with fresh treacle scones to brighten the day. I remember way back when I was a teenager the time a murder had been discovered to have taken place down the road about 1/2 mile from our house. A small rural town, an A-frame house down the road with not much else around. The victim had been shot, rolled up in a rug and buried out in the swamp. I don’t remember if the murderer was ever caught. It was disconcerting, as my friends and I used to walk up the road past that house.

    I have seen that same “negative contrail” phenomenon here from time to time. Even the bright contrail below it has cast a broader shadow on the clouds above it. The sun must be at the right angle to generate this image. The split is odd-looking though. As long as you do not observe any Vogon ships hovering above Langholm, you are probably safe. 🙂

  3. That’s quite a lot of action for a small town anywhere. Unfortunately our news here is made up of far too many stories like this one.
    I can’t explain the split in the clouds but it’s a good mystery. You must have a lot of planes crisscrossing your airspace.

  4. So the saying “There’s no honor among thieves” holds true once again.

    You had a fine day photographing the birds at the feeders, it must be the colder weather prompting them to return.

  5. While I was on my way to your blog today, I was thinking what a relief and comfort it will be to escape to Tom’s peaceful Langholm after the recent US elections (and Australia’s dismal cricket performance.) But what did I find? Crime has hit your peaceful township! I think I may need a cup of tea to get over my shock at all of this. I’m also surprised by the cloud formations created by planes flying overhead. I was sure they were normal clouds until I read your commentary. It was a relief to see that your lovely pics of birds and flowers are still there. At least some things remain the same in Langholm. 🙂

    1. I spoke to someone who suggested that might have been a lot more money in the safe than I thought that there would be. A bit of inside knowledge for the robbers perhaps.

  6. I’m at Mary’s. My tablet offers me items of news it thinks I may have an interest, and for some reason thinks I’m interested in Langholm. So we were aware of your big bank robbery and tried to come up with titles for your blog.

  7. What an audacious attack – very sorry to hear such a thing took place in your peaceful town.
    On a brighter note – lovely picture of the brambling.

  8. An excellent guest photo to open the post but sad to see following photos of the scene of crime officers scouring the streets of Langholm …is nowhere sacred these days?! The brambling photo and the murmuration of starlings photos are rather special- I now get excited when one or two starlings visit the bird table- how things have changed. At least delicious treacle scones are still on offer to bring normality back to life.

    1. I have had that instruction about identifying goldfinches too but even an expert standing next to me found it difficult to be certain.
      The vapour trail was very odd.

  9. We also are on the main jet road between NY/Boston and Europe, so have contrails of all sorts here. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of the same jets that pass over you pass directly over us, too.

  10. That trail is definitely something to do with that space time thingammy you mentioned lol, cheers But it would be nice to know exactly what caused it?

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