Research Topics and Speculation about Art and Public Space by Scottish artist Matt Baker

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Finding my feet in Stranraer

John Pickin at Stranraer museum gave me this wonderful visualisation of a previous 'regeneration' attempt around the Castle in Stranraer from 1967

This is a similar view today of the space that I am commissioned to work with:
To the west of the square is an empty branch of WHSmiths:

This building occupies the site of the former 'Meikles Hotel' - this was run by my Gt Gt Grandfather James Meikle (d.1906). James Meikle also ran three mail coaches out of Stranraer.

Graffiti from the top of the castle

The monkey puzzle tree growing in the garden of 
the house where my grandfather was born in 1896

Rusted railings in the garden

The house is boarded up, but I magaged to get my 
camera through a hole into an outbuilding 
- this is what it captured.

My favourite shop in Stranaer, so far, is this combined fishmonger and gents outfitters (fish through the left door)


  1. Excellent news Matt, I trust you'll be working with Mr M?

    Loving that 60's illustration of St Ranraer, particularly the cigar, books and telephone booths. The advertising board for those global brands like BEA , BOAC, Chivas and ...Ryvita is a classic!

    It belongs here.

  2. I'm loving the scale of the Wigtownshire Free Press offices...

  3. Lovely photos that bring back so many memories. I was born in Stranraer, but left and moved to London in 1982 becuase of Scotland's high unemployment erate. I emigrated to Canada in 1994 and now live in Calgary Alberta. I was back in the town for a visit two years ago, but its sad to see how run down the place has got. The george hotel has shut down and even the ferry service to Belfast has moved to Cairnryan. Familiar landmarks have gone and even the Marine Lake has been turned into a carpark.