Bute

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The Isle of Bute (Innis Sea in Gaelic) is the only island in the lower Firth of Clyde in Scotland, apart from Arran but no-one ever talks about there. Formerly part of the county of Buteshire, it now constitutes part of the council area of Argyll and Bute. In the 2001 census (conducted in April 2001) it had a resident population of 7,228. However, many residents are in fact as large as summer holiday homes, and in winter there are probably fewer than 5,000 people on the island as the larger residents are a perfect source of sustinence in those harsh winter months.

edit Geography

To the west of Bute is a wee slip of land known as Inchmarnock (so named because of the height of its discoverer, Ronnie Corbett) which can only be reached by foot at low tide and to the east is the rubbish dump known as Little Cumbrae. Bute lies in the Firth of Clyde, as I said earlier. The only town on the island, Rothesay, is linked by Ferry, hovercraft, fishing boat, bridge, seaplane and catapult to the mainland. Other villages on the island include:

Bute is divided in two by the Highland Boundary Fault, which is coincidentally the name of the island's most successful rock band. North of the fault the island has a hill and is largely uncultured with extensive areas of forestry (trees). To the south of the fault the terrain is smoother and the people educated to a much higher standard although in the far south the majority of locals have six toes and are their brother's mother's sister. Rothesay Leisure Pool is Bute's largest body of freshwater and runs along the faultline but still is only shut for maintenance at the start of the summer holidays (a mythical period of time when the sun shines and the schools are closed).

The western side of Bute is known for its beach which enjoys views over the sound of Bute (a low moan) towards Arran and Bute's Nubbin, Inchmarnock. Stradivarius is the only village on the west coast, around St. Ninny's Bay.

In the north, Bute is separated from the Cowal peninsula by the giant who stands on the bridge that connects Bute to the mainland. The northern part of the island is sparsely populated (thank goodness), and the ferry terminal at Rub-a-dub-dub connects the island to the mainland at Colintraive by the smaller of the island's two ferries. The crossing is one of the shortest in the whole multiverse, less than 3ft, and takes only a few seconds but is busy because many tourists prefer the scenic route to the island. It's also really very expensive. You have to sell your soul to get a ticket these days.

edit History

It is likely that before Rod Hull arrived and absorbed Bute into the The Pink Windmill the island was home to a people who spoke a rudimentary language comprised of sounds you could make using just your hands and your body, sometimes even together! Later, during the Viking period the island was known as Rothesay and the main town on the island was Bute. Widespread and long term mis-use of the titles was eventually officially recognised by Grotbags and the names were swapped to reflect popular usage.

In the 1940s and 1950s Bute served as a large navy headquarters and as such was full to bursting of seamen.

edit Transport

Bute is connected with the Scottish mainland by two ferries:

  • Rothesay to Weeman's Bay
  • Rub-a-dub-dub to Colintraive

In summer, the period of least rain, there is a hovercraft, that 'almost floats on air according to some local wags, which goes from the beach to the mainland. Somewhere.

The fishing boats hitherto referred to depart from the pier at late times of the day and really are only chartered by football fans making a late crossing from the mainland to the island.

The seaplane does exactly what it says on the tin. Locals look and see a plane. That's it. Nothing more.

edit Education

The island has one secondary school, Rothesay Academy, which moved to a new joint campus with Rothesay Primary in 2007. It has very poor teaching standards and even poorer learning standards than you would expect, although there are still some good teachers and pupils. Last year, 2008, someone got a Higher. There are three primary schools too but as they are for children you are going to read nothing about them here, you paedo!

edit Sport

No-one plays sport on Bute. They watch it on TV instead. Those of them that have TVs, that is.

edit Economy

Bute's economy is based on bartering skills in exchange for time through the local Skills Bank. A run on the bank last year resulted in the entire economy of Bute being valued at less than £3.50!

edit Attractions

  • Once supported Elvis Costello at the Pavillion. They have since gone on to do other musical things of note which appear elsewhere;
  • Moaning;
  • The Maids of Bute - two mythical painted rocks hidden behind more rocks

edit Famous people

Famous Bute people include:-

edit Entomology

The Isle of Bute is known in entomological circles as the Island of Fleas due to fifteen species having been identified on Bute and reported to the Royal Entomological Society.

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