The White Cart River, Scotland, by Rothnie_Artist

I am the White Cart River and I stand in Solidarity with the river communities of the Atrato river in Choco Colombia.

The White Cart and I have been intertwined for the best part of 40 years. When I moved back to Scotland from Africa as a child our family settled in Carmunnock, a hilltop village on the edge of the sprawling conurbation of Glasgow. The Village grew with its main historical industry being Laundry using the river water to wash the linens which would be dried on the village greens. We were literally the last house before the street turned into rural county side and fields and visible from our sitting room was Kittochwater, a tributary which wound itself around the edge of the village and down to Busby where it met the Cart. My route to school followed the river downhill to Giffnock and Rouken Glen where it fed the park boating pond and we could take a walk along the banks in the wooded glen after school. When first married I lived in Viaduct road where the train track rumbled over the Cart. On one side of the river is the site of an old army barracks, where my father had lived after WW2 along with many other displaced Glaswegians whose houses had been destroyed and chose to squat there; on the other bank the playing fields of Overlea park and the affluent suburb of Clarkston. My husband’s aunt told me there used to be a rope bridge across the river and enthused young Catholics from Clarkston would go across as a mission team to sing with and pray for poor wee children in the camp, my dad and his rascally friends.

When I got my first job as a teacher the school was in Paisley and just up the road from the sight of Paisleys famous weaving Mills powered by the water from the White Cart and if you had to pop into town it was always exciting to see the water crashing over the rocks next to the mill in the Urban setting.

I raised my family in Eaglesham. The White Cart rises on the Eaglesham moor, ran straight though the village green and hugged the bottom of the field of the smallholding we lived on, travelled down passing the graveyard that is filled with relatives and friends and passing under the southern Orbital road route via and over a ford on its way towards the city. I now live in Glasgow and live a top of a hill and though it is hidden amongst the hugely build up area of tennements, the White Cart is still curling around my home because at the foot of this hill is a hidden walkway. It is this I have chosen to depict. The walk way is alive with people peeking through the barriers to spy a little bit of nature, the locals document and share on social media the progress of ducklings and whether herons, foxes, brown trout, etc. are spotted. The river is overseen by a thousand tenement back windows on one side and on the other embankment invasive enormous heads of Hog weed flowers flourish in the summer. The river is like and arterial flow of life and those who walk along its path get to experience some of its refreshing energy and the babbling gurgle of its peace as it travels through the city.


Woman holding abstract painting by the White Cart river

Abstract painting of White Cart River