“Crocodile Rock” on the Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland

September 2012 Issue

“Crocodile Rock” on the Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland


The subject of July’s photo is the “Crocodile Rock,” one of the painted rocks on the Isle of Cumbrae, off the coast of North Ayrshire, Scotland. The croc, in Cumbrae’s only town, Millport, is not far from the pub which its creator, retired architect Robert Brown, had just visited on the day in 1913 when he decided to paint this cheerful reptile. The paint has been touched up over the years, but Brown’s original design remains intact.

Seven readers sent in the correct answer, and DAVID E. IRVING of Media, Pennsylvania, won the drawing. He added this note: “My mother emigrated to the US from Scotland. She showed me a 1944 photo snapped of her as an 8-year-old on holiday on Cumbrae in front of a funny painted rock. I forgot all about it. Sixty years later, as a travel agent, I was in Glasgow and had a free day. I took the ferry to Millport, rented a bike and, out of nowhere, came across the rock. With tears in my eyes, I asked a local to photograph me where my mother had once stood.”

We thank Janet Brenneman of Billings, Montana, for sending in the photo taken by her husband, Jim Kyle.
“Crocodile Rock” on the Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland