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.
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:
- Killbill Bay
- Duncan Bannatyne
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.
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.
Bute is connected with the Scottish mainland by two ferries:
- Rothesay to Weeman's Bay
- Rub-a-dub-dub to Colintraive
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!
- Once supported Elvis Costello at the Pavillion. They have since gone on to do other musical things of note which appear elsewhere;
- The Maids of Bute - two mythical painted rocks hidden behind more rocks
Famous Bute people include:-
- Alan Smithee, film director has made a home on the island;
- Duncan Bannatyne, businessman;
- Adam Crozier, the bawbag in charge of ITV;
- Jenny Brown, poet and raconteur;
- Johnny 'Front-seat' Beattie, River City actor and 'entertainer';
- Rod Hull, children's entertainer and aerial repairman;
- Grotbags, witch and former MSP;
- Lena Zavaroni, singer was born and grew up in Rothesay;
- Leane "Tinky", One true legend of Bute.
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.