Saltcoats - On This Day In History

Published stories from each town's past.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
28 MAY 1869

DEATH OF A CAMPERDOWN HERO

An aged veteran names JAMES McDONALD, breathed his last this week at Saltcoats, at the ripe old age of 96. His career was an adventurous one, and deserves more than a passing notice.

Born in the town where he died, in the year 1773 he, like many natives of Saltcoats, adopted the sea as his profession, and served his apprenticeship in a vessel which traded between that port and the Baltic. On the very day his apprenticeship terminated, when he was only 17 years of age, he was captured off the Orkneys by a French privateer, and kept a prisoner of war in France for 18 months. An exchange of prisoners taking place he was liberated; but it was only to be pressed and taken on board a man-of-war ere he reached his native land.

He was present at the Battle of Camperdown, and we believe he was the last survivor of that memorable fight.

During the mutiny of the Nore, McDonald was on board the Channel Fleet.

He was discharged without pension at the peace of 1803, from which time he was connected with the merchant service till 1831. He was then appointed keeper of the lighthouse at Saltcoats Harbour, and also acted as pilot there until the harbour lost its once flourishing trade.

It is almost needless to add that McDonald was a well-behaved man, because his lengthened life attests the fact.

Notwithstanding the hardships which must have marked his early years, he retained all his faculties till within a few days of his death, and always secured the respect of all who know him.

He leaves a widow.
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Penny Tray
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
28 MAY 1877

DEATH

At 18 Willowbank Street, Glasgow, on the 26th instant, Mary E. Giffen, fifth daughter of the late Rev. J. Giffen, Saltcoats.
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Penny Tray
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
28 MAY 1917

Died on service, Private PATRICK HILLIN, Service No. 40045, 9th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Theatre of war, France and Flanders – born at Govan; Enlisted at Hamilton; Resident of Saltcoats.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
29 MAY 1867

OPENING OF A NEW CHURCH

The new Free Gaelic Church, Saltcoats, was opened on Sunday last.

The services were conducted by the Rev. Thomas McLachlan, of St. Columba’s Church, Edinburgh, and the Rev. Alexander Mackintosh, Paisley, who delivered appropriate discourses suited to the occasion – the forenoon service being conducted in Gaelic, while those of the afternoon and evening were conducted in English.

At all the diets the church was well filled, and in the evening it was crowded.

The building, which is seated for 400, is a plain but neat Gothic structure, built from plans by Mr Honeyman, Glasgow, and had been erected at a cost of £980.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
30 MAY 1888

SALTCOATS – PUBLIC PARK

A special meeting of the Burgh Commissioners was held on Monday night – Bailie Kinnier presiding.

Mr Alpine moved, and Mr Kerr seconded, that the resolution be confirmed to lease the field opposite Melbourne Terrace to be used as a pleasure ground or place of public resort.

Mr Duncan, seconded by Mr Watt, moved an amendment that the Commissioners have nothing to do with the park.

The motion was carried by a majority.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
31 MAY 1879

MARRIAGE

HALDEN – SMITH: At St. Clair Villa, Paisley, on the 28th instant, by the Rev. Thomas Gentles, of the Abbey, assisted by the Rev. Francis Halden, Saltcoats, brother of the bridegroom, Thomas Halden, to Mary, youngest daughter of the late Benjamin Smith.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
31 MAY 1916

Died at sea, at the Battle of Jutland, Stoker 1st Class WILLIAM BRANNAN, (23), RNR, HMS INVINCIBLE – Theatre of war, at sea – son of William Brannan, Quay Street, Saltcoats; brother of John, James, and David.

The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald subsequently reported: -

“Mr William Brannan, has received information that his son William, of HMS INVINCIBLE, has lost his life in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May. William Brannan was 23 years of age and unmarried.

He was a miner, and joined the Navy in August, 1915. He was home on twelve days’ leave, and left home on the 10th of May to join his ship again. He was a native of Saltcoats, and was respected by all who knew him.

William has three other brothers serving with the colours, one of whom joined the Navy in October, 1914, and who is at present on board HMS CONQUEROR.

His brother James, of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, who was called up at the beginning of the war, was one of the first of the Saltcoats lads to leave for France, and was wounded in November, 1914, on the left arm. After recovering from his wound, he was home for a short time, and left again in February, 1915, for France – this being the third journey for France. He is now in Northumberland Hospital.

Brother David, who was also called up at the beginning of the war, is in the R.F.A., is 21 years of age, and is at present in Egypt.

Mr William Brannan resided at No. 1 Hirst Place.”
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
31 May 1916

Died at sea, at the Battle of Jutland, Able Seaman ROBERT WALLS GILLIES, (22), RNVR, HMS INDEFATIGIBLE, son of Mrs Elliott, and husband of Catherine Murchie or Gillies, Kerelaw Cottage, Saltcoats.

The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald subsequently reported: -

“At Kerelaw Cottage, Saltcoats, Mrs Gillies received official intimation that her husband, Robert Walls Gillies, Able Seaman, on Board HMS INDEFATIGIBLE, when she was sunk in the Jutland fight, has been killed in action.

Bobbie, as he was familiarly known, was in his 23rd year. He enlisted in the R.N.V.R. about the end of July last year, and joined the INDEFATIGIBLE about four months later.

In private he followed the salmon fishing, and was well known among the Saltcoats Quay habitués. Among his friends he was held in the highest esteem, being of a genial disposition and an obliging nature.

He was married last October, and Mrs Gillies has the sympathy of many friends.”
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
1 JUNE 1877

SALTCOATS ANNUAL FAIR

Yesterday the annual fair in this town was held, and, as the weather was of the most delightful description, there was a large influx of visitors, principally from the country districts.

Although at one period a good amount of business was transacted at this fair, of late years it has fallen off very much, and those who now frequent it are generally bent on pleasure rather than business.

As usual, Quay Street was very much frequented by pedestrians, and there was a great display of fruit, confections, etc., on the stands on either side of the street.

At the Pan Braes the merry-go-rounds, swing-boats, and exhibitions were patronised by the youngsters, who seemed to enjoy the fun. The shooting galleries and photographic tests seemed to do a good trade.

In the evening a large number of persons from the neighbouring towns of Ardrossan and Stevenston visited the fair.

During the day, about 30 head of young Irish cattle were on sale, but offers not coming up to the prices asked, no sales took place.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
1 JUNE 1886

AYRSHIRE RAILWAY COMPENSATION CASE

In the Central Station Hotel yesterday, proof was led in regard to the compensation due to Robert Wyllie, engineer, Hartlepool, and others, in respect of the intersection of the estate of Parkend, near Saltcoats, by the new Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway.

The following witnesses were examined for the claimants: -

Doctor J. Ritchie Brown, Saltcoats; William Robertson Copland, C.E.; John Blackley, valuator, Glasgow; and Messrs Boyd, Miller, and William Service, builders, Saltcoats.

Thereafter the proof was adjourned.

The company was represented by Messrs Keydens, Strang & Girvan, writers, Glasgow, and the claimants by Mr G. Mure Ritchie, writer, there.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
1 JUNE 1917

Died on service, Corporal DAVID GEDDES, Service No. 49319, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders – Theatre of war, Home – born at Dalmellington; enlisted at Stirling; resident of Saltcoats.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
2 JUNE 1870

PRESENTATION TO THE REV. D. E. McNAB

The Rev. D. E. McNab was on Tuesday evening, in the Parish Church, Saltcoats, presented with a pulpit gown, cassock, Bible, and psalm book together with a silver claret jug and tea service for Mrs McNab.

Mr William Brown, junior, of Parkend, was called to the chair; and the presentation was made by Mr John Anderson, shipping agent, Ardrossan, and Mr Andrew Stirrat, Ardeer Foundry.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
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