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Stevenston - On This Day In History

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

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GLASGOW HERALD
3 OCTOBER 1898

RESCUE FROM DROWNING

About half-past five yesterday afternoon some Stevenston miners went into the River Irvine at the harbour for a bathe. The tide was going out at the time and a rather heavy freshet was coming down. One of their number, while trying to cross the river, was carried out as far as the Barrel Perch, where he was picked up on the point of sinking by Constables Cameron and Thomson, assisted by two men, in the pilot boat.
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Penny Tray
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
4 OCTOBER 1894

LIBERAL UNIONIST MEETING AT STEVENSTON

A meeting of Liberal Unionists was held last night in the Woodside Hall, Stevenston, for the purpose of forming a Liberal Unionist Association for the district.

Mr John Main occupied the chair, and moved the following resolution: - “That this meeting form itself into a Liberal Unionist Association for Stevenston and district,” which was carried unanimously.

Office-bearers were appointed.

Mr Thomas Wise, of the West of Scotland Liberal Unionists Association, afterwards delivered a lecture on the past history of Ireland.

Votes of thanks to the chairman and Mr Wise brought the meeting to a close.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
5 OCTOBER 1866

BIRTH

At Ardeer Cottage, on the 3rd instant, Mrs Robert Forrester, junior; a daughter.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
5 OCTOBER 1917

Died on service, Private HUGH J. DORRIAN, (20), Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Theatre f war, France and Flanders – enlisted at Stevenston; son of John and Eliza Jane Dorrian, Knocknagow, Portaferry, County Down; and brother of Mrs McGie, 23 Moorpark Road, Stevenston.

The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald subsequently reported: -

“Mrs McGie, 23 Moorpark Road, Stevenston, has received official news that her brother, Private Hugh J. Dorrian, was killed in action on the 4th-5th October. He was attached to the Dublin Fusiliers, and previous to joining the colours was employed by Messrs Nobel’s Explosives Company.

Deceased was an energetic member of St. John’s R.C. Church.”
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
6 OCTOBER 1917

Died on service, Private GEORGE LOCKHART, Service No. 235460, 10 Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry – Theatre of war, France and Flanders – husband of Mrs M. B. Lockhart, 74 Ardeer Square, Stevenston.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
7 OCTOBER 1874

FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE GLASGOW & SOUTH-WESTERN RAILWAY

A lamentable accident took place on the Glasgow & South-Western Railway, near Stevenston Station, yesterday.

While Mr John Allison, (55), foreman platelayer to Messrs Merry & Cuninghame Limited at their Ardeer works, was engaged with another man at a branch line which crosses the Glasgow & South-Western Railway from these works, a little to the east of Stevenston Station, an engine, (it is thought the approach of which was not heard by Mr Allison in consequence of the wind and rain prevailing at the time) came up, the buffers striking him on the head and precipitating the body to some distance on the side of the railway. Death was instantaneous.

Mr Allison has been for many years foreman platelayer to Messrs Merry & Cuninghame at Stevenston.

Much sympathy is felt for his bereaved family.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
8 OCTOBER 1902

ACCIDENT AT NOBEL'S - TERRIFIC EXPLOSION - ONE MAN KILLED

An alarming explosion of nitro-glycerine occurred at Nobel's Dynamite Works, Stevenston, last evening at 20 minutes past five, resulting in the death of one man.

The explosion took place in the final washing-house, No. 5 Dynamite Factory, near the spot when a similar explosion occurred in January last. Two tanks of nitro-glycerine, each containing 2000 lb weight exploded.

The only man near at the time was WILLIAM CARSON, and he was literally blown to atoms, fragments of his clothing being found afterwards several hundred yards from the spot where the explosion occurred.

Carson was married, and resided in Bog Street, Stevenston. He was 35 years of age. He had seven of a family the eldest of whom is under 14 years of age.

The officials at the factory have not the slightest idea how the explosion occurred. Carson came on duty at five o'clock, and there is not a single operation in the part of the works where he is located which is considered dangerous. He was an experienced nitro-glycerine worker, had been in the factory since August 1888, over 14 years, and had the reputation of being a thoroughly reliable and steady man.

Immediately after the explosion a large and melancholy crowd wended its way from Stevenston to the dynamite factory which is two miles distant. Each little group was anxiously discussing the situation, and many times the fear was expressed that some friend might be amongst the killed or injured. As soon as it was known that there was only one casualty there was a general relief, though profound sympathy was expressed with the widow and children of the unfortunate man who had met his death.

The explosion was distinctly heard at Ardrossan, and the ominous sound was at once recognised. Windows and some houses were shaken, and it seemed at first as if a slight earthquake had occurred, so terrific was the force of the explosion.

In the direction of the dynamite factory a greyish white cloud was seen slowly rising in the sky.

At the moment when the explosion was heard, a flash of light was distinctly seen at a farmhouse several miles from Ardrossan.

The sound of the explosion was distinctly heard at several places in Arran, and there too, windows were violently shaken.

The explosion is remarkable as being the loudest which has been heard for many years.

Work at the dynamite factory will be carried on as usual today except in the part affected by the explosion.

The company always gives substantial pecuniary assistance to the relatives of those killed or injured in the factory, and the widow and family of Carson will be no exception.

A large window in a bar in Saltcoats was blown into the street, and not far from the same place the plate glass window of a draper's shop was fractured.

So far as Irvine was concerned the explosion was by no means to be compared with its forerunner of seven months ago in sensational effect. It made itself felt however, all over the district, and knocked in a few panes of glass in buildings at Irvine Harbour, as well as extinguishing the light in the harbour beacon at the bar mouth.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
9 OCTOBER 1846

MAN KILLED

Early on Monday morning last, a young man, aged 20, named JAMES WATSON, was killed at the Stevenston Colliery, by part of the roof falling on him. Considerabe delay took place before his remains could be extricated from the mass of debris.

We are informed he was the only support of his mother, who lost her husband about fourteen years since by a similar accident.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
10 OCTOBER 1938

ARDEER FACTORY EXPLOSION - GLANCING BLOW MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSE - INSPECTOR’S REPORT ON ACCIDENT

The explosion in a gelatin mixing house of Ardeer factory of Imperial Chemical Industries Limited on January 27 last, when five men and a girl were killed and 29 persons received minor injuries, must be regarded as an accident.

This is the conclusion of Mr H. E. Watts, Inspector of Explosives, in his report to the Home Office, which was issued on Saturday.

The persons killed were: -

JOSEPH HAMILTON, (59), married, foreman;
ANDREW AFFLECK JOHNSTON, (42), single, process charge-man;
FREDERICK SMITH, (42), married, process worker;
ALEXANDER STEWART CAMERON, (38), married, process worker;
JAMES McLELLAND, (28), married, service waiter; and
ELIZABETH BELL HAMILTON, (21), single, process worker.

NO BLAME ATTACHED TO ANYONE

Regarding possible causes of the accident the Inspector is of the opinion that two were more probable than the others. One was a glancing blow struck by a box of explosives against the mixer which was being used, and the other the dropping of some article into the mixer.

“Of those I consider the former is the more probable,” states Mr Watts. “I do not think that any blame can be attributed to anyone and the explosion must be regarded as an accident.

The Inspector considers that the construction of the reinforced concrete wall so near such a building was open to objection, as it added to the damage from projected debris, and in this case a girl was killed as a direct result of this.

“The fact that during the initial stages of mixing a certain amount of explosives is thrown on to the floor, swept up, and replaced in the mixer is, to my mind, undesirable,” adds the Inspector, “As there may possibly be some foreign matter on the floor which may find its way into the mixer.

DELIBERATE ACTION RULED OUT

Mention is made in the report of the aurora borealis, which was observed about the date on which the accident occurred. On these occasions abnormal electrical conditions prevail.

Experiments were made to find out whether a strong magnetic field affected the sensitivities of the explosive to percussion, but no difference was observed.

Deliberate action is ruled out, the Inspector stating: -

“There are no grounds for thinking that the accident was caused by any act of sabotage or any act of a suicidal nature.”
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
11 OCTOBER 1917

Died on service, Private HAMILTON BENNET (sometimes BENNETT), Service No. 104993, Machine Gun Corps – Theatre of war, France and Flanders – enlisted at Stevenston.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
12 OCTOBER 1827

HOUSE FOR SALE

There will be sold, by public roup, at Stevenston, within the house of James Smith, Vintner there, upon the 24th day of October, 1827, at one o’clock afternoon, that dwelling-house with the houses and yards at the back thereof, lately possessed by Mrs Margaret Crawford, or Wyllie, and her sub-tenants, and presently by the said James Smith, vintner, and others, lying in the town of Stevenston, and shire of Ayr, being part of the subjects set in tack to John Crawford, late mason in Stevenston, by Patrick Warner, Esquire, of Ardeer, and of which tack there are 285 years to run after Whitsunday, 1828.

The title deeds and articles of roup, may be seen on application to William King, writer, in Beith.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
13 OCTOBER 1845

DARING ESCAPE OF A DESERTER

On Monday morning last, the 6th instant, a deserter from the 26th Regiment, in the custody of two soldiers (a corporal and a private) of the 1st Royals (foot), in coming from Glasgow per railway towards Ardrossan, en route for Belfast, betwixt Kilwinning and Stevenston, and near the latter, he (although hand-cuffed and the engine going at the rate of 25 miles an hour), leaped from the carriage he was in, completely clearing the rail.

Whether from the injury or stun he received in the jump, or probably from both, in attempting to run thereafter he three times fell, but finally succeeded in getting to the sand hills off the line.

The gallant soldiers could not dare to imitate the example of their heroic prisoner.

After the engineer was made aware of the circumstances, and his driving back the engine to the spot, there was a lapse of not much more than ten minutes.

The soldiers on their alighting eagerly went in pursuit of their unexpected lost captive, but all in vain, as he had either ran so quick as to be out of their sight, or had secreted himself in some snug quarter – the locality being well suited for the purpose. With all their diligence they could not, however, find him.

To exonerate themselves with their superiors they applied to Patrick Warner, of Ardeer, one of the Justices of the Peace of the quarter, and the Rev. Mr Cruickshanks, minister of the parish of Stevenston, for a certificate as to the facts.

Many visited the place where the singular circumstance occurred, on which there were many marks of blood; spots were on the train also.

The functionaries, who seemed zealous on the discharge of their duty, returned to Glasgow at night, humiliated to give an account of the day’s proceedings.

So far as we can ascertain, no trace has yet been made of him.
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