Stevenston - On This Day In History

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

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CASUALTY OF WAR
20 MAY 1916

Died on Service, Private CATHERWOOD MOORE, Service No. 13627, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers – Theatre of war, France and Flanders – born at Donaghadee; enlisted at Kilwinning; resident of Stevenston.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
20 MAY 1918

Died on service, Private ANDREW BELL, (18), Service No. 30411, 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers – Theatre of war, France and Flanders – born at Stevenston; enlisted at Ayr, resident of Kilmarnock; son of Mr and Mrs John Bell, Kilmarnock.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
21 MAY 1965

THREE DEAD IN ARDEER EXPLOSION
DISTANT TOWNS SHAKEN


Three men were killed last night in an explosion in the factory of the Nobel Division of Imperial Chemical Industries Limited, at Ardeer, Stevenston, Ayrshire.

The explosion in the blasting section of the factory shook houses and broke windows in towns many miles away.

An official of I.C.I. Limited said it came at 7.05 p.m. and he regretted to report that three men had lost their lives. They were: -

Mr WILLIAM IRVINE, 40 Churchill Drive, Ardrossan;
Mr HUGH WALKER, 52 Kirkhall Drive, Ardrossan; and
Mr HUGH CONWAY, 4 Arran Place, Saltcoats.

All were married.

About 6000 persons are employed at the Ardeer works, but comparatively few were there at the time of the explosion because it was an “off shift” period.

The three men who were killed were working together in a hut. Five minutes earlier they had returned from a meal break. There were no other casualties, but a number of women working in other sections of the factory had to be treated for shock. Later several women had to leave their work.

MUSHROOM CLOUD

The explosion caused a large mushroom-shaped cloud, which was seen in Ardrossan and Irvine. Houses were shaken in Stevenston, and in Kilwinning shop windows in the main street were shattered.

Mr Hugh Clotworthy of Almswell Road, Kilwinning, said that after the explosion his garden was showered with particles like “black hail.” A few minutes later “big chunks” of heavy cartridge paper, used for packing explosives at the factory, came drifting down.

Within minutes of the explosion being heard ambulances and police cars arrived at the factory. Several clergymen and other local people gathered at the main gates.

Explosives manufactured in the department affected by the accident are used principally in mining and civil engineering.

In 1962 a series of eight explosions in the black powder (gunpowder) section shattered windows in five towns but only two men at the factory were slightly hurt because the plant is remote controlled.

Other explosions include: -

Three killed and three injured in 1954; four women workers killed in 1950; 15 men killed in 1939 in a quadruple explosion; six workers, including a woman, killed in 1938; and three men killed in 1937.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
22 MAY 1877

STEVENSTON PARISH CHURCH

On Sunday forenoon the Rev. JOHN GRAHAM, the newly ordained minister to Stevenston Parish Church was introduced by the Rev. Cornelius Giffen, of St. Mary's, Edinburgh.

Mr Giffen spoke of Mr Graham's success as a student, and of the excellent work he had done during his connection with St. Mary's. He hoped the congregation would extend to him their sympathies.

Mr Graham preached in the afternoon and evening.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
23 MAY 1925

ROAD SCHEME FOR AYRSHIRE

At a meeting of the Northern District Committee of Ayrshire County Council, intimation was made that the Unemployment Grants Committee had approved of a grant of 75 per cent of interest and sinking fund charges in connection with the proposed new by-pass road at Stevenston.

At the same meeting objection was taken to the new roadway by the Stevenston Special District Sub-Committee on the ground that it would serve no useful purpose.

It was decided to proceed with the scheme as expeditiously as possible.

The cost is £20,000.
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GLASGOW HERALD
24 MAY 1938

ARDEER INQUIRY VERDICT - CAUSE OF EXPLOSION UNKNOWN - NO BLAME ATTACHED TO ANYONE

A formal verdict was returned by the jury in a public inquiry at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court into the explosion that occurred at Nobel's explosives factory at Ardeer, Stevenston, on 27 January last. Five men and a woman were killed.

The victims of the explosion were -

JOSEPH HAMILTON, 141 New Street, Stevenston,
ANDREW JOHNSTONE, 8 Moorpark Road East, Stevenston,
FREDERICK SMYTH, 174 New Street, Stevenston,
ALEXANDER STEWART CAMERON, 1 Glebe Street, Stevenston,
JAMES McLELLAND, 30 Boglemart Street, Stevenston, and
ELIZABETH BELL HAMILTON, 8 George Place, Stevenston,

all explosives workers.

Sarah McMillan, 38 Glasgow Street, Ardrossan, stated that at the time of the explosion she was working in a hut with Elizabeth Bell Hamilton and two other girls. They left the hut and ran in case the explosion spread. Elizabeth Hamilton fell, and the witness learned afterwards that she had been struck on the head by a piece of concrete.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
25 MAY 1870

BIRTH

At Ardeer House, Ayrshire, on the 24th instant, the wife of Patrick Warner, Esquire, of Ardeer; a son.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
26 MAY 1897

LICENSING APPEALS

At Ayrshire Quarter Session of Peace at Ayr yesterday – Mr H. R. Wallace of Cloncaird, presiding – James Lawson, New Street, Stevenston, and Mrs Janet Johnston Dick or Poe, Townhead, Stevenston, appealed against the decision of the lower Court, refusing them renewal of licences.

The appeals were sustained.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
27 MAY 1896

SUBSIDENCE AT OLD PRINCE PIT

The shaft of the Prince Pit, which was filled up when the workings were stopped ten years ago, has subsided owing to the water running below, and has caused a hole about 30 feet deep.

The pit is near Ardeer Golf Club. A fence has been put round the shaft to prevent accidents.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
28 MAY 1897

MAN KILLED AT ARDEER FACTORY

Shortly before two o'clock yesterday afternoon a man named MATTHEW GARRETT was accidentally killed by an explosion of nitro-glycerine, while engaged cutting up refuse lead from the nitro-glycerine hall.

Garrett was cutting into a short length of old pipe which had been used for conveying the washing of nitro-glycerine from one part of the nitro-glycerine hall to another. Before these pipes are cut up they are carefully washed in order to remove all nitro-glycerine from them. This is necessary as a precaution against accident, as the pipes are cut with a plumber's knife and hammer, and in the event of any nitro-glycerine remaining the concussion would cause an explosion.

Garrett had been for a considerable time employed at this work, and was aware of the necessity for carefulness. Some nitro-glycerine must have remained in the pipe, because when Garrett was breaking it up a sharp explosion took place, killing the unfortunate man on the spot.

The accident occurred in the lead melting department, and although a number of men were at work they fortunately escaped injury from the pieces of lead sent flying about.

The deceased was 78 years of age, was married, resided in Ardeer Square, and leaves a wife and grown-up family. A son is a foreman in the nitro-glycerine department at Ardeer Factory.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
29 MAY 1876

IMPORTANT TOLL CASE

At the Small Debt Court held at Irvine on Saturday Sheriff-Substitute A. Orr. Paterson on the bench, Mr David Reid, tacksman of a toll bar at Saltcoats, sued Mr A. W. R Cuninghame, of Auchenharvie, Stevenston, for the sum of 4s as the amount of toll dues incurred in driving to the Episcopal Church, Ardrossan, on certain Sundays.

The defence made by Mr Cuninghame was to the effect that the Episcopal Church was his “usual place of worship,” as recognised by the Turnpike Road Road Act.

The Court, after hearing evidence, decided Mr Cuninghame was entitled to the exemption which he claimed.
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Re: Stevenston - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
30 MAY 1870

IMPORTANT LAW DECISION

The usual quarterly meeting of the Ayrshire Poor Law Association was held at Ayr on Saturday – Mr John Anderson, inspector of Maybole parish, presiding.

A number of cases was brought up for opinion, including: -

MARGARET DAW or HOLMES, from Greenock, became chargeable to Ardrossan parish on 2nd July, 1868. Her husband, WILLIAM HOLMES, seaman, was born in Stevenston parish, and had also a residential settlement in that parish at her death in June, 1867. Holmes left a son, aged nine and a half, by a former marriage, who became chargeable to Ardrossan in August, 1867, and was admitted by Stevenston. This son continued to reside with his stepmother, and to be alimented by Stevenston parish till March last.

Stevenston refuses liability for the step-mother on the ground that the residential settlement had been lost before she became chargeable (Holmes having left that parish in February or March, or at the latest by Whitsunday, 1864, and neither he nor his widow, the present pauper, having resided therein since), that the chargeability of the step-son had no effect in retaining her settlement, and that, in accordance with “Carse and Waite,” she falls on her own birth parish.

The general opinion of the meeting was that the contention of Stevenston was well founded.
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