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A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by gerv » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:46 am

[attachment=0]imageserver.jpg[/attachment]

An old photo of Dockhead street

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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:35 pm

Thanks for that sad and touching little tale, PT. Strange to think who might have been passing by all those years ago while I was dreaming in the land of Nod. ( Including benevolent guardians of the law. :wink: )

And many thanks for that picture, Gerry. I do recognise it; it's one of the University of Aberdeen's George Washington Wilson collection, which as Penny Tray has lately told us elsewhere has been enhanced recently, with a terrific zoom facility that lets you see more detail.

They have two very similar pictures of that same scene, with different groups of local residents posing for the camera, somewhen in the late nineteenth century; here's a link to see the second one, just put Saltcoats in the search box:

http://digitool.abdn.ac.uk/R/2UB6VJKVKT ... 4UB3-00186

We're around the middle part of the street, where it narrows down, looking towards the Countess Street end; think that may be Landsborough steeple in the background. And on the right are some buildings still familiar in the sixties. Wilkie's was where the low one nearest us is , though maybe not in the same building; beyond it are the 1960s homes of Cox's, Baillie's the butchers, the Bazaar and the Hosiery shop.

In spite of the zoom I can't really make out any of the names on them seen at the angle that they are; even the one on the Hosiery shop which should be very clear...perhaps someone else can decipher it. But the front one of the two hanging signs say " caps and hats ", so it must have been an outfitter's type shop even then.

Easier to read the names on the left. The second picture not only allows us to read the name A M Maule ( a good Saltcoats name that ), but a sign saying " Agents for Gibson Brothers Dyers Paisley "; and next door is W Wylie, Bootmaker. I've thought about this before, and I think those two shops were ones that stood where a later building housed Cooper's grocery; while the bigger building next door is I think the one which is Jack Boyd's in this picture, though with its gable crowsteps filled in. That itself was pulled down in the 1960s, as we heard earlier on in the Stroll ( around page 48 ) :

http://www.workinglives.org.uk/show_ite ... tem_id=241" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And on the barber's shop there, the sign also offers " ( Hot and ? ) Cold Baths; Lavatory; Shampooing; Rooms;Umbrellas Repaired. "

A wonderful glimpse of Old Saltcoats.

Susan
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:53 pm

Time to get back on track again I think; and as I promised , several pages ago now, to head on up Caledonia Road Brae.

Houses on our right, a railed wall high above Ness Gardens to our left, until we come to Bankside House; which has the unusual feature of having its bottom part as the last house in Ardrossan Road, but its top part as a separate house with its own entrance on the Brae. As I've recently discussed elsewhere, it's probably the oldest surviving house around here:

http://www.threetowners.net/forum/viewt ... 042#p97042

Before Ness Gardens were created, there were a number of old cottages down below, between Bankside House and the corner; some of them on a higher level, with steps leading up to them. You can see something of them, with Bankside House beyond, in this old photo from the early 1900s; the cottage just in front of it must have been right at the top of the steps. Those of you who remember back that far;did the steps go all the way up and come out on the Brae, or just as far as the cottage door ?

http://www.mylargs.com/Saltcoats/pages/image3.html

PS More about these old cottages here .

On the other side of the road opposite Bankside House meanwhile , still on the near side of the railway, a laneway leads down to a collection of sheds and outbuildings. I would guess that might be where Fleming's the greengrocers had their yard, as mentioned earlier by Howiesboy and Meekan:

http://www.threetowners.net/forum/viewt ... 133#p92133

Susan
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:09 pm

We now cross the railway bridge, and I bet only those of you who've attentively read " Saltcoats Old and New " will know that it has, or once had a name; King's Bridge. Prosaically named after the builder Peter King apparently, not any more significant passing monarch ; it's certainly not a name I'd ever heard of before.

And as we head down it again, there are more steps; still surviving ones this time, and here they are, going down to Arthurlie Place. Also just visible below, the still-empty green space where stood the house that burned down in the fatal fire of the early sixties, discussed on the first pages of this topic.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.63778 ... 56!6m1!1e1

I can't see how they go now, but the steps then took a right-angled turn on the way down; and the railings were painted red, similarly to most school railings; peeling badly from the heat of the fire, for years afterwards.

Now here's a question not asked before; on simliar lines to Penny Tray's recent question about McKillop Place, does anyone have any idea after whom or what Arthurlie Place is named ?

Susan
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:11 pm

Looks like that's another question we'll have to leave dangling. I see that Arthurlie House, and Arthurlie Cross, are to be found in the Barrhead area around Glasgow way, but what connection there might be with Saltcoats remains unknown for now.

So, let's cross the road; where we come to St Cuthbert's Church. Or rather , first, since it's nearest the railway, comes the church hall; built at the end of our 1960s era, and opened on Saturday the 17th of October 1970.

It replaced the former North Church at the roundabout which had been used as the hall previously, and was a project born out of the union of St Cuthbert's with South Beach Church a few years earlier. That congregation used to occupy the church on Ardrossan Road opposite the Regustry Office, which after they left was taken over by the Baptists.

The article below appeared in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald on the occasion; and the accompanying pictures show the hall itself, the tree-planting ceremony, and the platform party.
Church Hall 1970.jpg
Dr Small.jpg
Platform party St Cuthbert's.jpg


The Rev George Balls , who according to information I've found was minister of St Cuthbert's from around 1965 to 1980, is fourth from left in the back row. Note that the architects were our local firm Rennie and Watson, who had an office in Hamilton Street and were responsible for a lot of the new buildings locally in that era: see

http://www.threetowners.net/forum/viewt ... 136#p75136"
Susan

NEW CHAPTER IN LIFE OF SALTCOATS CHURCH

Last Saturday was a notable day in the history of Saltcoats St Cuthbert South Beach Church when the Rev Leonard Small, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland, opened and dedicated the congregation's new hall building.

The premises, which cost £30,000 to build, are adjacent to the church and consist of a large main hall with a stage and several smaller ante-rooms. The building was designed by Mr Andrew Watson of Messrs Robert Rennie & Watson, architects, Saltcoats, and the heating is provided by the Flexel system which was evolved at Ardeer factory.
As part of the opening ceremony Dr Small planted a cherry tree in the grounds adjacent to the hall and this is the first stage in a project which will eventually see the entire area surrounding the hall converted into a garden with shrubs and flowers.

Dr Small, in his address, told the congregation to remember that the hall should be used to further the fellowship of the Church. He asked: "Why does a church need a hall?" and said the Church had survived for many years without halls. Although halls were now an integral part of the Church it should not be forgotten that the congregation was most important.

He then asked: "Why halls at all when the Church is supposed to be the way out?" He said that the Guides, Boys' Brigade members and all members of youth organisations of today would be the citizens of tomorrow. This was why it was necessary for the church to have new halls to provide the best facilities and amenities for these youth groups.

People should not consider Sunday as the only day to meet at church and by building newer and better church halls people were being drawn to the church on every day of the week. The Church in this way became as-it should be, the centre of people's lives, he added.

Finally he said that the congregation should not operate a "closed shop" in their use of the halls. Anyone should be allowed the benefit of the halls and in this way they would help to further the fellowship of the Church.

The Rev E. G. Balls, minister of the congregation, who presided at the ceremony, welcomed the congregation who packed the hall. They were celebrating, he felt, not the culmination but beginning of a new chapter in the life of their church.

He added that he did not believe the new halls would have been built had the churches of South Beach and St Cuthbert not been united six years ago. It was because the two congregations had come together and pooled their resources that they were able to go ahead with the halls.

"I feel that both South Beach and St Cuthbert are built into the foundations of this building and that the congregation is the stronger for what took place six years ago." He then thanked everyone who had contributed towards building the halls.

The moderator of the Presbytery of Ardrossan, the Rev W. Stanley Carr, congratulated the congregation on behalf of the presbytery. He said this was his first official duty as moderator and that it would be one he would always remember.

Today too many people were ready to decry the Church and claim that it was behind the times."But this exercise in which you are involved today is proof that the Church is very much alive." The energy and endeavour that the congregation had shown in having the halls built showed that the Church was still a force to be reckoned with.

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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:47 pm

Turning now to St Cuthbert's Church itself; the successor to the old Parish Church in Kirkgate, and built to replace it in 1908, to the designs of the architect Dr Peter McGregor Chalmers.

To mark its golden jubilee , a special feature appeared in the Ardrossan Academy magazine in 1959, including these splendid pictures by senior pupils :
St Cuthbert's church from SW 1959 by Hector Lee.jpg
View from the southwest, by Hector Lee
St Cuthbert's Vestry Porch 1959 by Jean Young.jpg
Vestry porch, by Jean Young
St Cuthbert's interior 1959 by Hector Lee.jpg
Interior view, by Hector Lee

and accompanied by the article of history and description below .

Interesting to realise that it started life without its tower; and also that it was still at first being called Ardrossan Parish Church, hundreds of years after that church had moved to Saltcoats. As every Threetowner knows of course :wink: , Saltcoats is actually half part of Ardrossan Parish, and half in Stevenston Parish.

I had occasion to visit St Cuthbert's a few times for school services, and I well remember being impressed by the glowing colours of the stained glass, lighting up the dark corners. But I failed to notice the model ship; probably because I had never heard of it and had no idea it would be there.

An additional article describing that ship and its restoration, Ive posted separately at the link below for the benefit of those many members who I know have a special interest in matters to do wth the sea and ships:

http://www.threetowners.net/forum/viewt ... 32#p100032"

Susan

ST CUTHBERT'S CHURCH

St Cuthbert's Church, which this year celebrates its Golden Jubilee, has had a long and varied history. It was originally called the Ardrossan Parish Church, but as it was now situated in Saltcoats it was decided in 1925 to change the name to St Cuthbert's.

The original church, built in 1230, on Castle Hill, was dedicated to St Mary and St Peter. When the change of name was suggested, it could not bear the name of St Mary's as there was already a church of that name in Saltcoats. It is not known why the name of St Peter was not chosen, because at that time the new church of St Peter in Chains in Ardrossan had not yet been built.

The original site of the Parish Church of Ardrossan was in close proximity with the ancient castle. The foundations, which can still be traced, show it to have been a simple oblong sixty-five by twenty-six feet in extent. It was overthrown by a high wind in 1690 and was never rebuilt.

From its materials, however, a new parish church was erected about a mile inland, on the banks of the Stanley Burn, where the manse and the glebe then existed. After a lapse of fifty years the new church was abandoned on account of its inconvenient distance for the bulk of the parishioners, and a substitute was erected in Saltcoats. This fabric, reared in 1744, must have been of a very insubstantial kind, for within thirty years thereafter it was taken down and rebuilt. This replacement church, situated in Kirkgate in Saltcoats, was used for worship until 1908. It is now the North Ayrshire Museum.


The new church of St. Cuthbert's, constructed of local sandstone in 1908, is of Pure Norman design, unlike most of the churches built in this area since the Reformation which are of Gothic design. The most notable features are the rounded arches. Inside there are several differences in design from that of the original Norman churches, for example, the east gallery and the present situation of the organ beside the altar instead of in the usual position in the west gallery.

An unusual feature of St. Cuthbert's is the presence of biblical texts engraved on the stonework. Above the Communion Table can be seen a beautiful alabaster plaque made in Italy which depicts the Last Supper. This is a copy of a reredos set up in a church in the Isle of Wight by King Edward VII as a memorial to Queen Victoria. The most striking aspect, however is the series of beautiful stained glass-windows . These depict scenes from the life of Christ. The original intention suggested by the present minister, Dr. Smart, was to put in a window in memory of Mr Rees, a former minister of St. Cuthbert's. The project, however, was gradually extended to cover all the aisle windows. This was executed by Mr Wilson, the well-known stained glass artist, and completed in 1947. The richness of the colour and the delicacy of the features of the people represented make this an exceedingly beautiful feature of St. Cuthbert's, which is probably the only church in Scotland possessing a series of windows such as these.

The ex-voto ship, a model of a French frigate of the eighteenth century, is situated inside and above the north entrance door near the west gallery.

The brackets of the original gas lighting have been con­verted to electric candles, a trident formation symbolising the Trinity.The source of light is a seriesof electric lamps in the angle between the walls and the roof.

The tower which might appear somewhat squat to eyes accustomed to the spires of Gothic churches, is of a later date than the church itself.

It is those features, together with its history, which make St. Cuthbert's, not merely an interesting church but in addition a noteworthy example of local architecture.
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:48 pm

One more picture of St Cuthbert's Church from me; or rather from the A&S Herald, showing it floodlit for Christnas of 1972:
St Cuthbert's Church.jpg
And there's a good collection of further pictures of the church, and its church hall, to be found here:

https://canmore.org.uk/search/image?SIM ... 0Saltcoats

Sneaking in among them are also a couple of photos of the Telephone Exchange that comes next along Campbell Avenue.

I would guess the building may date to around the time when the telephone system was first started locally. And from this picture, it looks very much as though there might even be a datestone on it; though if there is, I can't make it out, either here or on Streetview. Maybe someone could take a look next time they're passing.

The more modern extension round the back isn't visible here. I can't remember whether it was already there or not in the sixties, but I would imagine that it dates from somewhen around then.

And while we're about it; were/are there any other telephone exchanges in the Three Towns, and if so where ?

Susan
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by Penny Tray » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:25 pm

Susan,

There was clearly an exchange in Ardrossan until around 1930 as the following paragraph is taken from a story in the Evening Times of 20 November 1956.

"The double-barrelled name for the exchange was introduced about 25 years ago when the exchanges of ARDROSSAN and SALTCOATS were merged in one building. The Post Office proposed that the exchange should be called ARDROSSAN because the head post office was in that town. Saltcoats objected because the new exchange building was in that town."

The 1959 story, incidentally, was about local councillors trying to abbreviate the ARDROSSAN/SALTCOATS exchange title, SALTARD being one suggestion.

I don't know the locations of the separate exchanges prior to 1930.
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:46 pm

Thanks, PT. I remember the numbers being always familiarly described as ARDSALTS when I was small.

But that changed in the sixties, with more people getting phones, and the numbers were listed as either Ardrossan or Saltcoats; until in the seventies they changed again to become all-number with no name in the listing. There were also Stevenston numbers of course, and the implication of the story above is certainly that Stevenston must have had its own exchange somewhere, unless it was lumped in with Kilwinning.

In the sixties too, the names Ashgrove and Rowanside also began to be used with some local numbers. but whether this, and the split between Ardrossan and Saltcoats, meant that more new exchanges might have been created , or whether it was all handled in the new section of the old Saltcoats building, I don't know.

Certainly I've had no success looking for any information on present-day sites of local telephone exchanges; reasonable enough I suppose not to make such information widely available when you think of the security connotations.

Susan

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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:20 pm

The side road down between the church and the telephone exchange is apparently Brent Road at this top end. I would guess there must be some connection with the old Brent Chemicals business:

http://www.threetowners.net/forum/viewt ... 015#p29015"

though why it should be remembered here in Saltcoats is unclear.

Further down it become Sir Walter Scott Drive, and sweeps round past St Cuthbert's Court to the high flats, Lambie Court and O'Connor Court.

St Cuthbert's Court flats are so new they're not even on Google satellite view, only on Streetview. On the site where they are, older maps show used to be the Saltcoats clinic. Not a place I remember, though I'd vaguely heard of there being one around here somewhere.You can see it in this aerial view from the early seventies, as well as the telephone exchange extension, and of course the high flats, which were then only a few years built.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v621/ ... age-27.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As far as I remember, they were completed about 1966 or 1967. According to the maps, the site where they were built was formerly occupied by allotments. Does anyone remember those ?

Susan

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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by Penny Tray » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:14 pm

Susan,

Being "Down South" for as long now as you have :wink: you may have forgotten that BRENT is Scots for STRAIGHT or SMOOTH.

Burns used it in his poem 'John Anderson, My Jo' when he said "Your bonie brow was brent".

Incidentally, the surname Brent has never featured in Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald intimations since they began in 1865, kind of suggesting that the street isn't called after anyone of local importance.
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Re: A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats

Post by down south » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:23 pm

Thanks, PT; blessings on your frosty pow. :wink: From which you'll see I'm not unfamiliar with the poem, which we read in primary 7; but I can't say I ever remember hearing the word in that meaning in everyday use. Likelier to hear it as " brent-new " ( also used by Burns ! ); which I suppose is an equally good , or not-so-good, excuse for having it as a street name. If it's a genuine one that is, and not one of Google's little inventions !

We're getting back towards the Glebe again now, so let's pause and look across at it as it is today seen from this side, courtesy of Seoirse:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/re_teacher/3729208945/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And while we're here, an update on a building I failed to identify earlier, which in the sixties stood beside the path behind the rear of Glebe Street and Springvale Place :

http://www.threetowners.net/forum/viewt ... 689#p95689"

We discovered then that a council gardens depot/nursery is what is on that site today, and Ithink we can now confirm that it must have been a place with a similar function back in the sixties. Because looking at an old Ordnance Survey map from then the roof is shown in hatching, the same as for the glass awnings outside the cinemas; suggesting it may have been greenhouses.

Susan

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