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Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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

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GLASGOW HERALD
20 NOVEMBER 1843

TWO LIVES LOST AT IRVINE

An accident of a very disturbing nature occurred at the bar-mouth of Irvine on Wednesday morning.

John Ritchie, and his sons James and John, fishermen, having been out as usual fishing in the bay, and returning about 9 o’clock encountered a strong swell on the bar; and, while struggling through the surge, a heavy sea struck and filled the boat, which instantly went down.

The accident was seen by people on the quay, who immediately sent off assistance, and succeeded in picking up one of the sons, John, who managed to keep himself afloat by clinging to two of the oars, but his father and brother met a watery grave.

The body of the father, who we believe, is a native of Newton-on-Ayr, and a cousin of the Rev. Dr. Ritchie of Edinburgh, has since been found.

We understand the young man who has been saved, and who is now quite recovered, strongly urged his father and brother not to risk the heavy sea on Irvine Bar, but to put back to Saltcoats; but unfortunately, his advice was unheeded as unnecessarily cautious.

That in such cases it would be best to err on the safe side, the above affords a mournful proof.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
21 NOVEMBER 1885

THE GENERAL ELECTION - AYRSHIRE NORTHERN DIVISION - THE HON. H. ELLIOT'S CANDIDATURE

Last night, the Hon. H. F. Elliot, Liberal candidate for North Ayrshire addressed the electors in the West United Presbyterian Church, Saltcoats. The church was completely filled, and Provost Halkett occupied the chair.

A vote of confidence was unanimously passed, and on leaving the church the hon. gentleman was seized by a number of enthusiastic admirers and carried shoulder high to Provost Halkett's house. Mr Elliot's carriage coming up, the horses were unyoked, and he was drawn to his residence in Ardeer, Stevenston, amid the cheers of a large crowd.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
22 NOVEMBER 1879

EXCITING FOX HUNT

During the present week the people of Saltcoats enjoyed a somewhat amusing fox hunt.

Lord Eglinton's hounds were hunting in the neighbourhood and three of the hounds got detached from the pack, and gave chase to a fox which attracted their notice. The fox led the pursuers down to the farm of Laigh Dykes and on to Saltcoats Bowling Green. Leaping the wall which bounds the green, one of the dogs was quickly at his heels, the other two following in an easier fashion.

From the green the reynard descended to the Glasgow & South-Western Railway, and proceeded towards Ardrossan, closely followed by his relentless pursuers.

Apparently not satisfied with the iron road, the fox took to the fields, and headed again towards Saltcoats, crossing the railway by the Manse Bridge.

At this point an immense crowd were watching the chase. The fox leaped into a water barrel, but some of the crowd quickly overturned the barrel and gave him another chance for life. Running along Manse Street, the fox took refuge in an empty pig-house in the neighbourhood of the West U. P. Church.

Various experiments were adopted to decoy the animal from its novel cover, but all of them proved unavailing.

At length some genius contrived to fasten a cord to the Reynard's tail, and in in this inglorious manner he was dragged from his retreat.

A final chase was given him to betake himself to the fields but the animal seemed unable to take advantage of this, and he was ultimately killed.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
23 NOVEMBER 1881

TERRIFIC GALE - SCHOONER LOST OFF SALTCOATS - PART OF THE PIER WASHED AWAY

The wind, which was blowing from the south, freshened about eight o’clock on Monday night, and continuing to increase, was blowing a full gale before midnight.

Owing to the direction of the wind the sea rose to a great height, breaking with violence along the shore. Most of the fishermen were at home, and their vessels being moored inside the harbour escaped injury to any serious extent.

Towards daybreak the wind shifted to the west, and although it still blew with great fury, this had the effect of moderating to some extent the violence of the sea.

Those on the outlook along the shore observed after daybreak a schooner some distance off Ardrossan flying signals of distress. She seemed to be quite unmanageable, her sails having been lost. For the most part nothing but her masts were seen, but occasionally as she was tossed up by the waves, a glimpse of the hull could be got. The deck was continually swept by the sea, and it was conjectured that none of the crew could have remained on board. All chance of rendering assistance was precluded by the violence of the storm. The vessel drifted helplessly on broadside to the sea, and it became evident that if she continued on that course she would go ashore between Saltcoats and Irvine.

While about a mile off the east end of Saltcoats the unfortunate vessel was seen to lurch heavily, and then went down suddenly.

It transpired later in the day that vessel was the St. FILLAN, and that she had drifted from Lamlash, and the crew, getting on board another vessel, the Victory, were landed at Ardrossan in the evening.

About noon the sea was dashing with great fury against the pier, and along a breach in the sea wall, the water rushed through, tearing away stones and earth, making a gap about 40 feet long and 20 feet broad. By the falling in of the earth the large poles for drying the fishermen’s nets upon were snapped, and a quantity of nets carried out to sea.

A little nearer the town the sea came through an opening in the breakwater, and rushing along the thoroughfare flooded some houses in Quay Street.

At the east shore the full fury of the sea was experienced. Previous gales had made breaches in the wall, and as these had not been repaired, the sea yesterday made sad havoc of the remainder, large lumps of masonry being knocked off and tossed about like pebbles. Through one gap the sea washed up dangerously near to the line of the Glasgow & South-Western Railway.

In the town the storm has done a great deal of damage to property. The streets are littered with thatch, broken slates, and chimney cans blown from the roofs of houses, but property lying near the shore suffered the greatest damage.

So far as can be ascertained no person has suffered any injury.

[Our Ardrossan correspondent writes – In Lamlash Bay during the early morning, the St. FILLAN collided with the brigantine VICTOR, of Irvine, and three of the men leaped on board the VICTOR, while the other two took to the St. FILLAN’s small boat, and thus got ashore at Lamlash.

The VICTOR reached Ardrossan yesterday afternoon with three of the St. FILLAN’s men on board, and great relief was afforded by their reported safety.

Last night the storm still raged with considerable violence.]
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
24 NOVEMBER 1815

DEATH

On the 22nd September last, at St. Petersburg, Virginia, William Bryden, eldest son of David Bryden, writer in Saltcoats, aged 16 years, a young man much regretted by his friends and acquaintances.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLAGOW HERALD
24 NOVEMBER 1848

MELANCHOLY CIRCUMSTANCE

A few months ago, Mr John Miller, Crofthead Street, Saltcoats, having gone out as a passenger on a voyage from Ayr to Newry, in the ELIZA of Belfast, (the captain of which being his nephew), and partaking of his breakfast one morning, he left the vessel to take a walk, but notwithstanding many searches…………

[Unfortunately, the latter part of the above article is illegible but it seems safe to assume that Mr Miller became a long-term missing person in Newry.]
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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CASUALTY OF WAR
24 NOVEMBER 1915

Died on Service, Private WILLIAM WATT, 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders – Theatre of war, France and Flanders – brother of Mrs Ritchie, 4 The Braes, Saltcoats.

The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald subsequently reported: -

“Mrs Ritchie, who resides at 4 The Braes, Saltcoats, has received notice that her brother, Private William Watt, 1st Gordon Highlanders, has died in a base hospital in France from wounds received in action.

The Matron of the hospital in a letter to Mrs Ritchie, says that after being wounded he was taken to the hospital where a piece of shrapnel was taken out of his leg. Later the wound developed blood poison from which he died.

Private Watt had been for twelve months in the firing line, and was home on furlough a few weeks ago.

He was formerly employed in the Cordite Department of Messrs Nobel’s factory.”
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
25 NOVEMBER 1825

DREADFUL STORM

Since Friday afternoon we have had a continuance of the most boisterous weather ever experienced on the Ayrshire coast.

The sloop BEE, of Irvine, went ashore on the night of Friday, or Saturday morning, between Irvine and Saltcoats.

It is hoped she will be got off without sustaining much damage.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
25 NOVEMBER 1850

DEATH

At her grandfather’s residence, Saltcoats, on the 23rd instance, Robina, aged six years, only child of the late Robert Young.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
26 NOVEMBER 1883

SALTCOATS - THE BURGH MOVEMENT

The committee, in accordance with a resolution agreed to at a late public meeting, have signed a petition and forwarded it to the Sheriff to have the town erected into a burgh.

About 70 householders have signed in favour of the movement, and in the list are the names of most of the leading men in the town.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
26 NOVEMBER 1827

DEATH

A few days ago at his house in the Island of Arran, in his 87th year of his age, Mr William Henry, who for many years was owner and master of a passenger-wherry between Saltcoats and Brodick, Arran; he lived respected and died regretted; he enjoyed all his active faculties till within a few days of his death.
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Re: Saltcoats - On This Day In History

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GLASGOW HERALD
27 NOVEMBER 1848

HANDLOOM WEAVING AT SALTCOATS

For the last two or three weeks the manufacturer’s agents here could have employed the double of weavers they could procure at broad lappets.
The trade is for shipment to the East Indies and Valparaiso. Last year prices were 1d an ell higher than is going this year. In no town in Ayrshire is lappet weaving so general as in Saltcoats.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
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