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In This Year

Published stories from each town's past.
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MAY 1972

Mr T R Craig, formerly a director of the British Steel Corporation was appointed chairman of the Hunterston Development Company, succeeding the late Mr Hugh Stenhouse.

Mrs A F Nisbet, county councillor for Catrine, opened the new youth and community centre ,formerly Ardeer Halls, at Stevenston.

Elizabeth Millar, 33 Lumsden Place, Stevenston, and Alex Bingham, 7 McDowall Avenue, Ardrossan, were the first-ever winners of the Saltcoats and District Young Citizen of the Year competition.

Saltcoats Victoria committee and canteen rooms were gutted by fire. Damage amounted to £300 .

A Juvenile Orange Lodge parade took place in Saltcoats.

JUNE 1972

Ardrossan Town Council held a successful Civic Week.

Thousands of Orangemen marched through Saltcoats against the wishes of the magistrates and held a rally at Laighdykes.

The radio programme " Down Your Way " was broadcast from Stevenston.

Stevenston Town Council agreed to acquire ground at Ardeer Recreation Club for housing.


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JULY 1972

Stevenston Sea Angling Association 'A' team became Scottish Shore Champions by winning the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers knockout competition.

Thirteen-year-old Ardrossan boy Tom Donohue became the youngest-ever winner of the Scottish Boys' Chess Championship.

A new hotel, the Stanley, was opened in Saltcoats.

As an experiment Dockhead Street, Saltcoats, was closed to traffic on two Saturdays.

Thousands of people invaded the beaches in one of the warmest and busiest Glasgow Fairs for years.

AUGUST 1972

The national dock strike hit Ardrossan Harbour but had little effect on Arran.

A Saltcoats youth was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

Princess Anne took part in the Annick horse trials at Irvine.

The building strike hit the area with 90 per cent of local building site workers downing tools.

Unemployed figures were up during the month due to the increased number of school leavers.


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SEPTEMBER 1972

The 200,000th telephone in the Scotland West Area was installed in the home of Mrs Janet Dodds, 63 Eglinton Road, Ardrossan.

A new £200,000 factory for William McCrindle and Son was opened at Dalry Road, Ardrossan , by the Under-Secretary of State, Mr George Younger.

The Countess Cinema , Saltcoats, closed after being a cinema since 1915.

Thirty-seven employees at the Metallic Manufacturing Company in Ardrossan were made redundant. Two men were later reinstated.

Saltcoats burgh rates were increased but were lowered in Stevenston, Ardrossan and Kilwinning.

Sixty youths rampaged through Saltcoats wielding various dangerous implements. Six Stevenston youths were later fined a total of £265 at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

OCTOBER 1972

The Rev Dr E G Balls, St Cuthbert South Beach Church, was installed as Moderator of the Presbytery of Ardrossan.

The British Steel Corporation and Oil Refining Services International of Italy made applications to Ayr County Council for permission to develop at Hunterston.

Conversion to natural gas took place in Ardrossan and Saltcoats.


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NOVEMBER 1972

Ayr County Council stated that the Italian concern ORSI would only be allowed to develop at Hunterston if BSC went elsewhere.

If pollution at the Nylon Plant in Stevenston continued the town council agreed to send a report to the Department of Environment.

A new annexe to South Beach Eventide Home was opened.

Ayr County Council agreed to oppose the Government Bill for the reform of local government.

DECEMBER 1972

Prominent local businessman Mr William McCrindle bought over the old South Yard at Ardrossan Harbour with a view to building ships and possible oil rigs.

North Ayrshire was hit by 80mph gales causing extensive damage, but no-one was injured.

Three people died in a house in Saltcoats when fire broke out in their sitting room.

Saltcoats Town Council received a petition from 570 ratepayers in protest against their non-implementation of the Housing ( Financial Provisions ) Act.

Hunterston will not get a multi-million pound steel complex but may get a steel pellet plant, said a statement released by the Government.


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HIGHLIGHTS OF 1973

JANUARY 1973

The year got off to a bad start with hooligans causing trouble on Hogmanay. Record sales of liquor may have been the catalyst for many incidents.

Caledonian-MacBrayne Limited took over ferry services from the Caledonian Steam Packet Company.

Kilwinning is to have a health centre.

An extensive survey of Ardrossan Harbour may lead to increased use and improved shipping facilities.

Saltcoats rents will rise, announced Treasurer Robert Lambie.

An advance factory is to be built at Willowyard Industrial Estate, Beith.

FEBRUARY 1973

Chevron renewed bid for oil refinery at Hunterston while Sir Fitzroy Maclean, MP, spelled out the costs of Hunterston.

Beithcraft won a top award at the International Furniture Exhibition at Earls Court.

Ardeer Quarry could be a nature reserve, suggested ornithologist Mr Ian Fraser.

Saltcoats Town Council were ordered to prepare a rent rebate scheme and to charge standard rents for houses in accordance with the Housing ( Financial Provisions ) Act.

First sign of a rift in the Labour members of Saltcoats Town Council over the rents issue. Four Labour councillors abstained as the council agreed not to implement the Rents Act by only two votes.

There was a unanimous decision to strike and picket Ardeer factory by 300 Blasting Department workers after a three hour meeting at Saltcoats Town Hall.


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MARCH 1973

There was a series of strikes in North Ayrshire. Three hundred workers continued their strike at Nobel's Explosive Company, Ardeer; the dispute between 250 tradesmen and Delaney Galley, contractors at Hunterston 'B' power station, stretched into the 11th week; civil servants staged a one-day strike; and British Rail cancelled all rail services because of a one-day strike by 30,000 footplate workers.

Treasurer Robert Lambie was warned after a scene at the Court of Session.

The go-ahead was given to fill in the 67ft deep Ardeer Quarry.

Saltcoats Town Council agreed to implement the Rents Act - but their rents were still the lowest in Scotland.

Magistrates warned licence holders about under-age drinking.

Auchenharvie Swimming Pool opened to the public.

APRIL 1973

The Arran ferry berth to be altered at a cost of £200,000.

There were to be no municipal elections in either Ardrossan or Saltcoats in the last elections under the present system of local government.

Separate health centres wanted by Ardrossan and Stevenston Town Councils.

A laundry blaze at Ayrshire Central Hospital caused £250,000 damage.

Saltcoats was included in a list of towns under consideration for yachting and cruising facilities in Ayrshire.

Thousands of Easter weekend holidaymakers flocked to the coast.


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MAY 1973

There were few surprises or matters of interest in the elections, but there were Labour gains in the Garnock Valley.

North Ayrshire Coastal Development Association launched a campaign for the re-zoning of the Hunterston area for agriculture, tourism and recreation.

Two policemen were fined for assault.

A "safe " smoking mixture is to be made at Ardeer, it was announced , after fire broke out in the nitrocellulose store area causing £100,000 damage.

JUNE 1973

Hunterston ore terminal was approved by the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Provost Gooding of Stevenston wants more jobs at Ardeer.

BSC stated their case for Hunterston but there was opposition from Ayr County Council.

There were plans for the replacement of the level crossing in Princes Street , Ardrossan, by continental-type barriers.

Ayr County Council again rejected the Hunterston Development Company report on the potential for industrial development at Hunterston.

Work started on the redevelopment of Stevenston's central shopping area.


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JULY 1973

There was criticism that the site of the new St John's Primary School, Stevenston would be opposite the refuse coup.

Hunterston - ORSI and Chevron tried again.

Saltcoats Town Council changed their minds about increasing rents and decided to ignore the undertaking made in the Court of Session in Edinburgh in March.

BSC warned off private developers at Hunterston.

Ore terminal approved despite strong objections by NACDA.

There was a reduction of 6p in the Ardrossan rates.

More crime - Kilmarnock Court to be extended.

Stevenston residents were angry over the refuse coup.

Fairlie Action Group supported proposals by the South of Scotland Electricity Board to erect a further three generating stations in preference to other industry at Hunterston.

NACDA lodged a formal objection against Ayr County Council's Compulsory Purchase Order for land on which the proposed ore terminal would be built.

AUGUST 1973

Sir Fitzroy Maclean, MP for Bute and North Ayrshire, announced he would not seek re-election in the next general election.

There were seven hundred objectors to the county council's CPO for 365 acres at Hunterston.

The world's largest park may be built around Eglinton Castle, Kilwinning.

The ombudsman investigated the CPO protests.


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SEPTEMBER 1973

A physicist said he wanted another nuclear plant at Hunterston.

Passengers escaped from a train fire at Ardrossan.

Ardrossan said it wanted a separate health centre.

A hotel was proposed for Chapelhill, Ardrossan.

Schools were not to have the factory holiday on Monday, October 1.

Stevenston elderly were given a choice of central heating after a protest against the council's plan for coal-fired heating installation.

Hunterston Development Corporation announced a comprehensive plan for deriving the optimum use of Hunterston.

Park Church, Ardrossan, sought the advice of the crime prevention officer after a spate of attacks of vandalism on the building.

OCTOBER 1973

ICI's cooling tower collapsed at Ardeer.

The Liberals said they wanted Ardrossan in the Hunterston development.

Passengers abandoned mv " Lion " because of a bomb threat.

The House of Lords accepted the amendment by Lord Hughes to split the proposed Strathclyde region into four separate regions. The House of Commons rejected the Lords' amendment. The majority of Scots MPs supported the split but the Government carried the motion because of massive support by English Conservative members.

A milk bottle shortage caused a rationing threat.


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NOVEMBER 1973

Treasurer Lambie quizzed officials at the public enquiry into the failure to comply with the Rents Act.

Ayrshire Labour Party were angry over the rejection of their nominees for Strathclyde Regional Council.

Stevenston Council decided to share health centre site at Auchenharvie with Saltcoats and Ardrossan.

The choice of waste ground at Stevenston shore as a rubbish dump for Saltcoats and Stevenston was reconsidered after a petition.

Treasurer Lambie forecast a big rate rise for Saltcoats if the Government did not compensate the council for current high interest charges.

An examination of Saltcoats Harbour to assess its suitability for development as a yachting and cruising anchorage was undertaken on behalf of Ayrshire Education Committee.

Saltcoats Council finally toed the line over rents.

There was 'panic -buying ' of petrol and coal in fuel crisis.

Ayr County Council investigated the introduction of a monobuoy system off the port of Ardrossan.

A petition against the Abortion Bill was signed by 2000 Roman Catholics between West Kilbride and Kilwinning.

DECEMBER 1973

Stevenston Town Council took action against the rat menace at Hillside Street housing area.

Plans for a £200,000 swimming pool for the West Kilbride area were given the go-ahead by the district council.

The Belfast ferry "Lion " resumed passenger sailings after seven weeks' absence.

Teachers at Garnock Academy threatened a work to rule.

A sudden snow blizzard brought chaos to roads in North Ayrshire and caused many accidents and delays.

The £30 million ore terminal at Hunterston finally got the all-clear as Hunterston Development Company and BSC reached agreement on land options.

A pack of stray dogs was annoying residents in the Broadway and McDowall Avenue area of Ardrossan.

Local supermarkets and licenced grocers had their supplies of spirits slashed by their distributors who were hit by the national bottle shortage.

Kilbirnie Labour Party wrote to Sir Monty Finnieston, chairman of BSC, asking for assurances on the future of Glengarnock Steelworks.


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1974: THE YEAR IN RETROSPECT

JANUARY 1974

The three-day week hit Ayrshire and a union leader warned of industrial unrest if wages were cut.

A dispute between workers and management at the Metallic Manufacturing Company Ltd, Ardrossan, threatened a shutdown of the works.

Industrial action by railwaymen caused cancellation of the pupils' " special " to West Kilbride, Fairlie and Largs.

The three-day week began to bite and 5000 workers were laid off in North Ayrshire.

Treasurer Robert Lambie of Saltcoats became an Honorary Burgess of the town.

Accounts for Auchenharvie Swimming Pool showed a loss of almost £10,000 between August and November 1973.

FEBRUARY 1974

A proposal for " Garage Centres " to lessen traffic problems in West Kilbride was put forward to Ayr County Council.

A Saltcoats headmaster complained to the town council about stray dogs wandering through school grounds and frightening children.

A county council architect told Saltcoats Town Council that the cost of constructing a safe harbour area at Saltcoats would be considerable - despite this the council agreed to share the cost of the project with the county council and the education committee.

Stevenston Town Council decided to send two pensioners to London to take part in a Demonstration Rally for better pensions.

Fifteen-year-old swimmer, Sandra Dickie from Kilbirnie, brought back two bronze medals from the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Central Ayrshire candidates for the General Election were : Mr Robert Gavin ( Conservatives ), Mr Leslie Anderson ( SNP ) , and Mr David Lambie ( Labour ). In North Ayrshire the candidates were : Mr John Corrie ( Conservative ), Mr Raymond Donnelly ( Labour ) , Mr Robert Stevenson ( Liberal ) and Mr John Murphy ( SNP ).

A proposal to give £100 to Clydebank Town Council towards repayment of £20,000 taken from public funds to pay a fine imposed by the Court of Session led to a heated argument. The council finally decided to go ahead.

One man was killed and three injured in an explosion at Nobel's Explosive Factory at Ardeer.

The new Members of Parliament for Central and North Ayrshire were Mr David Lambie ( Labour ) and Mr John Corrie ( Conservative ). Labour formed a minority government.


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MARCH 1974

Consignments of coal were received at Ardrossan and Stevenston quashing fears of local coal merchants that priority coal issues would take several weeks to reach North Ayrshire during the coal strike.

Two unexploded 250-pound bombs found on the beach at Whiting Bay, Arran, were subsequently exploded by a Naval Bomb Disposal Squad.

Stevenston Town Council were told there was a doctor shortage in the town and decided to write to the NHS Executive Council for Ayrshire.

Ardrossan Indoor Bowling Club was officially opened by Provost John Fitzsimmons.

Councillor Bob Stevenson of Stevenston claimed some council tenants were practising Rachmanism -making money by sub-letting their houses.

Arthur Guthrie and Sons Limited, publishers of this newspaper, acquired the copyright of the Ayr Advertiser and Carrick Herald.

Two young men influenced by the current rage of streaking were fined £30 each when they admitted streaking along South Beach.

Mr William Ross, Secretary of State for Scotland, approved proposals for the general layout and landscaping of the British Steel Corporation's ore terminal at Hunterston. Maintenance work at Ardeer Nylon Factory was almost brought to a standstill by pickets outside the factory gates.

APRIL 1974

Plans to build an underpass and roundabout at Glencairn Street, Stevenston, were put into cold storage by the Scottish Development Department but Stevenston Town Council launched a bid to get the go-ahead for the scheme.

Brewery Park, the area between Saltcoats and Stevenston, at present used as a rubbish dump, to be landscaped.

As site work started on the £36m ore and coal terminal a £1m deal was negotiated by BSC to lead to the disappearance of the Kilwinning slag heap.

Candidates for Strathclyde Regional Council for Ardrossan and Saltcoats were Daniel McMillan ( Lab ), John McLaughlin ( Cons ) and Alex Arnott (SNP ). Daniel McMillan was successful. For Kilwinning and Stevenston - Ronald Carson (Lab ) and Robert Stevenson ( Lib ). Ronald Carson was successful. For Arran, Largs and West Kilbride - Peter White ( Cons ) , Ian McClaren (Ind ), John Carson ( Lab ) , James Dow ( Lib ) and Alexander Forbes ( Lab ). Peter White was successful.

The football stand at Ardeer Recreational Park was completely destroyed by fire.

Residents of the multi-storey flats in Saltcoats met Saltcoats Town Council to press their claim for a caretaker.


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