1954 ... That was the year Roger Bannister made history by being the first person to run the mile in less than four minutes. It is also the year chosen for a "flashback" article on Maybole. In carrying out research for the article I made use of the back numbers of the Ayr Advertiser held in the Carnegie Library in Ayr. What follows, of course, is in no way a complete record of what happened in the town in 1954, but is a brief picture of that year's events. 1954... That was the year -
- the Girl Guides handed over a wooden summer-seat to the Town Council. This was to mark the Queen's Coronation and the seat was to be placed outside the Town Hall. Miss MARY STEWART, Guide Captain, made the official presentation and Brown Owl MARY GOUDIE handed over a sum of money to be used to provide another seat at the Old Collegiate Church.
- Harold Chesney died. Mr Chesney was one of the town's benefactors, being a willing and frequent supporter of charities and good causes. He is probably best remembered for his donation of Miller Park to the town. The park is named after his wife's father, ex-Provost Miller. Mr Chesney had bought the land, had it cleaned, levelled and drained before installing play equipment.
- Kilkerran Estates authorities gave an undertaking to repair the retaining wall surrounding the Wee Spout in the Glen.
- Tenants of the new timber houses at the Culzean Road site (Queen's Terrace, etc), were complaining that their houses had many faults and the rents were too high, especially when compared to traditionally built houses. The Town Council felt it was impossible to reduce the rents which were £36 per year.
- The King and Queen of Carrick were ROBERT HARPER and HELEN RENNIE who had been chosen by their fellow pupils of Cairn School. On their big day in July they had presided from a flower-decked dais over the afternoon sports programme at Ladywell Stadium. Earlier they had travelled through the town in an open car. They had been preceded by Ladies-in-Waiting and Pages. The pipe band was leading and a drove of children in fancy dress followed a miniature bus, dragon and a horse. The back end of the "horse" caused a commotion when it stopped to have a fight with a by-stander. The Burgh Band headed a convoy of lorries carrying displays by local firms while the boat which had won the Coronation Hornet Cup during Clyde Week also took part. The boat was towed by local plasterer WILLIAM KERR, whose daughter ANNE had sailed it, together with J. CARSON from Girvan, to win the cup. Fancy dress awards were:-
- The Women's Section of the British Legion had a summer outing to Melrose.
- Willeen Burns, 15-year-old daughter of ex-Provost BURNS, won the title of second best schoolgirl cook in Scotland.
- Provost JAMES T. GRAY'S term of office came to an end in May and he was succeeded by THOMAS MURRAY. Mr GRAY was presented with a silver wine server in recognition of his service from May 1951 and he also accepted, on behalf of his wife, a silver hot water jug as a mark of appreciation for the duties that Mrs GRAY had carried out.
- Provost MURRAY was President of the Scottish Junior Football Association and also a member of the Scottish Football Association's Executive Committee.
- A Group of German Scouts and one Belgian Scout spent ten days with some members of the 10th Ayrshire Scouts. The hosts were Scoutmaster JAMES YOUNG, Patrol Leader STUART KENNEDY, Patrol Leader JAMES MULLIN, Second JOHN AUSTIN, and Scout IAN ALEXANDER.
- The Glen Kirk Concert and Tea Party provided entertainment f~r church members and friends. The choir had been trained by Miss JENNY GRAHAM and other artistes were ELEANOR JOELSON, MERYL COLQUHOUN, MAMIE CAMPBELL, ANN CAMPBELL, EVELYN COLQUHOUN, MARGARET BOYD, JEAN McQUAKER, Mr and Mrs R. STRACHAN and MARY WATSON. Accompanist was Miss BETTY McPHERSON.
- The dedication of a new door, gate and railings was carried out at a service in the Baptist Church. These gifts were donated by two members of the congregation. ex-Provost THOMAS HICKS and Mr MARTIN LINDSAY in memory of their wives who died the previous year.
- The Youth Panel for the Maybole area elected the following office-bearers: Chairman - JAMES W. PRINGLE; Vice-Chairman - Miss M. R. STEWART; Organiser - JAMES MUNN; Secretary - Miss M. McCOMBE.
- In October a rain storm created a small loch in the field above the Whitefaulds houses and the water threatened to flood the prefabs tenants. Pumps from Ayr and Maybole Fire Brigades were brought in to draw off the water which had risen to the steps of the prefabs.
- Reconstruction work started on the railway bridge in Kirkoswald Road. The existing cast-iron girder bridge had been built in 1856.
- The Burgh Band took part in the Scottish Amateur Brass Band Championships at Edinburgh and the 25 members of the band, under Conductor R. TELFER came fourth in their class.
- For the first time ever the passing out parade and inspection of 137 Squadron Air Training Corps took place in the town at the Greenside. Previously this had always been held at Churchill Barracks in Ayr.
- There was a young girl, WILMA KENNEDY, who looked like having a big future in the entertainment world. She was offered a place in the famous "TILLER GIRLS", the dancers who had often appeared on television.
- The Town Council took a decision to give up its lease of the Sheep Park when it expired the following year (1955). The lease was £10 per year.
- The British Legion Players put on "Drum o' Dundarg". The producer was Miss MAY TAIT and members of the cast were BOB MARTIN, RITA CALDWELL, MARY DUNLOP, ANITA WATSON, TOM HENDERSON, JOAN McKAY, WILLIE TWEEDILY, ANDREW GALLOWAY, ELIZABETH DAVIDSON, SANDY McCRINDLE and HUGH CLARK. Make-up was by Mr H. DUNLOP, the stage manager was ALEX McCRINDLE, the electrician was THOR JOELSON, and JIM ROY provided the drum rolls.
- Sixty houses were to be erected on part of the golf course and Gardenrose was suggested as a site for more housing.
- At the election in May, councillors retiring were Provost J. GRAY, ex-Provost T. HICKS, Treasurer T. FAULDS, and Mr J. MOLLISON. Provost GRAY and Councillor MOLLISON were not seeking re-election and the contestants for the others were ex-Bailie J. McDOWALL, Mr J. MACRAE, and Mr W. CUTHBERT. Mr FAULDS was the unsuccessful candidate.
- Two members of the 7th Ayrshire Boy Scouts, CAMPBELL HERRON and JACK McLEISH found property which was believed to have been stolen from the Old Church Manse. The boys found a leather covered canteen of cutlery, three pairs of leather gloves, a small camera, a child's bank and a piece of church headed notepaper.
- At the annual meeting of ratepayers (or Greetin' Meeting'), the main topic was houses for key workers. Other subjects were the cost and condition of the new timber houses and the state of the sewage works.
- Carrick Academy pupils staged the Emlyn Williams' play "Wind Of Heaven" in the Town Hall in May. The play was reviewed by Alan Dent in the Ayr Advertiser and he seems to have been favourably impressed.
- Inspector Wilson of the Traffic Department of Ayrshire Constabulary presided over a Road Safety Quiz held in the Town Hall in June. 'The junior section was won by the 7th Ayrshire Wolf Cubs - SANDY ROWAN. MICHAEL HERRIDGE, ALEX. DEWAR, and NORRIS HAY. Runners-up were the 10th Ayrshire Wolf Cubs. Winners of the intermediate group were the 1st Maybole Girl Guides - MARY GIBSON, MARGARET ANDERSON, JESSIE LAMB and JEAN McLELLAND. With a team of only three in which one of the members had to do a "double turn", the 10th Ayrshire Scouts won the senior section. Their team was JIM LUCAS, STUART KENNEDY and FRANK KENNEDY. Provost MURRAY opened the quiz. Councillor Mrs McLEAN presented the prizes. Bailie JOHN DUNLOP proposed votes of thanks, and Corporal TONY BARTON of the Air Cadets handed over a bouquet to Mrs McLEAN.
- Manual workers with the Town Council received a pay increase of 5/6d per week.
- At the Town Council meeting in September the winners of the garden and allotments competition received their prizes. They were:-
- The High Street, of course, was an on-going problem especially with regard to car parking. various solutions were put forward to solve the situation. The Chief Constable of Ayrshire, Mr R. ADAMSON, in fact, felt that congestion went a long way to keeping down the speed of through traffic which if given a clear line would tend to greater speed and consequently increase the accident risk. He was also against parking on one side only as this caused traffic jams and he preferred to see vehicles "staggered" on both sides so that traffic could weave its way through with much greater freedom of movement.
- At the Old Folks Concert, the Rev ALEXANDER WILLIAMSON gave a brief address and the entertainment was provided by the Women's Section of Maybole Branch of the British Legion and organised by Mrs R. Goudie. Those taking part included Mrs PATERSON, Mrs McKAY, Miss PATERSON and Mrs GOUDIE. Other Artistes were MAUREEN HERRON, Dancer, accompanied by JIM SYM, Bagpipes; MARJORY COLQUHOUN, Vocalist; ARTHUR McCOLM, Accordion, with WILLIAM HOUSTON, Violin, and JAMES HOUSTON, Piano; JOHN BRACKENRIDGE, Vocalist; WILMA KENNEDY, Dancer; MARY WATSON, Elocutionist; and guest artistes Mrs HUNTER. Vocalist, Drongan; and the MacLINN TRIO, Vocalists, also from Drongan.
- Mr A. B. COBURN retired as Headmaster of Cairn School. He had been appointed to his position in 1927 and was only the second headmaster the school had had since it opened in 1890. He was succeeded by Mr J. NICOLSON.
- At the Youth Panel Sports held at Carrick Academy, the major prize-winners were: Junior Champions - Brownies; Senior Champions - 7th Ayrshire Scouts. Junior Girls - MAY SHARP. Minishant Youth Club. Junior Boys - JOHN WOTHERSPOON, Maybole Boys' Brigade. Boys 12-15 years -DAVID GRAY, 7th Ayrshire Scouts, and JAMES MULLIN. 10th Ayrshire Scouts, tie. Senior Girls - JENNY JAMIESON. Senior Boys - COLIN KILPATRICK.
- GEORGE DAVIDSON became Maybole's first Queen's Scout. George was a 19-year-old Grocer for the Carrick Co-operative Society.
WELL, THERE WE HAVE THE YEAR 1954. I hope it brought back memories to some of you and if you know where some of the people mentioned are now, maybe you could let us know and we could include a "Where are They Now" article next year.