Seaview Cottage Revisited
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I have been reading with much interest the recollections of Maybole in the thirties and forties. Of particular interest to me was the story about Seaview Cottage which incidentally is still known as Seaview. If ever there was an appropriate name for a house that’s it! The view over the Firth of Clyde is indeed spectacular. This picture was taken from the opposite end of the Seaview Cottage view on the website and shows the view from Culzean Castle towards the Howmoor. There are two houses at the point of the triangular woodland on the side of the hill and Seaview is the one to the left. The other house was built quite recently and was occupied by the Duncan’s you spoke of as being the farmers at Castlehill Farm in your grandparents’ time. Incidentally Castlehill is still farmed by the Duncan family. On the shore you can see the house (much altered since your time) at the foot of the Wrack Road and further back the farms of Balchriston and Castlehill that you spoke of in your story.

My father was a ploughman and we moved to Balchriston Farm in 1945 and witnessed the demise of the Clydesdale horse in favour of the tractor in the ensuing years. Our cottage was further down the Wrack Road from the house at the level crossing which was still occupied by Alfie Caldwell, May and Rita also of whom you spoke. They remained there until Alfie’s death many years later. I can remember wiring their house for electricity about 1958. I also knew the Jacksons from Castlehill cottage you referred to. Bob Jackson and my father were friends for many years and his brother John stayed at the cottage on the shore at the foot of the road from Castlehill to the shore.

During my years at Balchriston our house was a watering hole for the legions of Maybolians who headed for the shore in the summer months by foot, by Arrol’s taxis, by bus and on bikes. Many a tired, sunburned salty smelling person arrived at our door in those days craving a drink of water after the climb up the hill from Maybole Shore. In the winter however the shore was my domain where I was master of all I surveyed. Depending on what film we had seen that week at the Carrick or Ailsa picture house for us kids the shore became a battlefield, a Wild West prairie, a desert island, the African jungle or even an Olympic stadium!

During my early years at Balchriston goods trains still ran on the line you mentioned. They operated mainly to collect the early potatoes from the farms all along the coast from Ayr to Girvan to take to the markets in the big city of Glasgow. Almost without exception every one of these stopping points has become a caravan site. The line was closed in the late fifties. I remember the viaduct that crossed the Rancleugh burn. This was a massive structure and a magnificent piece of engineering. The picture below is of the supporting pillars which are still there to this day.

The site will soon have been on the Web for ten years. The fact that I and countless others can share our past and present with people all over the world with an interest in where they came from is truly amazing. People of our vintage could never have imagined such a means of communication. I am grateful to those who through their hard work and dedication have made it possible for us to share our life experiences that made us who we are.

Bill McCubbin