The Ash Tree and The Varnished Door
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What ills befa’ my native toon,
What makes it sae depress’d?
Since Maybole thrang at makin’ shoon
‘S noo barefit an’ distresse’d.
What caused the canker nane can say,
Nae townie blames himself’,
But points a finger at some jay
Whase vices nane excel.
An’ each his neebour wad despise
Their varied disposition;
For wha  is slow tae criticise
A townie wi’ ambition.
The po’ers that guide oor local mein,
Ambitions they’ve acquired,
They set before the nations een
Publicity not desired.
We natives must as yin agree,
That they were sure tae score,
When they condemned the auld ash tree,
An’ the famous varnished door.
They condemned some hooses here forbye,
Quite rightly you’ll agree,
For the ruins sit there high and dry,
But not the door or tree.
The ruins mon hae charm an’ grace,
The door an’ tree been ugly;
Noo Maybole’s rid o’ this disgrace,
We mon be sittin’ smugly.
But no ! Mair problems jar us a’,
If we mon face the truth,
If  ‘ Crucks ‘ his kettle fills at a’,
We’re bothered wi a drooth.
A leerie daurna burn at nicht
Tae mak a fool o’ summer,
The Tollbooth curfew culls your plicht
In your nocturnal dauner.
You Councillors O hear our cry
When you confabulate,
For guidness sake should you no ‘ try
Tae chinge oor humble state.
We’ve heard fae platforms seekin’ votes,
Aboot oor hoosin’ problems;
Latrines, an’ bathin’ pools an’ lots
O’  ither civic goblins.
But guidness what auld Maybole needs,
Is shairly plain tae see, 
A plan tae ensure that she succeeds,
If you provide the key.
Strive  tae gi’e your charges work,
Nae plan or deal exempt;
The populace will never shirk
If only you attempt.
No’ a’ the burdens that we suffer
Would I lay at your door,
Advice is one thing I can offer,
I’m silent evermore.

(Note: The ash tree referred to was above the Welltrees Well…. Was cut down. The Council objected to someone graining their door at Allen’ Hill which received a lot of adverse publicity in the national press at the time..1928.)

Poems of Arthur G. McColm

The Spooncreel's End Evacuating Doos at the Kirk Belfry Bobby and The Wartime Blackoot
An Encounter The Toothache The Glen Kirk Choir
Our Sacred Cause Lambie's Close The Ghost O'Drumley Hoose
Maybole and District The Ash Tree and The Varnished Door Burns and Splendid Isolation

Notes about these poems contributed by the author's daughter Anne McCrindle

Arthur McColmThese poems were written by my dad about Maybole and some of the characters from the town. Some poems were written for events and 'smokers' do's. Some serious some fictional and quite comical. Quite a few about Maybole in war time and his thoughts about the war. Dad was the last son born 1907 to Emily and Tom McColm. They lived in Montgomery Street till they moved to Ladyland Road, across from the school which later burned down in 1919. Dad was a slater and chimney sweep, well known in the town. He played in the Maybole burgh band for many years till it was disbanded. He later became a member of the Ayrshire Yeomanry Band. Sadly he died at the age of sixty in 1968, but has left us with many happy memories and treasures in his written words
Anne Mc Crindle (nee McColm) born in Maybole, daughter of Arthur Mc Colm and Maggie McKay.

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Copyright © Permission for display on this site granted by Anne McCrindle. You may view and download poems for personal use only. No other distribution or use of this text is authorized.