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Maybole, Carrick's Capital Facts, Fiction & Folks by James T. Gray, Alloway Publishing, Ayr. First published 1972. Copyright Permission for display on this site granted by David Gray. You may view and download chapters of this book for personal research purposes only. No other distribution of this text is authorized.

The story of this ancient Ayrshire town from its early beginnings in the 12th century through its growth and development until the nineteen sixties. A fascinating record of the history of a town including a wealth of factual information on its outstanding buildings  growth of industry etc., the book also gives an insight into the life of the community and townsfolk themselves.
Table of Contents


Chapter 17

SPORT

MAYBOLE has always been a community of sportsmen and in the past, when sport was not the organized financial business it is today, the men folk keenly contested against each other in games of skill and strength. As years passed by and travel became easier many Maybole men competed as runners and cyclists throughout Scotland and England and their names were known wherever sportsmen gathered to rerun their races, on a winter night with a fire to warm their toes and a dram to enlarge their tales of past victories.

The oldest sport in the district would probably be hawking which was introduced into Scotland in Norman times. As, however, it was once known as "the sport of Kings" few, if any, of the townspeople would be rich enough to indulge in it although the noblemen in Carrick all had their sport with birds of prey and kept their own falconers to train and look after the valuable hawks. At one time men travelled the country selling trained hawks and they were known as "hawkers", while the men who travelled around with the frames, or stands, for the hooded hawks were known as "cadgers". It is strange the same names should still be given to itinerant salesmen to this day and that a "hawker" still considers himself a cut above a "cadger". It is said Marjory, mother of Robert the Bruce, was flying her falcons at Turnberry when she was told by the Lord of Annandale her husband had been killed in Palestine in 1270. Hawking was a favourite sport for generations but the invention of gunpowder was practically its deathknell and it is now only practised by a few enthusiasts, none of whom reside in this district.

The oldest common sport recorded in Maybole was archery and this was practised by all the men who had to turn up for a stipulated number of times each year to shoot at the butts set up in the old Ballgreen. In the 17th century the authorities once complained that the playing of "byasse bowls" was interfering with archery practice and prohibited bowl playing on Sundays. One of the best known archery sports was shooting at the popin-jay, which was a model of a bird feathered to resemble a popin-jay (or parrot) and suspended from a pole This was a favourite sport at one time in the town and Sir Walter Scott in "Old Mortality" wrote "The festival of the popinjay is still, I believe, practised at Maybole" After the introduction of gunpowder the ancient game was still practised by the townspeople on the Ballgreen, with firelocks substituted for bows and arrows, but it died out about the end of the eighteenth century.

Bowls have been played in the town for centuries and records show that the "byasse bowls" was a favourite game three hundred years ago when the locals played on a level part of the old Ballgreen. To begin with it was rather crude by today's standards but Minniebolers grew so enamoured of the game they finally formed a proper green in the New Yards and the Maybole Bowling Club opened with a flourish in 1848. The members were strong opponents to meet at any time and often made their mark in the Glasgow-Ayrshire matches, the Gold Bowl and other matches played against clubs in the district. The Club has continued as a private club since it was formed although the members from time to time have found it difficult to carry on. It was recently decided that lady members could join, and with their help it is hoped it will continue for generations to come After the 1914-18 War when the Memorial Park was formed, the Town Council formed a public bowling green in it, for members of both sexes, and this club has a good membership and can often trounce the older club in the local bowling Derby.

Football is another favourite game which has been played by the young men in the town for generations. In the 18th century the schoolmaster in the small school at the foot of the Ballgreen complained bitterly about the damage caused to the building by the boys kicking balls against it when playing "Futball". (It would seem every game was played at the Ballgreen, even "gowfe", before proper pitches and courses were formed, and there must have been great difficulty in separating the footballers from the bowlers and the archers from the golfers). At the end of the last century a football pitch was formed at Ballony near the "Bog" Shoe Factory and Maybole could field quite a strong team against neighbouring towns. Just before the first World War they were bold enough to enter for the Scottish Cup and drew Glasgow Rangers as opponents. The match took place at Ballony when nearly the whole of the townspeople turned up to cheer on their team and the score was 12-0, (in favour of the visiting team). [note: match appears to have been played at Ibrox Park]  For many years "Ballony" was the favourite venue on a Saturday afternoon for the menfolk who gathered to watch their team do battle and it was customary at half time for the spectators to adjourn to "Sootie" Boyds in the Masons Row, for a dram to celebrate if the locals were winning or to dull their sorrow if they were being beaten. As time was short and the spectators had to hurry back for the second half "Sootie" would fill out about a hundred pints of beer and have them ready for the rush of customers and naturally the beer was flat before it could be drunk. One Saturday the spectators decided to teach him a lesson and when the half time whistle blew, they rushed from the park and raced past "Sootie's" up the Kildoup to "Bobby Gerrand's" for their half time refreshment, leaving poor "Sootie" with about a hundred pints of flat beer on his counter. This taught him a lesson and he never again drew the pints before the customers arrived.

The pitch at Ballony became disused about the time of the 1914-18 war and for some years there was no proper football ground in the town. Some amateur teams played in the Sheep Park where there was a bowl shaped pitch for the "big yins" and a small pitch at the "Bowsie Brig" for the smaller fry. Many were the fierce encounters against Girvan teams at the Sheep Park when "Jinty", "China", "Killarney" and other football deities showed the "Syboes" that Maybole was the Capital in football as well as other things. Once a team from Dailly came to play at Maybole and when the game was reported in the local paper there were only two surnames (Scobie and Mcginn) among the eleven Dailly players.

Between the two World Wars the old sports ground at Gardenrose was formed into a football pitch and the amateurs played there for many years. After the 1939-45 War a Junior team came into being and still exists. The old playing pitch at Ballony was more or less reformed entirely by voluntary labour in 1945, a clubhouse and covered stand built, and the "Tacketies" are back to where their grandfathers played against Glasgow Rangers.

In recent years football pitches have been formed in the Glebe field and young teams play there and do exceedingly well winning many trophies in competition with other boys' clubs. Before traffic became the problem it now is, the youngsters played football in Kirkland Street, and at the bottom of the Kirkwynd, etc. All that was needed then was a penny ball and jackets for goal posts and many Maybole men who later played for Clyde, Patrick Thistle, Southampton, and other clubs started their football by playing "heid the ba" against the wall of Ramsay's factory. Nowadays football, like "peevers" and "marbles" can find no place on the busy streets but fortunately the local parks still allow the youngsters to perfect their talents and probably football will continue as a favourite game for the townsfolk.

In the 1920s hockey became a popular sport in the town and there was a men's club which played at Whitefaulds and a ladies club whose pitch was at Gardenrose. The game was enthusiastically played for some years by both sexes and the clubs travelled all over Ayrshire and to Glasgow to play matches but enthusiasm dwindled and, after about ten years, the clubs became defunct and hockey is now only played by the school team at Carrick Academy.

At one time cricket was often played in the Sheep Park and Mr. Soutar of the Union Bank, who had been a well known county cricketer in his day, coached many of the young lads in the art of bat and ball. A team was in existence for some years and matches were played against clubs in Prestwick, Troon, etc., but somehow the game never really caught on in the town and shortly after Mr. Soutar died the club disbanded.

In the last part of the 19th century and for the first decade of the present century the great interest for Maybole men was foot running and cycling. The milestones on the Cross Roads from West Enoch to Cargilstone were carefully set exactly one mile apart and this became known as "The Measured Mile" where all the local athletes trained. An up to date sports track with cambered bends was formed at Gardenrose Farm and many sports meetings were held there and famous runners and cyclists from all over Britain came to compete at them. After the great exodus from the town about 1909 the interest in athletics fell away through lack of young men (it was nearly all young men who emigrated, leaving a population of older men and young children) and the sports ground fell into disuse although the raised camber at one end of the track could, for years, be seen behind the farmhouse at Gardenrose.

One of the earliest, and most famous, of all Maybole pedestrians was Robert McKinstray who was born in Welltrees Street in April, 1837, and who became the greatest runner in Britain in his day, over all distances from 160 yards to 5 miles. His name is known to all townspeople, who speak of him whenever the topic of running is raised, but few today really know much about him and can only vaguely remember "he once beat a Red Indian" as if this was his crowning achievement. A well-known sporting newspaper printed a short article on McKinstrav about the end of last century and the following extract from it shows that Maybole can indeed be proud of its fleetfooted son.

"Robert McKinstray was born at Maybole in April, 1837, and stands 5' 6k" in height. When only 15 years old Bob made his debut as a pedestrian at the Culzean sports, when he won half of the races. Soon after this he was apprenticed to a butcher and served his time faithfully. Bob, being indulged by his employer, annually visited the Scotch games and defeated nearly all comers on sprints, long distances and hurdle races; was "King of the Red Hose" at Carnwath for many years; won the 3 mile champion belt at West Calder on July 29, 1863; won the 2 mile championship and 50 at Stonefield Grounds, Glasgow, on October 3rd, 1863, beating J. Murdoch of Stonehouse who received 150 yards start; was defeated by Dan Shannon of Glasgow, on February 6th, 1864 in a 400 yards race for 50 at Stonefield Grounds; beat W. Park for the 2 mile championship and 50 at Stonefield, March 12th, 1864; beat Charlie Mower of Norwich for the 2 mile championship and 50 at Glasgow, June 11th, 1864; won the 5 mile championship at West Calder, July 27th, 1864; beat Dan Shannon April 22nd, 1865, 600 yards for 30; won the half mile sweepstake, 75, at Manchester, May 20th, 1865, beating W. Richards of London and J. Heyward of Rochdale, running the half mile in 1 minute 56 seconds a performance which stamped McKinstray as the greatest "flier" of the day; beat W. Bell at Newcastle, 2 miles, 40, June 4th, 1865; beat E. Ashworth of Bury 160 yards, 20, July 14th, 1865; won the gold medal at Johnstone, July 15th, 1865 for 3 mile handicap race; defeated W. Richards in a 1 mile race, Richards receiving 15 yards start and staking 30 to Bob's 25 on July 29th, 1865; ran third from scratch on August 19th, 1865 in George

Martin's championship one mile handicap when the time taken was 4 minutes 17 seconds. McKinstray then took up his quarters in England and on February 23rd, 1867, gained the mile and a half challenge cup, value 80 but after winning it 3 times in succession had to yield the trophy to Fleet on May 23rd, 1868, owing entirely to his having been ill for some time and being far from well. During his career on the other side of the border, Sanderson of Whitworth, Lang of Middlesbro, Fleet of Manchester, E. Mills of London and many others of note had all to yield to the Scotchman. His last appearance before the public was at Edinburgh, December 31st, 1869, when he ran a match against an Iroquois Indian named Debeaux Daillebour, alias Redhead, especially brought over from America to race him, 3 miles level, for 30 a side, on. which occasion our friend Bob made short work of the Redskin, leaving him so far behind that he gave up the race, leaving McKinstray to walk in at his leisure in a little over 15 minutes". When he retired from running he returned to his home town of Maybole and lived to a ripe old age, respected by all and honoured as the greatest British runner of his day."

Another famous Maybole runner was James Rodger who was Scottish mile champion in 1891 and 1894 and Scottish quarter mile champion in 1895 and 1896. In 1898 at Hampden Park, James Rodger made a new native record for the thousand yards which stood until 1957 when another Maybole man, Jack Boyd, (the present Town Clerk) broke it at Murrayfield Highland Games with a time of 2 minutes 10.9 seconds and it is interesting to note that the Scottish thousand yards record was held by Maybole men for over sixty years. Mr. Boyd was also the Scottish half mile champion in 1959 and although there are no pedestrian championships held by Minniebolers meantime it is hoped someone will again bring a record to the old town which was famous in sporting circles for over a century.

About eighty years ago the Carrick Harriers Club was a thriving body with a large membership, and John Milroy was a member who has also brought much fame to the town as did McKinstray, Rodger and Boyd. Between the two World Wars "Teddy"Maltman was a noted runner and many remember his duels with Andreoli from Ayr who was a well-known pedestrian throughout the country. It seems that the Maybole men were mainly distance runners, as apart from McKiristray (who seemed to be able to win at any distance), there are few records of sprinters in the town. Unfortunately with the dissolution of the Carrick Harriers early this century no other body has been formed, as yet, to replace it and interest in foot running has died out and the "Measured Mile" on the Cross Roads is left for cars to race along and to the few local people who still find pleasure in a walk instead of sitting in a lounge bar or gazing at the television. The trophies belonging to the club were in the town until the second World War when they were sold to raise money for the fund to send comforts to the troops.

Cycle racing also enjoyed great popularity in the town about the same time as the footrunners were bringing fame to Maybole and many townsmen raced the Measured Mile on a summer night with heads down and legs fiercely pedalling, much to the discomfiture of the courting couples who always considered the Cross Roads to be a place where they could stroll in peace without the necessity of keeping one eye on their partner and another on the road to watch for racing cyclists. The greatest of all the cyclists were the members of the Allan family and "Wumphy" Allan is still a name which Minniebolers speak of with pride although few of the younger generation know little of his prowess on a cycle. The Allan brothers were all noted racing cyclists but "Wumphy" was the doyen of the family and he held nearly all the Scottish and British records for distance and time races in his day. Like footracing, cycling lost favour in the town, for much the same reason (no young men to carry on the traditions of their fathers) and there are few, if any, cycle racing enthusiasts left now in the town which at one time provided champions in the sport.

Golf has been played for centuries in Maybole and it is recorded as being played on the town green in the 18th century. It was not until near the end of last century, however, that the first golf course was formed at Kilhenzie and the members of the Maybole Golf Club played there until the outbreak of the first World War when the course was ploughed up for the growing of crops to aid the war effort. After the war a nine hole course was formed in the Memorial Park and the old club was reformed and has flourished ever since. It has a strong enthusiastic membership who fervently hope that in the not too distant future the course can be extended and more holes brought into play. In 1902 the Maybole golfers formed the first Club at the new course at Turnberry and Provost John Marshall of "Jacks" was the first Captain of the Club which is now world famous.

Shooting has always been a favourite sport in the town since the start of the Volunteer movement when the locals were issued with rifles and actually encouraged to use them without fear of a poaching charge being laid against them. The Volunteers had some well-known marksmen in their company who won many medals and trophies in competition against other army units. The old Armoury in Whitehall was used as an indoor rifle range by the Maybole Small Bore Rifle Club (formed in the 1920s) up until recent years and William Murray was a local marksman who could compete with success against anyone on any range in Britain. In 1960 he won the Yates Memorial Competition with a possible score of 300, shooting 30 bulls in 14 minutes, and was the only man ever to win the British Veteran's Championships three times. In his last competition in 1969, he scored 398 out of a possible 400, a great performance for a man of seventy years of age. Some years ago the Club leased the old quarry at St. Murray for use as an open range and, although the local Club is now more or less disbanded, the range is still used by the Ayr Rifle Club and some of the old members of the Maybole Club shoot with that Club. For about sixty years there was a rifle range on How Moor which was in constant use by the Territorials and other army units but at the disbandment of the Territorials in 1968 the military authorities gave up their lease of this open range and it is no longer used.

Curling was always a favourite game of the townsmen and the farmers in the district and the Maybole Curling Society was formed on 26th January, 1829, with a membership of twenty eight, the first President being Mr. James Kennedy of Lochlands. The annual membership fee was 1/- and in 1842 the Club was in dire straits due to members not paying their subscriptions and a special meeting was held and the Club reconstituted but the membership fee remained the same.

The game was played on various locks around the town for many years, the Heart Loch being the favourite site for bonspiels. In 1842 an artificial pond was formed at Drummurran Farm and was flooded from the Abbey Mill Burn when frost set in and the curlers could take to the ice. The Drummurran Pond proved so unsatisfactory, however, that the curlers again resorted to the Heart Loch and Mochrum Loch until about 1873 when another artificial pond was formed at Barlewan, near Kilhenzie. Once again it did not please the curlers and they returned to their favourite Heart Loch until 1896 when they rented a small piece of ground for 2 per annum on Cultizeoun Farm at the top of Gallow Hill. This was the final home of the curlers, as they purchased the ground for 60 in 1915 and carried out many improvements and made it a first class artificial pond where the townspeople enjoyed skating and curling in the hard winters. At "Gallowhill" Pond the roaring game was enjoyed by all when frost was keen enough to give bearing ice and many stories can be told of the worthies who never missed a bonspiel. On a winter afternoon a huge fire would be lit to heat the large stewpot, drams would be passed around the rinks and the shouts of "Tunnoch", "High Grange", "Lochlands" and others urging their rinks to "Soop, man, soop" could be heard at Cultizeoun. Many townspeople would gather at the pond at night to skate and, if a late curling match was in progress (lit by byre lamps at each end) it was great sport for the young blades to cut across the rinks and be sworn at by the irate curlers. When the Ice Rink was built in Ayr outdoor curling gradually died out, as the local enthusiasts preferred to play on smoother indoor ice and the Curling Pond fell into disuse. It was sold for 70 in 1944 and the Club, although still nominally in existence, became for all practical purposes defunct, and was finally wound up in September, 1969. Many of the townsfolk and local farmers are still keen on the game, however, and display their skill with "out turn" or "in turn" in the indoor rink at Ayr.

Tennis has never been a favourite game with townspeople although in the 1920s there was a strong Club at the Memorial Park Tennis Courts which played other clubs throughout Carrick and Kyle and which had some fine players among its members. About the same period a private club flourished with its headquarters at Lumsden Home where there was a fine court, but the period of popularity of the game was short and both clubs became defunct about the 1930s. Although a few enthusiasts use the courts at the Memorial Park, the Lumsden court, and three other private courts in the town are now obsolete.

Quoiting was for generations a popular game among Maybole men and the quoiting ground was in Seaton Street where the clay pits were carefully tended and the ring of the quoits was heard nearly every summer evening. There were some good quoiters among the members who could always bring home prizes from matches against other clubs and it used to be as common a sight to see a man carrying a pair of brightly polished quoits as it is now to see a bowler with his pair of bowls in the little round carrying bag setting off to play in the Carrick Cup and other competitions. Quoiting, however, lost favour with the locals and as time went on fewer men took it up until finally about twenty years ago the quoiting ground became derelict and the game is no longer played in the town.

Whilst all types of sport have found favour in the town, one of the games peculiar to Maybole men was marbles. All the old shoemakers were experts at this game and hours were spent at "moshie" when the shoe factories were in full swing and there was full employment. At the dinner break the workers, young and old, would play marbles and loudly object to anyone "hunkering" or breaking the rules. They also played a peculiar game with large marbles (or "jarries") along the street sevors, rather reminiscent of the French game of "boule" in miniature.

Once again the closing down of the shoe factories early this century was the deathknell of this game but as the streets seemed to be the favourite venue for it the surge of present day traffic would naturally have put a stop to it.

Whilst their elders were golfing, bowling, curling or playing football the youngsters in the town, like children everywhere, had their own seasonal pastimes. The "girths" were brought out at the proper season of the year, marbles and spinning tops made annual appearances and in the summer the children considered the pavements should be reserved for "peever" beds and not for walking on by their elders. Every lass could chant the appropriate rhymes as she "ca'ed" the skipping ropes and the boys tried to emulate Alan Morton and other football luminaries at "heid the ba'" against a convenient wall. Rounders was a favourite game among the younger children and few elder townsfolk have never played "kick the can" at the "Bumbee" or tip-staff with a piece of stick laid on the edge of the pavement and hit into the air and driven like a baseball with a longer stick. A boy was fortunate indeed if he fell heir to a set of pram wheels when his parents considered (or hoped) there was no further need to store the family perambulator. A board and a piece of rope was then all that was needed to make a bogey which would carry him like the wind from the top of Gallow Hill, past the Station, down the Back Road and Castle Brae, across the main road at McQuistons Corner and down St. Cuthberts Road and past Pat's Corner to the Gasworks. About fifty years ago one bright youth used to harness his spaniel dog to his bogey and the dog would pull it up to the top of the Gallow Hill. The youth would then mount the bogey, and, with kilts flying, race down the hill to the Gasworks Corner at a speed which nearly frightened to death all mothers who saw him and who immediately would confiscate their sons' "bogeys" lest their offspring would try to beat "Kiltie's" speed record.

Nowadays traffic has made it impossible for children to play such games in the streets but perhaps in this modern age the youngsters would not be content with four pram wheels mounted on a board and a rope to steer with but would want a custom built carriage modelled on a Bugatti or a Rolls Royce. In days gone by children worked hard at delivering rolls or milk, being message boys to grocers, or delivering newspapers, but when their work was over they all seemed to find time and energy to gather at the "Bowsie Brig" pitch for a game of football, at the Gasworks Corner to kick the can or to run round the roads with their "girths" (lucky indeed was the boy with an iron "deck" instead of a stick to "ca" it) and children seemed to enjoy such simple pastimes. To the older folks of today the youngsters seem to spend most of their time in groups round cafe doors listening to pop music on transistor sets or sitting hunched up in an armchair staring at television but this is perhaps unfair as times have changed and children have not the freedom of the streets their elders had. It is true that years ago boys were up to all types of mischief and robbed the fruit trees in the gardens, or pulled the plums in the orchard at Laigh Culzean when they got the chance but somehow there did not seem to be the same amount of vandalism and destruction of property as there is now. Of course in those days the boys had a healthy respect for Inspector Miller and Sergeant Best who were not denied the privilege of cuffing a youngster's ears if they saw him doing wrong. All the schoolteachers lived in the town in days gone past and Miss Duncan, Miss Brannan, "Skin" and "Paddy", if they saw their pupils up to mischief in the evenings were not loth to "belt" them in school the following morning.

While most types of sport were played and enjoyed by the townsfolk without a doubt the favourite pastime was poaching. No town in Scotland could produce men so expert in the use of long net or the gaff as the old soutars of Maybole. The poachers were a race apart, great lovers of nature and wise in the ways of the rabbit, the hare, and the salmon, and the habits of the "patericks" and other birds was an open book to them. No cobbler's pot went empty in times of unemployment as the poachers not only lifted a hare from Tunnoch or Lochland fields for themselves but looked after their neighbours who were less skilful in the art or who were frightened to risk a foray with one of the local gamekeepers. In the 18th and 19th centuries poaching was the most prevalent crime dealt with by the magistrate in the old Tolbooth and at the beginning of the present century the number of poachers in the town was legion. Indeed Inspector Miller, when asked to send a list of the known poachers in the town to the Police Headquarters in Ayr, sent a voter's roll, declaring few, if any, of the names of the menfolk could be deleted. The old poachers, however, were sportsmen in their own way and while they would net a hare or tickle a salmon in a pool on the Doon or the Girvan for their own use, or to sell for the price of a dram, they never wantonly killed by blowing up or poisoning a pool in the river as did their successors of the period after the second World War. For some years the river poachers killed all fish, even minnows, by dynamiting a pool for the sake of a couple of salmon in it but the heavy fines now imposed on anyone found guilty of such a practice have fortunately curbed this deplorable method of poaching. The recent disease in rabbits has so reduced them in number that few now trouble to ferret for them with bag nets and as the taste for hares has gone there are few long nets now hidden in the rafters of the outhouses in the town. Game has become so scarce nowadays that the heyday of the old Maybole poachers has gone, and there will never be again such wonderful old characters as "Jumper" or "Snuffy" to supply an ill gotten hare, which one was well aware had been, not "poached", but merely "lifted" by a gentleman who considered all wild things should be available to all mankind and not kept solely for the use of a few. The old poachers played the game in a sporting manner and never complained or showed violence if caught and it was a common thing to see a worthy who had been fined for poaching in the court in the morning having a dram in the evening in a local inn with the gamekeeper who had caught him and real ill feeling between poacher and gamekeeper was practically unknown. The sport in real poaching was not to get a haul of fur or feather but the battle of wits between the poacher and the gamekeeper and both were good losers when things went against them.

Pigeon racing has been a favourite sport among the local men for many years and a Racing Pigeon Club has been in existence since 1910 when H. Logan was the first secretary and N. Hinton, R. Scobie and J. Strachan were the leading lights of the society. The club was dormant for some years but in 1925 it was reformed by keen enthusiasts such as D. Briggs, G. Briggs, A. McCann, J. Gill and others and at the present time it is flourishing with a large membership. Probably the fact that Queen Elizabeth has a loft at Sandringham and is keenly interested in racing pigeons has caused the revival throughout the country of the old sport which dates from the time when the Greeks used pigeons to carry messages warning the people of the approach of invaders. The sport of racing pigeons was really started in Belgium about 1820 shortly after the news of Wellington's victory at Waterloo was brought to England by carrier pigeon two days before Wellington's official despatch arrived. In 1871 some Belgium birds were brought to Britain and this started the interest in racing pigeons which resulted in the National Union being formed in 1896. As usual the Miniebolers, ever keen to take up a new sport, were not long in forming a club and there has been great interest in pigeon racing in the town for the past sixty years.

With so many locks and streams around Maybole angling has naturally been a favourite sport for generations. There is a strong Angling Club whose members fish a stretch of the River Girvan and few youths have not fished the Smithston Burn with "bramble" worms when it was spate or cycled past Drurnyork with hope in their hearts that Glenalla Burn would yield a good basket of sweet brown trout. Mochrum Loch swarms with pike which grow to a great size and take anything from tin spoons to fat bacon rind. It only needs two days rain in summer to bring the local anglers to the bus stop at the "Pump", with fly bedecked disreputable hats, waders turned down below their knees, rods of all sizes, and the all important haversacks to hold reels, fly cases, vacuum flasks and all the fisherman's paraphernalia, there to wait expectantly and ever hopefully for the bus to take them to the Brigend at Crosshill. No one has ever equalled an angler in depicting "HOPE" when awaiting the bus to take him to the river or "DESPAIR" when he returns a few hours later with an empty creel.

Boxing, Judo and wrestling clubs have been formed from time to time but these sports never really caught on, and the clubs would flourish for a time but soon fade away. Rugby has never been a local sport although of recent years it is played by the pupils at Carrick Academy but it has never even been proposed that a senior rugby team be formed. Many other types of sport have had their day in the old town but the old favourites of bowls, golf and football, have survived for generations and will probably still be played for generations to come while newer sports and games will come and go as in the past.


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