Maybole's 125 year Old Foot Bridge
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Maybole's 125 year old foot bridge over the railway track at the station is gone...more photos below.
The new bridge has some citizens less than satisfied! See the story here.

In April, 1853 the question of extending the Ayr-Dalmellington Railway line to Maybole and Girvan was the subject of discussion between the councillors and promoters of the railway. Lengthy meetings were held and finally in October 1853 it was decided the railway line should stop at Maybole and not be continued on to Girvan as originally proposed. The Secretary to the Railway Company reported that, from traffic tables he had prepared, he estimated shareholders in the company could expect at least 10% return on money invested.

Maybole railway station with foot bridgeThe Council agreed to recommend the project to the inhabitants of the town and urge them to give support by taking shares. Many townspeople did this and, as foretold by the Company Secretary, the railway prospered and the shareholders did exceedingly well from their investments. The railway station was first formed at Redbrae and a little later the railway was taken on to Girvan and the present railway station was built, thus completing the Ayr-Maybole-Girvan railway line first mooted in 1853. The present foot bridge was erected in 1880, at a time when the town had eight large shoe factories, (three with tanneries and currying departments), employing 1,184 workers and producing 12,360 pairs of boots weekly. By 1891 there were ten shoe factories in full production employing 1,500 workers and producing about one million pairs of boots and shoes annually. Shops were opened throughout the whole of Britain, named "The Maybole Shoe Shop", with one being opened as far away as Manitoba.

The boot and shoe industry continued to provide work for nearly all the townspeople until 1907 when the Ladywell Factory, which was the largest in the town, had to close down (an event which was reported in the local press as "a major tragedy") and once again many Maybole men were out of work and there were hard times. The bridge would have been a silent witness as many shoemakers emigrated with their families to Canada (some estimates give 2,000 persons as the number that left Maybole at that time) and some went to work in a shoe factory at Shieldhall. Local firm Barr took possession of the bridge this Saturday evening and the work to remove and replace it will take thirteen weeks. (June 4th)

Sparks fly as the bridge is taken apart.

Maybole 125 year old footbridge at the railway station has gone. Work was delayed slightly last Saturday evening as the last train from Ayr arrived about half an hour late. The work began after midnight and the bridge finally came down around 3am. By 6am very thing was gone and the only thing to be cleared away was a tree which needed to be removed to make way for the new bridge. Work will take up to 13 weeks due to the contractor only being able to get access at limited times for safety reasons.  (June 10th)

The last passengers under the old bridge.