Maybole's 125 year old foot bridge over the railway track
at the station is gone...more
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.
The 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.
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)