December 2003
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December 26th 2003

Most of our readers probably think that rock and roll only started about fifty years ago with Bill Haley and his Comets. Pupils of St Cuthbert's Primary in Maybole know differently, though, and at their annual Christmas show held in the school and church last Wednesday the showed that it probably began about two thousand years ago at a very special event. more
Click on the image to view full size. Click on the image to view full size. Click on the image to view full size. Click on the image to view full size.

Click on the image to view full size.

Pupils at Carrick Academy have been working for some months now on a project to create a mural on the wall of the staff canteen at SAS International and the company is delighted with their work. Amy McCrindle, Jennifer McGowan, Alison Gourlay, Tessa Thomson, Linzi Scobie, Kerry Knight, Elaine Montgomerie, Sarah Gourlay and Stephanie Weichert have been drawing and painting a variety of subjects more

Cairn PS All pupils at Cairn Primary in Maybole had a part in two completely different Christmas shows held in the school last Tuesday. The nursery and junior pupils took part in "The Very Unhappy Camel" which told a more traditional Christmas story as the adventures of the camel who kept getting lost unfolded. more

Maybole Ladies Health Forum is hoping to start up a support group for women who are lonely, single, having a hard time bringing up children on their own. They hope to help women who are finding life hard by being on their own - women who are single, divorced, bereaved or just lonely. more

December 19th 2003

Young members of Maybole's Tiny Tots Playgroup had a great time at their Christmas party on Friday December 12. The committee would like to thank all the mums and playleaders for their help and contributions. more
Nell Samson pictured below with Pat Docherty, Crosne Street warden, and Katy Kelly, assistant warden. Jimmy Bryden shows he's lost none of his old dancing skills as he treats Pat Docherty, warden, to a trip round the floor. Residents of the sheltered housing complex in Maybole's Crosne Street enjoyed their Christmas party on Sunday afternoon but could it be their last free one? more

December 12th 2003

A MULTI-MILLION-POUND upgrade of the Whitletts roundabout will begin next year. The cash is in place and a date has been set for the massive project to begin. Transport Minister Nicol Stephen revealed the news on Monday and insists that it will end years of traffic chaos. And there was more good news when the Minister visited South Ayrshire. Campaigners believe they've made their case for a bypass for Maybole. more

Local fireman John Campbell tells Transport Minister Nicol Stephen that the local Fire Brigade attends far more road accidents than it does fires

Pupils of St Cuthbert's Primary School had some very important people visit them on Monday morning. Cathy Jamieson MSP, George Foulkes MP and Councillor Andy Hill, leader of South Ayrshire Council turned up to congratulate one of the pupils on designing the Christmas card that will be sent out this year by the MSP and MP more

Prizewinners at Pontoon Golf Club's presentation dance on Saturday evening. (Left) Photo at (Right) shows new captain Willie Westcott left and retiring captain Bobby Green right with club champion Campbell Milligan 2nd right and Gary McCulloch the Jackie McIlveney memorial Trophy at the summer outing. more

Click on the image to view full size. On Saturday 6th December, members of the Tackety Bit Hillwalking Club left Linn of Dee near Braemar and cycled to White Bridge on the River Dee where they continued on foot up over Carn Cloich-mhuilinn which at 942 metres used to be a Munro until the last survey. more Due to structural damage Maybole Charity Shop has closed from this week and bookings for 2004 have been put on hold until firther notice. Estella McEwan, chairperson, said, "We sincerely hope the shop will re-open in the very near future. I more

Over a hundred members of Maybole's Opportunities in Retirement enjoyed a great Christmas party last Friday evening in Carrick Sports club. They were well entertained by Gardenrose primary choir plus father and daughter duo Jim Stevens and Mhairi Gibson. more

Carrick Stompers linedancers with Santa.

A MAN alleged to have carried out a string of break-ins in Maybole will spend Christmas behind bars. Hugh Brown (25), of Park Terrace, Maybole, had his desperate plea for bail turned down by a sheriff last week. Now Brown faces the prospect of being served Christmas dinner in Bowhouse Prison in Kilmarnockmore

December 5th 2003

THE first step towards a bypass for Maybole could be on the cards when Scotland's transport minister visits Carrick next week. Speculation is mounting that Nicol Stephen will reveal a plan to carry out an economic appraisal of the long awaited bypass when he tours the area on Monday. more

LOCAL historians Murray Cook and Davie Hunter were heard on BBC Radio Scotland giving their views on a Maybole legend. The 'Past Lives' programme turned the spotlight on how gypsy king Johnnie Faa stole the heart of a Countess of Cassillis. The pair are reputed to have run off together, but were caught ... more

The complete text of the headlines above follows.

December 26th 2003

Most of our readers probably think that rock and roll only started about fifty years ago with Bill Haley and his Comets. Pupils of St Cuthbert's Primary in Maybole know differently, though, and at their annual Christmas show held in the school and church last Wednesday the showed that it probably began about two thousand years ago at a very special event. "Rock around the Flock" was a lively production with a number of catchy tunes as the children retold the Christmas story in a novel way and there were some funny moments as they made use of what will probably be their choice of the toy of the year - the kazoo! Afterwards they sang more traditional carols for their parents, relatives and friends of the school.

Pupils at Carrick Academy have been working for some months now on a project to create a mural on the wall of the staff canteen at SAS International and the company is delighted with their work. Amy McCrindle, Jennifer McGowan, Alison Gourlay, Tessa Thomson, Linzi Scobie, Kerry Knight, Elaine Montgomerie, Sarah Gourlay and Stephanie Weichert have been drawing and painting a variety of subjects. Some have come from old photographs, some from the town's web site www.maybole.org  and there are even a few sel portraits. Represented in the mural are, among others, the Town Hall, Carrick Colts, Cathy Jamieson MSP, old tradesmen, former gala king and queen, Dave Whiteman, Ailsa Craig, Dean Park, the old cemetery gates, a former Maybole Juniors team, the Waverley, Maybole Castle, Ayr Races, the Eagles ice hockey team, the town's millennium baby, Pipe Sergeant Kevin McDermott, and of course Rabbie Burns whose parents were married in Maybole. The teacher in charge of the project is Bob Smith, of Carrick Academy's art and, design department, and he said that the pupils had put in a tremendous amount of work over the past year. "SAS approached us to ask if we could brighten up their cafeteria," he added, "and we were very happy to do this for them. The pupils have gained some very valuable experiences." Irene Tyson, SAS Administration Manager, said the company is delighted with what has been painted for them. "The collages shows off a wealth of information about Maybole and local people and we would like to thank all the pupils who put in so much effort for us," she said.

Cairn PS All pupils at Cairn Primary in Maybole had a part in two completely different Christmas shows held in the school last Tuesday. The nursery and junior pupils took part in "The Very Unhappy Camel" which told a more traditional Christmas story as the adventures of the camel who kept getting lost unfolded. Luckily, however, he did manage to reach the stable where the baby Jesus was and the camel was not as hopeless as he had thought! The senior pupils' show was "A Victorian Christmas" which had a Major, his wife and all their servants and the story even included a poor little orphan. Most of our readers probably think that rock and roll only started about fifty years ago with Bill Haley and his Comets. Pupils of St Cuthbert's Primary in Maybole know differently, though, and at their annual Christmas show held in the school and church last Wednesday the showed that it probably began about two thousand years ago at a very special event. "Rock around the Flock" was a lively production with a number of catchy tunes as the children retold the Christmas story in a novel way and there were some funny moments as they made use of what will probably be their choice of the toy of the year - the kazoo! Afterwards they sang more traditional carols for their parents, relatives and friends of the school.

Maybole Ladies Health Forum is hoping to start up a support group for women who are lonely, single, having a hard time bringing up children on their own. They hope to help women who are finding life hard by being on their own - women who are single, divorced, bereaved or just lonely. If there is sufficient interest for such a group then there will be an introductory Cheese and Wine evening. This meeting will be to discuss how to improve the quality of their lives and to arrange suitable activities for the group, depending on needs. For more information and to register interest women should contact Marie Buchanan, Tel. 01655 882774.

December 19th 2003

Young members of Maybole's Tiny Tots Playgroup had a great time at their Christmas party on Friday December 12. The committee would like to thank all the mums and playleaders for their help and contributions. Thanks also to Colin Broun for his generous donation and to everyone who supported the playgroup at the Christmas Bazaar with a special big thank you to Magic Malky and of course Santa. Some of the tots are starting the nursery after Christmas and the playgroup would like to wish them good luck. Hopefully, there will be some new faces at the playgroup in the New Year when it reopens on Monday January 5 2004.

Nell Samson pictured with Pat Docherty, Crosne Street warden, and Katy Kelly, assistant warden. Jimmy Bryden shows he's lost none of his old dancing skills as he treats Pat Docherty, warden, to a trip round the floor. Residents of the sheltered housing complex in Maybole's Crosne Street enjoyed their Christmas party on Sunday afternoon but could it be their last free one? Nell Samson, chairman of the residents' group, told them that their committee has had to resign for health reasons. She herself is almost 93 and she said that there are no more funds to pay for the parties. In the past various fundraising activities and donations throughout the year accumulated enough to cover the meal and gifts for everyone. In future it looks as if the residents will have to contribute more directly to their party. Entertainment for the party was provided by local favourite Ian McDowall.

December 12th 2003

A MULTI-MILLION-POUND upgrade of the Whitletts roundabout will begin next year. The cash is in place and a date has been set for the massive project to begin. Transport Minister Nicol Stephen revealed the news on Monday and insists that it will end years of traffic chaos. And there was more good news when the Minister visited South Ayrshire. For campaigners believe they've made their case for a bypass for Maybole. Mr Stephen has given the go ahead for new study into the long awaited bypass. He said: "The community of Maybole has long been frustrated by congestion, noise, pollution and road safety issues. "In order to respond to these concerns, the Executive will fund an initial study to investigate upgrade opportunities on the A77 trunk road, and the case for a Maybole bypass. "In my view there is a strong case for action at Maybole."

Nicol Stephen, Minister for Transport with the Scottish Executive, said he was keen to go ahead with a full STAG appraisal for a Maybole bypass when he visited the town on Monday. The Minister met Cathy Jamieson MSP, Councillors Andy Hill, Alan Murray and John McDowall, and David Kiltie, Chairman of Maybole Community Council. "This appraisal will look at the different options available," said Mr Stephen, "including a shorter route which would only bypass the town or a longer one which would avoid the Smithston bridge as well." The Minister added that the appraisal would look at value for money and include a cost benefit analysis. "This appraisal is crucial to getting commitment to funding for the project," he added. Councillor Andy Hill stressed to the Minister that a bypass is the only way forward for the economic development of this part of South Ayrshire. "Maybole was not built for the traffic which goes through it now," he went on. The Minister agreed that a bypass would transform the community. Cathy Jamieson MSP spoke about the impact on local buildings as well and pointed out that one had virtually collapsed not long ago. A full briefing of the case for Maybole bypass was presented by Bob Ross, of South Ayrshire Council, and he pointed out that over the past five years there were twice as many fatalities in road accidents south of Ayr than north of it. Mr Stephen said that a number of communities in Scotland were keen to get bypasses but acknowledged that one for Maybole "although expensive was not hugely costly". "We should be willing to do more for safety and impact on community life," he said and continued, "I see it as a priority. I am confident that the new study into the option of a Maybole bypass will be particularly welcomed.  The community of Maybole has long been frustrated by the congestion, noise, pollution and road safety issues affecting the village.  In order to respond to these concerns, the Executive will fund an initial study to investigate upgrade opportunities on the A77 trunk road and the case for a Maybole bypass. More needs to be done to make Scotlandís roads safer and protect the environment.  In my view there is a strong case for action at Maybole."

"That is music to my ears," said Councillor Hill. "It was tremendous to see you at Girvan today," he added, "but as a local councillor our priority is the safety of our people here." The meeting was in the council chambers in the Town Hall and afterwards the Minister accompanied the politicians on a "walkabout" of Maybole High Street. He was approached by one local resident who has more knowledge than most of how dangerous the A77 is. John Campbell, Kildoon Drive, has been a local firefighter for many years and he told Mr Stephen that nowadays they attend about four times as many road traffic accidents as fires! Carrick firefighters apparently are in the top 5 areas of Strathclyde for the number of road accidents. After the meeting Cathy Jamieson commented, "I am very pleased that the Minister took the time to come to Maybole. He clearly understands the pressing need to help progress. I am delighted he has agreed to commission the STAG appraisal which is the next we need to take us forward."

Work on the 2.7million roundabout upgrade is scheduled to begin in August next year. The roundabout will be enlarged and traffic lights will be installed to control the flow of traffic. Approach roads will also be upgraded, with two lanes northbound between the Holmston and Whitletts roundabouts. Mr Stephen had accepted an invitation to visit the area from fellow Scottish Executive Minister, Cathy Jamieson, the MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley. He explained: "Work will begin on the Whitletts roundabout next autumn and should be finished by early 2005. The project will significantly increase the capacity of the roundabout, cutting congestion and helping to boost the Ayrshire economy." South Ayrshire Council leader Andy Hill was delighted with the news claiming that it's a shot in the arm for the entire area. He said: "The most welcome news was that the Minister has authorised a study to go ahead to look at the option of a Maybole bypass and that a major upgrading of Whitletts roundabout is also to go ahead." The long-time bypass campaigner added: "This is music to my ears. "At long last I feel that the prospects for a bypass going ahead, and suitable passing stretches for lorries, are looking good. I am absolutely delighted."

Over a hundred members of Maybole's Opportunities in Retirement enjoyed a great Christmas party last Friday evening in Carrick Sports club. They were well entertained by Gardenrose primary choir plus father and daughter duo Jim Stevens and Mhairi Gibson. Pearl Barton said, "It was a great night and we would like to thank everyone for all their help in making our evening so enjoyable, especially the club, our entertainers and the manager of Safeways." Carrick Round Table also donated two hampers as prizes and Pearl gave the tablers a special thanks.

Pupils of St Cuthbert's Primary School had some very important people visit them on Monday morning. Cathy Jamieson MSP, George Foulkes MP and Councillor Andy Hill, leader of South Ayrshire Council turned up to congratulate one of the pupils on designing the Christmas card that will be sent out this year by the MSP and MP. Eleven year old Alice-May Morris was presented with a coloured TV as her prize and all the pupils in the school received one of the cards which will also be sent to First Minister Jack McConnell, Chancellor Gordon brown and prime Minister Tony Blair. Alice-May and her family will also be visiting Mr McConnell next week. "In total over 10,000 of the cards will be posted in the next few days," said Ms Jamieson, " and I would also like to thank everyone who entered the competition. It was difficult to pick a winner so we enlisted the help of editors of local newspapers to make the final decision." Mr Foulkes said that he agreed with the judges that Alice-May's was a worthy winner. Certificates were then presented to the St Cuthbert's pupils who had entered the competition.

Members of the Pontoon Golf Club held their annual dance and presentation of prizes last Saturday evening in Carrick Sports Club. The prizes were presented by club captain Bobby Green and his wife Stephanie. Willie Westcott was also elected as the captain for the new season. The complete list of prizewinners is: Club champion C Milligan r/u D McCulloch C Milligan Trophy B Green r/u D McCulloch Sammy Davidson Memorial Trophy C Milligan r/u T Anderson Founders Trophy J Steele & D McCulloch r/u B Green & R Dobbie Winter Outing Gary McCulloch r/u B Green Seniors Trophy T Anderson r/u C Milligan Most birdies C Milligan r/u B Green Last Chance Trophy J Barrie r/u S Watson V/captain's prize A Gemmell r/u C Milligan Millennium Trophy E Flannigan r/u A Gemmell Judy Shaw Memorial Trophy C Milligan r/u A Gemmell 5 club Trophy B Green r/u R Dobbie Aggregate Shield B Green r/u C Milligan Medal winners play off B Green r/u C Milligan Doubles Competition D McCulloch & S Watson r/u E Flannigan & R McDowall Monthly medals March S Thorburn r/u B Green April T Anderson r/u C Milligan May B Green r/u W Westcott June B Green r/u none July C Milligan r/u T Anderson August E Flannigan r/u A Gemmell September C Milligan r/u B Green October B Green r/u T Anderson Winter League S Thorburn r/u J Barrie Bogey competition R Dobbie r/u J Barrie Spring Outing S Thorburn r/u W Westcott Nearest pin E Flannigan (am), B Green (pm) Longest drive E Flannigan Stableford S Thorburn r/u A Gemmell Summer Outing Jackie McIlveney Memorial Trophy G McCulloch r/u B Green Wooden spoon S Watson Nearest pin E Flannigan, W Murchie, C Milligan, T Anderson Longest drive D McCulloch, G McCulloch

On Saturday 6th December, members of the Tackety Bit Hillwalking Club left Linn of Dee near Braemar and cycled to White Bridge on the River Dee where they continued on foot up over Carn Cloich-mhuilinn which at 942 metres used to be a Munro until the last survey. From there they they dropped down to Coire an t-Sneachda and up on to Beinn Bhrotain which stands at 1157 metres and this was done in short sleeve shirts which for this time of year in the Cairngorms is unbelievable. Not long after this though things started to cool down as the day was drawing in and there was still Monadh Mor at 1113 metres to cross and get off the other side before darkness fell. On this hill though they experienced something that they had never seen before, cloud was forming in the east and the sun was shining in the west; they were in-between and they got perfect pictures of a spectre which is a type of rainbow in the cloud where your image appears in the middle of it. They finished the day by walking back to the bikes in darkness but the weather and the views had been spectacular. Some members took to the water for a change at the weekend, when they went to Kenmore to do some white water rafting. Being a wee bit apprehensive before the start it turned into a super day with the other rafters great company, and no they did not see any icebergs! The previous week the club went to Crainlarich and climbed Cruach Ardrain going up the track beside the River Falloch onto the Grey Height and over Meall Dhamhto the summit. The weather started off bright with showers but at about 700metres it turned to snow and there was almost four inches by the time they got to the top. The return route was into the glen and back to the track by the river.

Due to structural damage Maybole Charity Shop has closed from this week and bookings for 2004 have been put on hold until firther notice. Estella McEwan, chairperson, said, "We sincerely hope the shop will re-open in the very near future. In the meantime we will keep everyone informed of what is happening through notices in the shop window.

A MAN alleged to have carried out a string of break-ins in Maybole will spend Christmas behind bars. Hugh Brown (25), of Park Terrace, Maybole, had his desperate plea for bail turned down by a sheriff last week. Now Brown faces the prospect of being served Christmas dinner in Bowhouse Prison in Kilmarnock. The accused is charged with breaking into Birtwistle Opticians in High Street in Maybole on November 26 or 27. The charge alleges Brown stole lens cloths, two boxes full of spectacle cases, 50 pairs of spectacles, 34 and a computer keyboard. On the same night he is alleged to have broken into Lloyds Chemist in the same street and taken two gift sets. A third charge states that Brown broke into Cameron's Garage in the town's High Road by climbing through the roof and attempted to steal items. He is further charged with breaking into McDonald's newsagents in Maybole's Cassillis Road on November 28 with the intent to steal. Brown, who was appearing at Ayr Sheriff Court from custody last Friday, denies all four charges. The procurator fiscal opposed the accused's bail application on grounds of his poor criminal record. Appealing for bail on Brown's behalf, solicitor Tony Curry told the court how a relative of the accused is in hospital in a coma. Mr Curry added: "Due to the current condition of the relative, Mr Brown and his girlfriend are looking after an eight-year-old boy. "The accused's record does speak for itself but he does have a good probation record." However, Sheriff Colin Miller refused bail and Brown was remanded in custody pending his trial in January.

December 5th 2003

THE first step towards a bypass for Maybole could be on the cards when Scotland's transport minister visits Carrick next week. Speculation is mounting that Nicol Stephen will reveal a plan to carry out an economic appraisal of the long awaited bypass when he tours the area on Monday. If the announcement is made it would be the first positive move towards the vision becoming a reality in a generation. Even local representative Cathy Jamieson refused to rule out the possibility of an announcement from Mr Stephen. She told the Post: "I have been pushing for the bypass proposal to be moved to the next stage which is an economical appraisal. I don't know at this point exactly what, if anything, will be announced by Nicol Stephen but I am hopeful." "The Transport Minister will be coming to see firsthand some of the issues which have been raised with me by my constituents. One such issue is improving the safety of the A77 at Carrick Academy where a large number of young people regularly have to cross this busy stretch of road."

But Tory MSP Phil Gallie insists that the signals are looking positive for Maybole. He explained: "Given the positive comments that came from South Ayrshire councillors prior to last May's election, I have great hopes of the outcome of this meeting. "Presuming traffic conditions are as normal for a Monday morning in Maybole, it can only be expected that the transport minister will recognise the urgent need for a Maybole bypass and that he will be able to make a firm commitment to the long awaited new road. "With the massively high level of taxation now being extracted by the Labour government and with the increase this brings to the Scottish block grant, I suspect that the minister will arrive armed with this cheque book." Mr Stephen will also tour the southern section of the A77 with Ms Jamieson. She added: "I also want him to consider how the safety of the southern section of the A77 can be improved to reduce the number of serious accidents which occur on this stretch of road."

LOCAL historians Murray Cook and Davie Hunter were heard on BBC Radio Scotland giving their views on a Maybole legend. The 'Past Lives' programme turned the spotlight on how gypsy king Johnnie Faa stole the heart of a Countess of Cassillis. The pair are reputed to have run off together, but were caught, and Johnnie and his gypsy band were hanged. The Countess was said to have been imprisoned in the castle for the rest of her life. Murray and Davie both cast doubts on whether such an event ever actually occurred, and the legend seems to have sprung from an ancient ballad. But everyone agreed it's a great story.