February 2004
Home ] Up ] Photo Galleries ] Town Guides ] Notables ] Community ] News ] Places ] History ] Search ] Contact Us ]


February 27th 2004

Pic shows Colin Graham, Wiliam Hutchison, Harry Wallace, Andy Jess, Dr John  Gemmill, Michael Galloway and Billy Galloway.

Members of Maybole's Apprentice Boys of Derry presented to cheques for 250  each to Macmillan Cancer Relief and Ayr Hospital Coronary Care Unit last  week.   more

The legend lives on! In 1982 a group of local lads decided to follow Scotland at the World Cup finals in Spain and to get there they bought a 22 year old double decker bus, called it Auld Reekie  more

Maybole town twinners had a special monthly meeting last Friday evening in Maybole Castle. Rather than invite members to a normal business meeting the committee had decided that a more social atmosphere would be better in trying to attract new members. Chairman William Grant told us, "We wanted to use the modern technology available at the Castle to demonstrate how our own web site is progressing and also to show members how to access the web sites of our twin towns in France, Belgium and Germany. more

Maybole has almost reached the magic number to trigger the next stage of getting broadband. Representatives from Scottish Enterprise visited Maybole recently to help get residents registered for broadband and they nearly made it. more

This year the Maybole Council of Churches is trying something different for its popular Lenten Studies Group. Last year the theme ranged around people present during the Passion of Christ and how they related to Christ. more

"A Mothers Day Walk for Liz" is a planned fundraiser in aid of the Ayrshire Hospice. It is a special Mothers Day four mile sponsored walk through the gardens and woodlands of Culzean Country Park organised by the family of the late Liz Davis who died last August. more

Sandy Mitchell recounted the history of beads and beadwork to the ladies of Minishant SWRI last Thursday evening. Beadwork is part of the culture of many peoples from native American Indians to Japanese in the Far East. more

Carrick Chess Club won its postponed match against Troon B by 3 to with individual results more

This Saturday February 28 is the date for Maybole OAP Association's annual dinner and concert. Invitations are for 1.30 for 2pm more

February 20th 2004

Maybole's web site has achieved another incredible month. The number of page hits for January 2004 was 526,220 with almost 2,100 hours being spent online viewing the site from all over the world - that's 87  days. Rich Pettit, webmaster for www.maybole.org, says, more

twinners1997photo.jpg (40056 bytes)

Maybole's town twinners are keen to encourage more people to become interested in twinning and they are contacting all past members to invite them to renew their membership. A new leaflet has been produced to try to promote twinning  more

The next meeting of Maybole Historical Society will be held on Monday March 1 at 7.30pm in the Town Hall. The topic will be "The Glasgow Police Force" - the story of the oldest police force in Britain and the lives and careers of the personalities and characters who policed the city during 200 years of its history. more

Maybole Town Hall seems to be the place to be this Saturday evening when the official reunion of "The Boys from Maybole" takes place. Organisers tell us that the event is a sell out so it should be a great night and we will have full details of what happened for you next week. more

February 13th 2004

Maybole Historical Society made its own bit of history last week when it held its first Burns Supper. Unfortunately Dave Killicoat was ill and unable to address the haggis but club president Murray Cook stepped into the breach to propose that toast as well as the Immortal Memory. Local lawyer and former Scottish record breaking runner Jack Boyd said the Selkirk Grace and proposed the Toast to the Lassies. more

Pupils at Gardenrose Primary School took part in the annual Scottish verse competition last week. Winners were: P2  Travis Mellor  (Pussie at the Fireside) P3  Megan Conn  (My Wish)  P4  Blair Cooper  (We Freenly Dog) P5  Caitlin Hughes  (The Kirk Moose) P6  Connor Kennedy  (Lament to the Lost Dinner Ticket) P7 Claire Houston  (The Duick) more

Next month Maybole Community Council will mark the end of its 27th year of existence having been set up in 1977. It will also be the end of the council 's three year term of office which is the same for all community councils in South Ayrshire. more

A room in Carrick Academy's community wing has been renovated by the school' s xl club and members are sure it will be a huge success. The 4th year pupils will use the room as part of their course which is supported by the Prince's Trust. more

February 6th 2004

A reunion of "The Boys from Maybole" will be held in Maybole Town Hall on Saturday February 21 and organisers are hoping to make it a sell out. A few months ago a committee was set up with Douglas Harper, Paul Campbell, Billy Hamilton, Andy Clark and Harry McDill holding regular meetings to get the plans all set out. Douglas Harper told us at the weekend, "We have adopted Heart Start as our charity and will be using the night to hopefully raise a substantial amount of money for a very good cause. more

NHS Ayrshire and Arran held a public meeting in Maybole last week to find out what local people thought of the plans to centralise all inpatient paediatric services to Crosshouse Hospital. If they didn't know before, then they certainly know now what locals think of the plans  more

Congratulations to William and Margaret Milligan, of Hicks Avenue Maybole, who celebrated their Golden Wedding last Thursday, January 29. Billy 72 and Margaret 71, Campbell as she was, were married in the Old Church by Rev G B Anderson who had come to Maybole in 1943. more

Carrick Chess Club was victorious in both of its January matches. The away match was played in Greenwood against the Bishops with a 3-1 result. Individual scores more

Maybole Business Association is holding a special meeting next Tuesday, February 10, in the Welltrees Inn at 7.30pm. The meeting is to discuss the future of the Association. more

The complete text of the headlines above follows.

February 27th 2004

Members of Maybole's Apprentice Boys of Derry presented to cheques for 250  each to Macmillan Cancer Relief and Ayr Hospital Coronary Care Unit last  week.  Colin Graham, Ayrshire Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Relief  thanked them for their cheque saying that the money would be used in  Ayrshire to help cancer patients and their families face the fear of being  diagnosed with cancer.  Dr John Gemmill, of Ayr Hospital said he was delighted they had donated  their cheque to the Unit and it would be used to buy much needed equipment. The boys raised the money at a charity dance and they would like to thank  everyone who donated prizes especially local businesses Rosebank, J D  Cameron, Station Stores, Culzean Stores, Colin Broun, Lloyds, June Dunlop,  McInnes newsagent, Maybole Arms and other individuals who made a  contribution.

Maybole town twinners had a special monthly meeting last Friday evening in Maybole Castle. Rather than invite members to a normal business meeting the committee had decided that a more social atmosphere would be better in trying to attract new members. Chairman William Grant told us, "We wanted to use the modern technology available at the Castle to demonstrate how our own web site is progressing and also to show members how to access the web sites of our twin towns in France, Belgium and Germany. The twinners also watched some photographs of previous twinning get togethers projected on to a large screen from CD-ROMs via a laptop computer. Mr Grant said the evening was a great success and the committee was considering other social evenings for the future.

The legend lives on! In 1982 a group of local lads decided to follow Scotland at the World Cup finals in Spain and to get there they bought a 22 year old double decker bus, called it Auld Reekie and set off as if they were Cliff Richard and The Shadows in "Summer Holiday". Their plan attracted the attention of Scottish and Canadian television companies who recorded their exploits and broadcast them to the world. So was born the legend of "The Boys from Maybole". Twenty-one years after the showing of the programme on STV the boys held a reunion last Saturday night in Maybole Town Hall and raised a massive 1,298 for Heartstart (Ayrshire & Arran). This particular charity was chosen in memory of Willie Docherty, one of the original boys, who died of a heart attack a few years ago. The "Boys from Maybole" were Billy Hamilton; Robert Conn; Tommy Campbell; Eddie Glass; Jim McCulloch; Gordon Walker; Richard Ferrol; Harry McDill; Campbell Conn; Billy Milligan; Tommy McMillan; Colin Harvey; and Willie Docherty - all regulars in the Gluepot Inn, Welltrees Street. And they made the round trip with no spare wheel and the only tools they carried were a hammer, and a hacksaw! Saturday, though, was a night to remember and a night that will probably never be matched for many a year. It was a night that had caught the imagination of the town and attracted a huge crowd. The boys and top table guests were piped in by Andy McClung and Matt Davey welcomed everyone before recounting some of the stories from Spain. Guest speakers were Iain Ferguson, journalist and broadcaster with West Sound, Bob Shields, top columnist with the Daily Record, and Maybole lad Campbell Money, manager of Ayr United and former Scottish reserve goalkeeper. George Templeton, of Heartstart also spoke and thanked the boys for choosing them as their charity. The audience were well entertained by the speakers who had a fund of humorous tales to tell. Douglas Harper, one of the organisers of the reunion and the creator of the web site www.theboysfrommaybole.co.uk, said afterwards, "The night was a complete success and the whole town is talking about it. It was a night that brought the town together." He continued, "We would like to thank everyone who donated gifts to the auction and raffle (GE Caladonian, PLPC, Vodafone, West Clean, John Jamieson, Flower Power, Ayr Racecourse, Strachans (Ayr), Morrisons Wine, Safeway, Birthdays, South Ayrshire Council, Gary & John Malone, Welltrees Inn, Mc Innes's, Ottakers book shop, Cameron's and everyone else as the list is too long to mention); and Interpak for providing the boxes for the lads' special medals that were presented to them on the evening. We would like to say a special thank you to guest speakers Bob Shields of the Daily Record, Iain Ferguson of West Sound and Campbell Money, manager of Ayr United. We would also like to say a big thank you to Tom Hunter and the band "Still Kicking" who provided excellent entertainment. Also Davie Park for providing the early entertainment and Andy McClung for being the memorable piper who was meant to pipe "Flower of Scotland" at the end of the evening but ended up on stage singing it instead. A big thank you to everyone who helped make the night a success and a big thank you for everyone who turned up to make sure the lads had a reunion to remember."

Maybole has almost reached the magic number to trigger the next stage of getting broadband. Representatives from Scottish Enterprise visited Maybole recently to help get residents registered for broadband and they nearly made it. Registration now stands at 484 so only another sixteen more people are needed to reach the trigger level and ensure Maybole receives broadband. Sarah Anderson, local campaign co-ordinator said at the weekend, "Please urge anyone you know who has not already registered to register their interest so we can celebrate broadband coming to Maybole in the very near future!" She also thanked everyone for their continued help and support.

This year the Maybole Council of Churches is trying something different for its popular Lenten Studies Group. Last year the theme ranged around people present during the Passion of Christ and how they related to Christ. Talks were given by different ministers and leaders from the five churches. This  year the theme is taken from Mark's Gospel and focuses on how Christianity  is presented. Called "Discovering Christianity", it challenges participants to review what is involved in being a Christian. Meetings will start at 7.30pm with a cuppa, and the talk will be given via a short video presentation followed by some very relevant questions Christians need to be asking today. The meeting will finish by 9pm.  It is hoped that all the churches will take ownership of the Lenten Study groups and encourage members to meet and discover new ways to work together for the good of our community.

 The venues are 3rd March - Baptist Church
                          10th March Old Parish
                          17th March  Our Lady & St. Cuthbert's
                          24th March  St. Oswald's
                          31st March West Parish

"A Mothers Day Walk for Liz" is a planned fundraiser in aid of the Ayrshire Hospice. It is a special Mothers Day four mile sponsored walk through the gardens and woodlands of Culzean Country Park organised by the family of the late Liz Davis who died last August. The walk starts at 1pm on Sunday March 21 with registration from midday onwards at the Visitors Centre. Anyone interested in taking part can get more information and sponsor forms from Mrs Lovina Galloway (01655 882678), Mrs Caroline Lyon (01292) 476639) or the Ayrshire Hospice Fundraising, 14 Alloway Place, Ayr (01292 288488).

Carrick Chess Club won its postponed match against Troon B by 3 to with individual results John Bryden 1-0 Jordon Gray; Kenny Brooksbank 1-0 George Allan; Stuart Lampard 1-0 Alex Smith; Athol Macgilchrist 1/2 Chris King. Every team in the third division has played every other team once and Carrick is leading with 20.5 pts, Troon B is second with 14 pts. Since then Carrick won the return match against En Passants 3   - with individual results Steell McFadzean 1/2 Jordan Swanston; John Bryden 1-0 Tom Young; Kenny Brooksbank 1-0 Gordon Martin; Stuart Lampard 1-0 Michael Boyd. Ali Roy was victorious once again. She was third equal with 6/8 in Perth.

This Saturday February 28 is the date for Maybole OAP Association's annual dinner and concert. Invitations are for 1.30 for 2pm and the entertainment will be provided by Kirkmichael WRI and Concert Party, Crosshill Women's Guild, and JimStevens and his daughter Mhairi

Sandy Mitchell recounted the history of beads and beadwork to the ladies of Minishant SWRI last Thursday evening. Beadwork is part of the culture of many peoples from native American Indians to Japanese in the Far East. Glass Glass beads are still being made in the Czech Republic by ancient methods passed down through the generations while in other countries more modern techniques are used. The various sizes, colours and styles of bead are brought together in jewellery, pictures, bags and many other items in both traditional and modern designs.

February 20th 2004

Maybole's web site has achieved another incredible month. The number of page hits for January 2004 was 526,220 with almost 2,100 hours being spent online viewing the site from all over the world - that's 87  days. Rich Pettit, webmaster for www.maybole.org, says, "I suspect this could be the result of some new computers purchased for Christmas or maybe January was a good month for staying indoors and more people going on the Internet. In any case half a million hits in one month is pretty good." He continued, "Some of the referring sites are surprising. For example the Bristol football site at www.otib.co.uk generated 504 visitors and www.theinsiders.com a US football site directed 399 visitors to us. A Canadian political site at www.rabble.ca sent us 157 visitors. I believe these are all from message boards on these sites. Has someone found something of sports or political interest in Maybole?"

The next meeting of Maybole Historical Society will be held on Monday March 1 at 7.30pm in the Town Hall. The topic will be "The Glasgow Police Force" - the story of the oldest police force in Britain and the lives and careers of the personalities and characters who policed the city during 200 years of its history. Many of these officers also policed Maybole in later years. The talk will be given by Alastair Dinsmor, who is the curator of the Glasgow Police Museum. Everyone is welcome to attend. Dave Killicoat of Maybole Historical Society had some research he wanted to do on his family history recently and decided to try out a new resource he had heard about. As we know many of our readers are also interested in their family history we thought we would share Dave's experience with you.

THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES IN LONDON - JUST A DAY TRIP AWAY! Having heard wonderful things about the Nation Archives at Kew in London and having some research to be done on the military records of my grandfather and some others in the family, I wondered if it was feasible (and economical!) to make a day trip from Ayrshire and do the necessary searches myself?

With Prestwick Airport and Ryanair right on the doorstep the first stage was easy.  Looking out for the best deal I managed to get a return flight to Stansted (including charges) for under 15.00. Leaving Prestwick at seven in the morning and arriving back at nine in the evening would give me a full seven hours in the city allowing for travel in from the airport and check in times on the return.   The journey into London on the Stansted Express takes 45 minutes and is certainly the most expensive part of the journey at 24.00 return!  With a Daily Rover ticket for the underground at 4.70, I was able to reach Kew by 10.30 a.m.  Total cost 44.00.  The National Archives is only a short, well signposted walk from the station and the first thing that impressed me was the modern, light, airy building in lovely grounds with their own eco-friendly pest control system - a man with a hawk on his arm!  Fortunately I already knew that, as this was my first time, identification was required to allow me to obtain a reader's ticket - a credit card type ticket with a bar code on it that is your entry ticket to everything. This only took a few minutes and even after having a wander round the shop and exhibition I was in the search room just after 11 o'clock. Here things could not be simpler.  A series of 'idiot cards' is available covering all aspects of any search and by finding the right one and following the stages shown, you are very soon in possession of the reference for the material you want to see.  If you do get stuck the very pleasant and friendly staff cannot do enough to help.

Very quickly I was in the reading room, had my space at a table allocated and ordered the documents I wanted to look at.  Here there is a delay (about half an hour or so) while the documents are brought from the archives to the reading room but this is an ideal opportunity to grab a light refreshment in the excellent cafeteria. Even from there you can check if your documents are ready for you.  Using  your reader's card to swipe one of the many terminals on the walls shows you the exact status of your request. By one o'clock I was sitting looking at my grandfather's original army record - amazing! He was the fifth member of his family to serve in Gallipoli in WWI, the rest having reached there from Australia.  I wonder if he met any of his brothers when he was there, or even if he knew they were in the same place?

Was it worth it?  For me, definitely, and if you consider that a cheap researcher would cost at least 11 per hour it was actually economical as well as I had over four hours actually in the National Archives.  Would I do it again?  I am just trying to plan time off when the next cheap flights are available - although I am considering staying overnight next time!

 Maybole's town twinners are keen to encourage more people to become interested in twinning and they are contacting all past members to invite them to renew their membership. A new leaflet has been produced to try to promote twinning and copies have been given to local community associations and they are also available from the Town Hall and the library. Twinning chairman William Grant says, "Since the twinning association began more than twenty years ago, the monthly meetings have all been business meetings. Our committee feels that the time has come to change the format and we are looking at various possibilities which include guest speakers, fun nights, quizzes etc." A cheese and wine evening plus a film show of twinning photos has been arranged for this coming Friday February 20 in Maybole Castle at 7.30pm.

Maybole Town Hall seems to be the place to be this Saturday evening when the official reunion of "The Boys from Maybole" takes place. Organisers tell us that the event is a sell out so it should be a great night and we will have full details of what happened for you next week.

February 13th 2004

Next month Maybole Community Council will mark the end of its 27th year of existence having been set up in 1977. It will also be the end of the council 's three year term of office which is the same for all community councils in South Ayrshire. All seats will be vacant and notices calling for nominations for election to all community councils have already appeared in local papers with a closing date of Friday February 27 at 4pm. Maybole needs 15 community councillors with six required from the part of the town west of the railway line and nine from the east. Nomination forms are available from the library and the Town Hall.

Maybole Historical Society made its own bit of history last week when it held its first Burns Supper. Unfortunately Dave Killicoat was ill and unable to address the haggis but club president Murray Cook stepped into the breach to propose that toast as well as the Immortal Memory. Local lawyer and former Scottish record breaking runner Jack Boyd said the Selkirk Grace and proposed the Toast to the Lassies.The reply to that toast was by club chairman Helen McAdam whose grandfather was also a Scottish champion runner and in fact created a new native record for the 1,000 yards which stood until Jack Boyd broke it in 1957! Jack wonders if he still holds that record as athletes no longer run that distance. Excellent entertainment was provided by Alison Dixon, Lesley Rodger, Margaret Hutchison, Jessie Thomson and Alex Davidson. Fergus Cook was piper for the evening and also recited Tam o' Shanter. David Kiltie was chairman and Arnold Lake proposed the vote of thanks. The Society would like to thank everyone who helped make the evening such a success.

Pupils at Gardenrose Primary School took part in the annual Scottish verse competition last week. Winners were: P2  Travis Mellor  (Pussie at the Fireside) P3  Megan Conn  (My Wish)  P4  Blair Cooper  (We Freenly Dog) P5  Caitlin Hughes  (The Kirk Moose) P6  Connor Kennedy  (Lament to the Lost Dinner Ticket) P7 Claire Houston  (The Duick)

A room in Carrick Academy's community wing has been renovated by the school' s xl club and members are sure it will be a huge success. The 4th year pupils will use the room as part of their course which is supported by the Prince's Trust. The room will be also be used as a DJ/arts and crafts room for the youth club and it is possible that the playgroup could use it for quiet reading. As well as some the members who put in so much work in renovating the room, attending the opening were deputy heads Isabel Johnstone and Jim McComiskey; Fiona Baird and Alan Ferguson; xl club leaders Christine McLeod and Yvonne Kiltie; Chrissie Quinn, from Educational Attainment and Pat Whelan, principal officer of Community Education.All of them were very impressed with the hard work the club had put in and thought the results were fantastic Pat Whelan offered the group 200 to finish off the project, perhaps with a carpet or furniture. The xl club members and leaders would like to thank everyone who helped them and Pat Whelan for the contribution. A huge thank you as well goes to Homebase who gave the club 50 to get the project started.

February 6th 2004

A reunion of "The Boys from Maybole" will be held in Maybole Town Hall on Saturday February 21 and organisers are hoping to make it a sell out. A few months ago a committee was set up with Douglas Harper, Paul Campbell, Billy Hamilton, Andy Clark and Harry McDill holding regular meetings to get the plans all set out. Douglas Harper told us at the weekend, "We have adopted Heart Start as our charity and will be using the night to hopefully raise a substantial amount of money for a very good cause. All donated money stays within the Ayrshire area." He added, "Maybole has lost a lot of popular figures over the years due to heart related problems, so it was unanimous that this be the charity." "We have received a signed players shirt from Scotland," he went on, "and signed shirts from Everton and Blackburn Rovers.We are still waiting for Celtic and Ayr Utd, and we have received a signed ball from Chelsea, and awaiting the same from Ayr, Celtic and possibly Rangers if we can find someone to cough up the #50 that Rangers want for the ball." Douglas said that they had also received a lot of good raffle prizes such as wine from Morrison's of Maybole, a mobile phone from Vodafone and various other prizes. "We have been in touch with Bob Shields from the Daily Record," he added, "and he is helping us sort out a guest speaker for the evening and we are also trying to get some locals bands to play. "So hopefully it will be a very successful evening but we need to get the word spread, and hopefully to local businesses who may be able to make a donation of a gift for the raffle.

"We are also looking to hold a Heart Start clinic on the day of the 21st. This will enable people to attend a course on what to do if they encounter someone who is having a heart attack. We will need to enquire if we could get access to the Town Hall on the day, as we will be wanting to be setting up for the evening anyway, and hopefully get it for free, seen as how we are paying for the evening. A few people have said that the clinic would be a good idea and even people as far away as Prestwick said that they would attend. We would like to get a good turn out if Heart Start were to attend and conduct the Clinic." He said they were also going to start up The Boys from Maybole Tartan Army branch again. "This will involve a social club that is officially affiliated to the SFA," said Douglas. "We will have our own website and will liaise with other Tartan Army branches organising social events and days out, as well as doing our bit for charity too. This will help keep the support for our national team going in Maybole. We will be attending Scotland games on a regular basis and the odd away one too. "This will give Maybole something that it has been missing over the past years and will get younger people involved too." Douglas Harper can be contacted on Mobile: +44 (0)77884 111317 or by Email: douglas.harper@vf.vodafone.co.uk

Carrick Chess Club was victorious in both of its January matches. The away match was played in Greenwood against the Bishops with a 3-1 result. Individual scores Steell McFadzean 1-0 Gordon Wallace; John Bryden 1-0 Scott McPherson; Stuart Lampard 0-1 Scott Greenwood; Kenny Brooksbank 1-0 default. Kenny was able to play a friendly against Stephen Taylor which ended in a draw. The home match against Troon B went even better with a 4-0 win! Games were Steell McFadzean - Jordon Gray; Kenny Brooksbank - George Allan; Stuart Lampard - Alex Smith; Athol Macgilchrist - Chris King. Carrick was in second place with 11 points, the same as Greenwood En Passants before these two matches were played. Troon B was first with 13.5 points, the Knights had 7 and the Bishops trailed with 1.5 points. The monthly senior blitz was won by Siegrun Macgilchrist, runner up was Kenny Brooksbank The junior blitz was won by Alastair Muirhead, second Olivia Steven. Ali Roy was 2nd equal in the recent Hamilton junior "under P6" competition. Alice Lampard got 50%.

Congratulations to William and Margaret Milligan, of Hicks Avenue Maybole, who celebrated their Golden Wedding last Thursday, January 29. Billy 72 and Margaret 71, Campbell as she was, were married in the Old Church by Rev G B Anderson who had come to Maybole in 1943. On leaving school in 1945 Billy started his trade as a slater and roughcaster with Myles J Callaghan. It was a trade he remained in all his working life finally retiring from J R Smith of Ayr in 1996. Margaret worked in Lees' boot and shoe factory then had part-time jobs when their children were young. She later worked for local firms Saracen and Interpak before she retired. They met six months before Billy was called up in 1951 to do his National Service which took him to Korea with the King's Own Scottish Borderers. They wrote to each other during his time abroad and got engaged in 1953. 1954 was also the year Billy joined Lodge St John No 11 and in 1967 he became Honorary Master of the Lodge. From 1957 until 1969 he was a part-time fireman. He then became involved in church work and with the West Church he has been an elder, Fabric Convener as well as singing in the choir - or tries to as Margaret says. Billy and Margaret have three of a family - young Billy (better known to most as Doug), Campbell and Elaine. They also have five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Billy still keeps busy with the local branch of the Royal British Legion where he is the vice-chairman and is often to be seen carrying the Queen's Colours at official parades.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran held a public meeting in Maybole last week to find out what local people thought of the plans to centralise all inpatient paediatric services to Crosshouse Hospital. If they didn't know before, then they certainly know now what locals think of the plans but whether it will change things is another matter. Presenting the case for the plans, which would see children's services at Ayr Hospital close, were Prof Gordon Wilson, Dr John McClure and Angela Cunningham. Councillor Andy Hill was first to attack the proposals saying a main issue with moving the services was poverty as many people in South Ayrshire would not be able to afford to travel to Crosshouse. A study has been commissioned to investigate transport to and from health services in Ayrshire and Arran but this was due to close at the end of January. No one attending the meeting had known about this and Prof Wilson agreed to extend the date for replies. Anyone who would like to pass on their experiences in getting from their homes to hospital is asked to contact Susanne Underwood on 0141 334 9595 or by email at underwood_@glasgow.landuse.co.uk   as soon as possible.

There was definitely a touch of cynicism shown by the members of the public who attended the meeting. This ranged from the lack of notice of the study, the venue (it was held at Carrick Academy with no signs to say where in the school it was), no meeting held locally when the first consultation was being held but only now when a single proposal was being recommended, to a strong feeling that NHS Board minds were already made up. Prof Wilson assured everyone that this was not the case and in fact the consultation was to listen to people and hear their views but he was having a hard time convincing anyone. There was also concern about Accident and Emergency services at Ayr being under threat and Dr McClure said there were no plans to close them but again there was a certain amount of scepticism among the public. Andy Hill said that people were obviously not convinced by what they were being told and added, "All hell will break loose if A & E is closed at Ayr." Professor Wilson replied, "Message received." Also attending the meeting were several members of Maybole Community Council and it was pointed out that they were against the proposals as were representatives from Dalrymple and Crosshill.

There was concern at the lack of numbers attending the meeting but it was claimed that people did not realise that the plans meant closing children's facilities at Ayr; and that the whole consultation had a "spin" on it to cloud the issues. This was denied by the NHS representatives. In closing, Prof Wilson again said that a decision had not been made adding, "We have heard a strong collective statement and we will take account of it." Those attending, however, would not have been heading for a bookie's to place bets on Ayr children's services remaining open after the Board meets to make a final decision in March.

Maybole Business Association is holding a special meeting next Tuesday, February 10, in the Welltrees Inn at 7.30pm. The meeting is to discuss the future of the Association or to decide if it should be formally wound up.