A very special guest
visited the three primary schools in Maybole recently. None other
than Rabbie Burns himself was spotted in the High Street on his way
to the schools. The cries of “How’s it gaun, Rabbie?” and “Mind yur
step!” could be heard as the Bard chanced his luck crossing the busy
High Street, at one point stopping traffic to have his photo taken
at the cross in the road marking the old mercat cross where his
mother and father first met at the market Fair in Maybole in 1756.
The school children at Cairn, Gardenrose, and St.
Cuthbert’s were more taken with his person than his poetry it would
have to be said. “Are you the real Rabbie Burns?”, “Is your skeleton
still in your box?” and “ How did you get here?” were just a few of
the incredulous questions thrown at the poet who had to juggle with
his 250 year old memories to respond. Rabbie also visited the grave
of his old pal Baillie William Niven in the cemetery at the foot of
the Kirkwynd before taking leave of Maybole. The good news is that
the Bard is scheduled to make another two visits to walk about
Maybole – at the Market Fair and the Gala Parade.
The Market Fair takes place on Saturday 9th
June from 12 noon until 4pm, in the Town hall and Castle areas of
Maybole and will start off with a short parade to re-enact the
meeting of Burns’ parents, William Burnes and Agnes Broun.
The Burns Festival Committee, which represents the
partnership between the Community Councl, the Community Association,
Maybole Historical Society and May-Tag, is using funding from
Scottish Heritage to bring several events to Maybole. Peter Mason,
chair of the Festival Committee, said that he hoped people will
recognise and enjoy their rich heritage by participating in this and
other events throughout the year.
Fair is the start of Gala week and there will be stalls where
home-made wares will be on sale, skilled crafts on show such as lace
making, weaving, basket making, quilting, calligraphy and wood
turning. Local children will dance round a maypole, sing and recite
Burns and there will be Scottish country dancing displays as well as
folksingers and storytellers around. There will also be plenty for
the children to do - chances to learn traditional games with cleek
and girds, peeries, peevers, kite making or to take part in an 18th
century school or watch the walkabout magician or have their faces
painted. Local businesses, schools and groups will be taking part in
the fun, dressing in period costumes and
fitting into 18th century living patterns
wherever possible. Maybole Historical Society members are ensuring
some other Burns characters come to life in period dress and are
also putting on a display of heritage in the castle.
After the Fair, Gala week continues with a Sunday
ecumenical service at Crossraguel Abbey where hymns will be sung to
burns tunes, and during the week there will be a Burns quiz and a
pet show culminating with the Gala Parade, which focuses on Burns
this year. The Gala King and Queen of Carrick and attendants will be
dressed in 18th century fashion and William and Agnes
will again be part of the parade, as will be their more famous first
born son, a little muddled about time lines again.
Local groups wishing to get some support for dressing
up and other materials can apply to May-Tag at 48/50 High Street and
speak to Mrs Ellen Hawkes or Mr Peter Walker, or contact Mrs Susan
Whiteman, chair of the Community Association.
details on the celebration events for 2007.
Recently re-elected Cathy Jamieson MSP, officially launched ACCESS
last Friday May 18. Project Manager Christine Kennedy said she was
delighted that Cathy could be there along with other guests. ACCESS
has opened at 48/50 High Street, Maybole, in the former Resource
Centre premises; the Resource Centre closed in April.
The aim of the project
is to help individuals from 16 to 60 years of age who are looking
for work. Christine added, “Mainstream society evidence shows that
employment not only provides financial independence but also
meaningful structure for peoples lives. The link between general
well being and employment is significantly positive. “Access has
identified that employment provides social networks and therefore
leads to improved self-esteem and confidence. The challenges most
people face today in the job market are the fast pace of change, the
need for constant upskilling and training and the need to
continuously demonstrate competence and employability.
Cathy Jamieson MSP said: "May-Tag's Access project is
very important as it will give people individual support, suited to
their own needs, to help them get back into work. Whether it is
helping people to achieve qualifications or improving other skills,
Access will help to provide the specific support they need. Giving
those looking for work the training they need and by working with
employers, the Access Project will make a real difference. I was
delighted to have been invited to the launch of the project and I
wish all the staff and clients every success in the future."
Councillors Brian Connolly, Ann Galbraith and Mairi
Low attended along with representatives of local organisations.
South Ayrshire Council Community Planning Partnership funds the main
part of the project and European funding is available until December
for the Employment Liaison Officers post.
“Access has also
identified that although qualifications can help, experience is
often valued more by employers. At Access wewill work with employers
and would like to know what skills local employers are looking for,
which will allow us to address the needs and gaps. “Access is here
to work with the community to try to combat unemployment and the
related issues of exclusion and poverty.” For more information on
volunteering options, job skills, placements etc everyone is invited
to visit Christine or Andy Crawford, Employment Liaison Officer, and
meet the newest recruit to the team, the Administration/Support
Officer. If you are unable to visit you can call them on 01655
Maybole – Crosne 25th Anniversary. A party from
Maybole Town Twinning travelled to Crosne to celebrate the 25th
anniversary of the signing of twinning and the Carnival over the
last weekend in May.
They were also joined by twinners
from Schotten, Germany; Beloeil, Belgium; Arco, Italy; Bogen,
Germany and Rymarov, Czech Republic. Celebrations began on the
Friday evening with the official ceremony of the 25th
anniversary of twinning. The festivities began with a parade from
Rue de Maybole to Espace Rene Fallet where the official part of the
evening was held. Speeches on the history and future of the twinning
link were made by Alain Gerard, Mayor of Crosne, Daniel Robin ,
President of Town Twinning Crosne, and William Grant – President of
Town Twinning Maybole.
Speeches of congratulations were
made by the other assembled town twinners, before small gifts were
exchanged. The young people of Bellevue College, who had visited
Carrick Academy, Maybole in March this year, then gave an excellent
rendition of songs of Robert Burns. This part of the evening then
finished with the singing of the European anthem “Ode to Joy”. An
excellent buffet and cutting of a cake was enjoyed by all. Saturday
morning saw every body up early for a visit to Paris for a guided
tour of the Museum Carnavalet, famous for its paintings of Paris
throughout the ages. The afternoon was free time and then it was
time to return to Crosne where the evening was spent with hosts
before the torchlight procession through the town that started at
On Sunday morning there was a
guided visit to the Park Caillebotte in the nearby town of Yerres,
and, on return to Crosne, lunch alfresco was enjoyed in the garden
of the Deputy Mayor Marylene Laug. The Carnival took place in the
afternoon with masses of people taking part; the theme for this year
was “The Cinema”. In the evening the group was treated to a giant
BBQ before attending an open air concert which climaxed in a
magnificent fireworks display at midnight. The return leg of the
celebrations will take place in Maybole over the weekend 28 – 30
September 2007. If you would like to be involved and could host up
to 2 people please contact William Grant on 01655883312.
The speech of William J Grant,
Chairman of Maybole Town Twinning.
It is amazing to think that we are
celebrating 25 years since we first signed our twinning agreement
with Crosne away back in 1982.
What is town twinning?
Twinning towns is a wonderful way
of bonding communities in long-term friendships. It also helps to
foster understanding and tolerance by giving people from twin towns
the chance to learn about another culture, language, history and way
of life. This is especially important for young people who may not
have had a chance to leave their home town. For them, the twinning
relationship offers an opportunity to broaden horizons as well as
nurture important qualities such as openness and acceptance.
It is indeed excellent that in the
last 2 years we have managed to arrange school exchanges between
Crosne and Maybole and we hope these will continue, building on the
friendship that has been created between the schools.
Twinning can fulfill several of the
most human needs, companionship, activity, adventure, curiosity. It
is a means of understanding other peoples, their culture, lifestyle,
food, language. You make new friends, sometimes for life, and are
accepted into families.
Twinning began in the late 1940s
as a means of reconciling European nations that had been torn apart
by war. Historians often cite the twinning of Orléans (France) and
Dundee (Scotland) in 1946 as the first modern twinning arrangement.
As the benefits of the movement became apparent, twinning became a
As it was set out to do, town
twinning in forging partnerships, and continues to make an important
contribution to this dynamic process of bringing European people
together. It has helped to change Europe forever, gone are the days
of dictatorships, East and west, today in this the 21st
century , we live in a Europe where the concept “Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity” flourishes, we live in ‘a peoples Europe’.
The very best way of building trust,
understanding and friendship between people in Europe is by meeting
together, sharing experiences and learning from each other.
Maybole Town Twinning
Association is proud of its history in twinning, we are proud that
our twinning has always been and hopefully will continue to be a
peoples twinning, built on the friendship of individuals but most
importantly the family.
Through this twinning of the
people we the citizens of Maybole and Crosne, and of course our
fellow twinners from Beloeil, Schotten , Arco, Bogen, Ozimek and
Rymarov have in our own way helped to break down the barriers of
language, race and creed, but in doing this we have not forgotten
our own individuality. We are part of a Europe in which we can
exchange opinions and enjoy joint activities between our twinning
The arranging of twinning events
through all these years of course takes a lot of hard work and we
thank all those who have giving of their time freely, working for
the twinning between Maybole and Crosne, making all the events over
the years so successful. At this tine we remember our fellow
twinners who sadly are no longer with us.
Today is an important day for us
all, and indeed it is excellent that in tonight’s programme we have
young people from the college singing songs of Robert Burns. Robert
Burns of course is Scotland’s national poet and his words can relate
to the concept “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” as in the poem “A
Man’s a Man for A’ That” which ends in the words
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that
Let us look forward to the next 25
Long live Crosne - Long live Maybole
Maybole man, Alex Kelly, was the guest of Sandra Osborne MP at a
recent reception in 10 Downing Street. The reception was hosted by
Prime Minister Tony Blair and was for those who have made a
substantial contribution to community life. Sandra Osborne told us,
“ Alex serves on Maybole Community Council; he has been chair of
Carrick Crime Prevention Panel for 25 years; he chairs the Sports
Association and is on the Patient Participation Group for Maybole
Health Centre. Alex is also active in the local church and does
voluntary work in primary and secondary schools in the Carrick
Alex commented, “I was amazed and
humbled to receive an invitation to a reception at 10 Downing St
from the Prime Minister Tony Blair, through my MP Sandra Osborne. On
Sunday 15th April I set off on my journey to London via Prestwick
airport. On arriving in London, I was met by my niece, whom I was
going to stay with. After a cup of tea it was into London for a
quick tour and to get my bearings for the following day.
On Monday 16th I was meeting
Sandra at Portcullis House where MPs have their offices, then we
went to the Houses of Parliament. Firstly we had a cup of tea on the
members’ terrace before being taken in to the seat of Government. It
was amazing to actually be sitting in the gallery listening to MPs
debating! Next it was into the House of Lords, the chamber is
awesome. Then it was time to go to Downing Street. I must admit I
was quite nervous going to meet the Prime Minister. I was very
impressed with the interior of Downing Street, it is actually a lot
bigger than you imagine it to be.
We were introduced to Mr Blair and
I presented the Prime Minister with a pictorial history of Maybole
on behalf of Maybole Community Council, and, a mouse mat and pencil
case produced by Carrick Crime Prevention Panel. I was very
surprised at how at ease I felt talking to Mr Blair after all the
apprehensive nerves! I can only once again thank my MP Sandra
Osborne for nominating me to attend the reception.”
Maybole One Stop Shop, a new
resource for Maybole and District, launched on Tuesday May 22 after
several months of hard work and planning.
The project, based in 6-8 School Vennel, Maybole,
offers a growing list of services including benefit checks and
income maximization advice, advocacy, citizens advice, health
information, support for senior citizens, low energy lightbulbs and
access to a range of outreach services.
Facilities available include internet access, private
rooms available for hire, meeting space, photocopying and a “free
phone” service to allow clients to contact support agencies.
The Maybole One Stop Shop will be open six days a
week: all day Monday to Friday and on Saturday morning. Gillian
Anderson, project manager, together with Cathie Barr and Agnes
McGill are the enthusiastic and experienced staff who will look to
provide a ‘one-stop’ answer for people looking for support or
information. If the One Stop Shop staff can’t provide a solution
themselves then they will pass you directly to someone who can. From
the beginning, the project will be a growing hub of knowledge and
practical help that gives access to many services that are sometimes
complicated to access alone. The service is open to everyone.
Gillian said “Cathie, Agnes and I are looking forward
to getting our teeth into this new project and building a service
which will be recognised throughout Ayrshire, and known as an
example of good practice and high standards. There is a vast amount
of knowledge and expertise available to us, and we intend to make
use of it to deliver a valuable service to people in the North
MOSS brings together the work of three groups which
are already known locally. Ellen Hawkes, Jean Clarke and Fr Stephen
McGrattan, representing Maytag; Patrice Graham, John Barr and Diane
Shearer, representing Over the Rainbow; and Robert Malone, Stella
McEwan and Nessie Connolly, representing Maybole and District Senior
Citizens’ Forum; make up the steering committee which guides the
project. Each group is delighted to have refurbished and comfortable
premises to deliver the services they offer. They are looking
forward to sharing resources and working together to provide a
better level of service in their own area of expertise. The project
is funded by the Fair Share Trust, Scottish Community Foundation.
Councillor Brian Connolly officially launched the One
Stop Shop and Fr Stephen McGrattan, Chairperson of the MOSS Steering
Committee, said, “I am confident that this new and well resourced
One Stop Shop will be very useful for local people to access a wide
range of services that can help them and help their community. I
look forward to seeing the difference a stop at Maybole’s One Stop
Shop makes to the town and district.”
One Stop Shop
Sunday May 27 was a big day
for eight young parishioners of Our Lady & St Cuthbert's Church in
Maybole. Jodie Brownlee, Brittany Campbell, Ciera Campbell, Faye
Green, Emily Kiltie, Dominik Matyka, Ronan McDowall, and Zak Roy all
received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. Bishop
John Cunnimgham presided at the Mass, assisted by parish priest Fr
Stephen McGrattan. Teachers are Mr Jamie Moan and Mrs Liz Miller.
volunteers win Breast Cancer Campaign’s ‘Volunteer of
the Year’! ( Heather and Duncan are shown above with Nicola Inge, Community Coordinator for Breast Cancer Campaign
at a reception in the House of Lords on 8th June 2005. )
Maybole residents, Heather and Duncan
Muir, have won Breast Cancer Campaign’s very first
‘Volunteer of the Year’ award. The Charity’s inaugural
awards evening was held last night at the House of Lords
and was hosted by Baroness Fookes.
The couple impressed the nomination
committee with their tireless efforts to support
Campaign through activities such as attending cheque
collections, arranging coffee mornings and encouraging
other members of the community to support the Charity.
The couple have raised over £13,000, but by setting up
the Maybole and District Fundraising Group they have
also managed to get companies and individuals involved
in various sporting activities raising even more money
for vital research into breast cancer.
Heather Muir said “Duncan and I are
thrilled that our contribution to breast cancer research
has been recognised in such a public way. The cause is
something we both whole-heartedly support and we are
always looking at ways to encourage other people to get
involved. Baroness Fookes of Plymouth DBE DL presented
the award, which was rather nice. It was quite an
evening, if somewhat emotional, meeting young people who
have the disease and are fighting so hard to overcome
it. One lovely lass was only 27 when she was diagnosed -
now 29, she has secondary cancer in her spine. Despite
that, she is off to walk the Great Wall of China !! And
they give us an award?"
Pamela Goldberg, Chief Executive, Breast
Cancer Campaign, said “Our awards event recognises the
achievements and efforts of all our supporters, both
volunteers and those people who go to great effort to
raise money for us. They are the lifeblood of our
organisation. The winners have made an exceptional
contribution to help us in our mission to continue
researching the cure for breast cancer.”
Breast Cancer Campaign is the only
charity that specialises in funding independent research
into breast cancer throughout the UK. The charity’s aim
is to find the cure for breast cancer by funding
research which looks at improving diagnosis and
treatment of breast cancer, better understanding how it
develops and ultimately either curing the disease or
preventing it. Currently, it supports 83 research
projects, worth over £10.2 million in 50 centres of
excellence across the UK.
photo and story
The exhibition was
officially opened by (left) Helen Smailes, Senior Curator of British
Art, and (right) Anne Buddle, Head of Exhibitions and Collections
Management, both of the National Galleries of Scotland. Pictured
with Sir Patrick Hunter Blair Flowere with Lady Marguarite Hunter
Blair The exhibition is entitled: THE ELUSIVE ELIZA HUNTER BLAIR A
new exhibition was officially opened last Tuesday May 8, 2007, at
Blairquhan Castle which doubled for Balmoral in the hit film "The
Queen". The exhibition features the drawings of Eliza Hunter Blair,
an ancestor of the Hunter Blair family that lives at Blairquhan
today. The exquisite pencil sketches were drawn by Eliza when she
travelled in India and Europe in the 1820s and 1830s, and have never
before been made available for public viewing.
Sir Patrick Hunter Blair, who is the great, great,
great, great nephew of Eliza and 9th Baronet, commented, "We owe a
huge debt of gratitude to John Jackson our Head Archivist who has
curated this exhibition for the family. We are delighted that these
pictures are now hung in our gallery so that they can be viewed and
enjoyed by many more people." The total of 34 works which were on
show represent less than a third of a collection held in the family
archive amounting to over 120 pictures drawn or painted by Eliza.
The family hopes to put on show at a later date more
examples of the drawings she made during her extensive travels in
Europe and India. Sir Walter Scott wrote in his diary on February 24
1829; "I went to breakfast with Mr Drummond Hay, where again we met
Colonel and Mrs Hunter Blair. We looked over some beautiful drawings
Mrs Blair had made in different parts of India - Mrs Blair is full
of enthusiasm. She told me that when she worked with her pencil she
was glad to have someone to read to her as a sort of sedative
otherwise her excitement made her tremble, and burst out a-crying. I
can understand this well." Eliza was born Anne Elizabeth Norris and
married Thomas Hunter Blair in Bombay in July 1820. General Tom died
in 1858 with Eliza surviving him by nine years.
They lie side by side in Greyfriars Churchyard in
Edinburgh. The exhibition was officially opened by Helen Smailes,
Senior Curator of British Art, and Anne Buddle, Head of Exhibitions
and Collections Management, both of the National Galleries of
Scotland. Regarded as one of the finest Regency castles in Scotland,
Blairquhan Castle was built for Sir David Hunter Blair, 3rd Baronet
in 1821 - 1824 on the site of a previous castle dating back to 1346.
It was designed by the famous Scottish architect William Burn. The
castle and grounds are open to the public on Sundays and Bank
Holidays from Easter to September, 1.00 to 5.00pm. Admission to
Castle - Adult £6.00, Child £3.00, Concession £5.00. Visitors are
welcome at other times by prior arrangement.
Carrick Amateur Football Club held their second Player of the Year
Presentation recently. Club President Richard Stevenson welcomed
everyone to the event and promptly introduced club manager, George
Logan. “Tonight is all about the players” George said, “I will keep
my speech like my team talks, short, and to the point.”
George went on to mention the club
had still an outside chance of promotion this season, but this was
dependent on other clubs dropping points over their respective
remaining fixtures. Carrick has the best record in the league,
unfortunately through an oversight; the club were deducted six
points and with that the opportunity of clinching the Ayrshire 2nd
division title. The clubs record in the league this season:
Goals for 61
Goals against 27
George went on to mention the
club’s excellent season, losing only one competitive fixture since
the middle of November ’06. He thanked the players for the
dedication and hard work throughout the season and particularly
since November to accomplish such a run. “Utilising the current
squad and adding a few new faces,” George added, “George McCulloch
and I feel we have the players and support to get promotion next
season and have premiere football back in Maybole the next.”
He thanked the committee for their
hard work, without their commitment amateur clubs could not survive
he added. “Now comes the moment all the players were waiting for”
George said, and he called upon his wife Effie and Assistant Manager
George McCulloch’s wife Marion to present the awards. Manager’s
Player of the Year, none other than Club Captain David Brown.
Clubman of the Year and picking up the Thomas Shaw Memorial Trophy,
Brian Milligan. Player of the Year and the prestigious Players’
Player of the Year,were both awarded to Andrew Conkie.
Unfortunately Andrew couldn’t be there to pick up his awards, but an
able substitute was found, and Margaret, Andrew’s mother, accepted
the awards on his behalf.
WEST OF SCOTLAND BLIND GOLF
CLASSIC – TURNBERRY. The Classic visited Turnberry for the fourth
time. Blind and visually impaired golfers from all over Scotland
played the very testing Kintyre course in what could be called
freakish weather conditions. Wind and hail lashed the course for a
time, causing many to cower below battered brollies. The competitors
had to use all their golfing skill to play in these conditions and e
guides also had to call upon every ounce of ability to guide and
select clubs. The winner was local Maybole man Bennett Ward and his
guide Peter Conway. They scored 32 points in the Stableford style
Bennett is a member of the West S.B.G.S. and has
courtesy of the course at Turnberry, Runner up was Jim Eadie (West
S.B.G.S.) with 30 points, 3rd place went to Ken Freeman (Greater
Glasgow S.B.G.S.) with 29 points. Bennett said “having courtesy of
the course presented to me some years ago has helped my game
tremendously.” He added, “My thanks to Turnberry Westin Resort, and
guide Peter, without them I wouldn’t be the golfer I am today. This
win has been a long time coming, the last competition I won was also
here, some five years ago, but the standard of players within the
society has really improved”.
The West S.B.G.S.
wishes to thank the Turnberry Westin Resort for hosting the event,
Irvine Seagate Rotary for their generous support and all who donated
raffle prizes, raising ££150, – especially Finnies Sports, Ayr.
The UK Chess Challenge is the biggest tournament
for children in the UK. It starts as a seven round competition in
schools and clubs everywhere and the winners go forward to the
second stage. Peter Edwards and Liam Menzies qualified in Carrick
Chess Club. Peter went on to compete in the 2nd stage, which was
held in Newton Mearns for the West of Scotland players. He qualified
with 4/6 to join the winners in Manchester for the 3rd stage. In the
meantime in Carrick's own competitions, Ali Roy won the Queen, the
senior blitz trophy for April, and the Rook, the junior blitz trophy
for May! The club meets from 6.30 - 10.00 on Wednesdays in the town
hall in Maybole. The juniors are now playing for the Bishop until
the end of May, then have some fun events in June. The seniors are
finishing the club competition and some blitz events. These are
games where everyone gets 5 minutes on the clock for the whole game.
Last October Maybole’s Shannan Brown won two
British champion titles for disco dancing. Now she has won two 2007
European Champion titles! Shunny, as she is known, won the European
under 14 solo section and the under 14 slow section at Brean Sands.
Not only that, she has been nominated for this year’s Le Classique
de Danse Awards in the under 12 section. For those who don’t know,
this is a bit like the Oscars in the dancing world and only three
dancers can be nominated each year.
Last year, as well as winning the under 12 British title in the Solo
Section and the Pairs title with partner Chloe Parnell from
Kilmarnock, Shannan won the City of Aberdeen Championship and the
British and Irish Freestyle Masters title. Her big sister Kayleigh,
a Scottish freestyle champion at intermediate level, has just been
Anniesland College where she will be studying for a qualification in
dance and learning to be a choreographer.
PS SHANNAN’S MUM JANE MARIE CAN BE CONTACTED ON 01655
882588 OR MOBILE: 07917272520
Do you remember
the “Summer of Love” - the summer of 1967.
Scott McKenzie's number 1 hit "San
Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" summed it up but
there was more to music than just that one song.
The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on June 1, 1967, and went to
number 1 in the UK on 10th June. The same day “A Whiter
Shade of Pale” went to number 1 in singles
To mark the occasion Carrick
Sports Club is holding a nostalgic 60s night on Saturday 9th
June and if any member still has his or her 60s gear they are
invited to get dressed up and go along.
Other number 1s of the year were:
The Monkees I'm A Believer
Petula Clark This Is My Song
Engelbert Humperdinck Release Me
Frank & Nancy Sinatra Something
Sandie Shaw Puppet On A String
The Tremeloes Silence Is Golden
The Beatles All You Need Is Love
Engelbert Humperdinck The Last
The Bee Gees Massachusetts
The Foundations Baby Now That I've
Long John Baldry Let The
The Beatles Hello Goodbye:
Maybole branch of the Royal British Legion
Scotland want to honour two Carrick holders of the Victoria Cross on
Sunday 24th June, 2007.
The two Victoria Cross holders have connections with the town and
The Legion members will hold a
parade from Crosne Street to the Greenside for a drumhead service
and unveiling of a special plaque to commemorate the two soldiers.
Any group which takes part in the Remembrance Day or Armistice Day
services is invited to take part and asked to gather by 1.45pm at
William James Montgomery
was presented with his medal on 26th June 1857 in
Hyde Park, London, when Her Majesty Queen Victoria held the very
first investiture of the award. Legion members feel that it would be
appropriate to mark the 150th anniversary of this with a
special drumhead service at the town’s Greenside. William James
Montgomery Cuninghame was born on 20th May 1834 in the
parish of Maybole, the son of Sir Thomas Montgomery Cunninghhame and
Charlotte Niven D Hutcheson.
Just prior to his 20th birthday he
enlisted on 11th March 1853 as Lieutenant in the 1st
Battalion The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own). On 20th
November 1854, while serving with his regiment during the Crimean
War, he was ordered to attack several Russian rifle pits on rising
ground which were really caves dug into the side of the hill.
The capture of the rifle pits was essential to the
advance of the British troops and during the night and for some
time the following morning the Russians made repeated attempts to
recapture the rifle pits. The British party under the leadership of
Lieutenant (Brevet Captain) Cuninghame and Lieutenant (Brevet Major)
Bourchier held out against superior numbers until they were relieved
by another party from their own regiment.
For their actions during the initial attack and the
subsequent defence of the rifle pits against superior forces,
Lieutenant Bourchier and Cuninghame were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Lieutenant Cuninghame V C eventually attained the rank of Colonel
and in 1874 he retired from the army. He continued to reside with
his family at Glenmoor House which he later renamed Kirkbride House.
He served as MP for
Ayr from 1874 to 1880 and died on
11th November 1897. He was buried in the
family plot in Kirkmichael Churchyard on 17th November
Samuel McGaw was awarded his Victoria Cross for
action at the Battle of Amoaful. On 18th April 1874 he
was presented with his award by Her Majesty Queen Victoria at
Osborne Castle, Isle of Wight. He was born in 1837 in Kirkmichael,
near Maybole, the eldest son of William McGaw and his wife Sarah
Thomson. Aged 20, on 15th August 1857 Samuel enlisted in
the 42nd Royal Highlanders. On 12th September
1861 the name "Black Watch" was added to the Regiment's title.
The King of Ashanti (Ghana) sent his troops in 1873
to attack the friendly tribes of the British Protectorate of the
Gold Coast where very few British troops were stationed. Urgent
reinforcements were required and amongst these were the 42nd
Highlanders. The Black Watch sailed from Portsmouth on 3rd
December 1873, arriving in the Gold Coast ten days before Christmas.
Soon after the New Year they set off for Coomassie (Kumasi),
the capital of Ashanti, 150 miles inland. During their advance the
main action of the campaign was at the Ashanti town of Amoaful where
Lance Sergeant McGaw although severely wounded early in the initial
attack led his section through the dense thorny bush and engaged the
enemy several times during the day. For his conduct throughout the
battle Samuel McGaw was later awarded the Victoria Cross, one of
four awarded during the Ashanti Campaign.
Samuel was again posted overseas to Malta on 14th
November 1874. From
the Regiment moved to Cyprus where they disembarked at Larnaca on 22nd
July 1878, and set off for Camp Chiflik Pasha that same day. Whilst
on the march to the camp Sergeant McGaw died of heat stroke. He was
buried close to where he had died and a wooden marker was set up to
mark the spot.
Some three years later, Commissioner of Kyrenia,
Colonel Scott Stevenson formerly of the Black Watch, learned that
the Greek farmer who owned the land on which Sergeant McGaw was
buried, had removed the wooden grave marker and had ploughed the
land over the grave. Colonel Stevenson traced the site of the grave,
exhumed the remains and placed them in a coffin which was taken to
Kyrenia where, covered with a Union Flag and carried by six Turkish
Zaptiehs, it was reburied in the English Cemetery. After the funeral
Mrs Scott Stevenson decorated the grave with wreaths of passion
flowers and jasmine. The grave was then marked with an ancient
sarcophagus and is alongside the graves of other members of the
Regiment who died in the campaign.
Maybole Community Council AGM
Monday 14th May 2007
Peter Mason has been elected as
the new chairman of Maybole Community Council taking over from David
The election was held at the AGM
which was chaired by Margaret Burns representing South Ayrshire
Council as this was the first of a three year term of office for the
recently elected community councillors.
Other office bearers are Alex
Kelly, vice chair; Anne walker, secretary; and Gillian Durrant,
Ms Burns reported that 12
community councillors had been nominated for 15 vacancies so there
had been no need for an election. With three eats not filled former
community councillor and South Ayrshire councillor Alan Murray and
former community councillor Wendy McClure were co-opted to fill two
of the positions. Anyone else interested in being considered to fill
the last remaining vacancy is asked to contact the secretary.
In his annual report retiring
chairman David Kiltie commented on what had been a very busy year.
He said, “Other groups we were
represented on included Maybole Resource Centre’s Advisory
Committee, Maybole Town Twinning Association, Carrick Crime
Prevention Panel, Carrick Community Transport Group, the local
Sports Association, Maybole Community Association, Maybole Sick
Nursing Association, Maybole Carnegie 21st Century Hall
Committee, the Association of South Ayrshire Community Councils,
Carrick Community Council Forum, and the new Carrick Centre
Thanks are due to all community
councillors who put in extra work as part of all these groups.”
He went on to recall an eventful
year for the Bypass Committee which organised several successful
demonstrations; attracted a lot of support from the local MP and
several MSPs; and lobbied the Transport Minister, Tavish Scott.
In June, a delegation had
travelled to Holyrood to meet Cathy Jamieson MSP and to lobby the
Transport Minister who presented them with a copy of the STAG 1
Tavish Scott, told community
councillors, “This has been an important study and I am pleased
progress has been made to address the transport issues local
residents and businesses face.”
Carrick Academy’s S4 XL Club
pupils had also visited the Scottish Parliament to press the case
for a Maybole bypass. The community council hosted a special event
for them to recognise their achievement in producing a DVD
highlighting the need for a bypass for the town.
In addition there had been several
problems with lights in Maybole and concerns about the speed of
traffic through the town.
The proposed closure if Accident &
Emergency facilities at Ayr Hospital were another concern for
community councillors and a delegation met with Health Minister Andy
Kerr at Holyrood.
Mr Kiltie felt that the recent
change in government at Holyrood should be the impetus to lobby for
the closure proposals to be reversed.
He continued his report pointing
out, “2007 is the 250th anniversary of the marriage of
Robert Burns’ parents in Maybole and plans for a year long festival
have been awarded a grant of £46,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“We feel that the chance meeting
of William Burnes and Agnes Broun at the foot of Maybole High Street
in 1756 was the real beginning of the immortal story of Robert
A grant of £24,800 has been
awarded by the Heritage Lottery Young Roots fund to allow local
young people to research the history of Carrick Academy’s badge,
which has associations with the UK royal family and the former royal
family of France, and other details of Maybole rich history.
Already pupils from Carrick
Academy, Queen Margaret Academy and Maybole Youth Club have signed
up to take part in the project which will be assisted by local
historians. The young people will be involved in researching and
designing period costumes, dramatising the town’s history and
recoding this on a DVD.
As in previous years the community
council had worked closely with the Maybole Branch of the Royal
British Legion Scotland in the Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday and
Holocaust Day services. Next month they will be involved in
commemorating two local VCs at a special drumhead service at the
Greenside on Sunday 24th June at 1.45pm.
at Knoweside and Dersalloch, had become an issue locally and Maybole
Community Council had been very involved in discussions with
In September, Maybole had marked
the 150th anniversary of the railway line coming to Maybole. In a
small start to improving the station environment, the “MAYBOLE” sign
opposite the platform was once again revealed and flower tubs were
A longer term project is being
planned which will allow local school children to design and create
a mosaic on the embankment on the far side of the station.
Permission for this work on the embankment, however, has been
refused. South Ayrshire Council has agreed part funding for this
Cathy Jamieson MSP had visited
Maybole Castle to hear about new proposals for the 450 year old
building and was accompanied by Patricia Ferguson MSP who was the
Scottish Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. Proposed plans for
the possibility of the Castle being taken over by a group of local
organisations and potential activities were outlined as well as the
amount of finance required if the project had any chance of
“One very sad event,” said Mr
Kiltie, “was the murder of Amjid Ismail of Kirkland Stores.
“The whole town was hit hard by
this and a number of us attended his funeral in Glasgow. We were
also represented at a memorial service for Amjid on Saturday
December 9 in the Baptist Church and afterwards in the town hall.
Our sympathies go to the family for the unfortunate and untimely
death of their son and brother.
In addition, we have contributed
to a fund organised by pupils of Carrick Academy to establish a
summer seat in Amjid’s memory.”
Looking to the future Mr Kiltie
added, “This year is the 25th anniversary of the official
twinning between Maybole and Crosne. We wish the Town Twinning
Association well in its plans to celebrate this significant
occasion. We are especially pleased to see the senior schools from
both towns re-establishing links.”
He concluded by offering the
thanks of Maybole Community Council to everyone who helped in any
way over the past 12 months.
In particular he mentioned Cathy
Jamieson MSP, Sandra Osborne MP, Councillors Alan Murray and Brian
Connolly, staff of South Ayrshire Council, especially all Town Hall
Staff for their help at meetings and public events, local police,
especially Sgt Gilmour for all his assistance, Maybole Community
Association, Maybole Historical Society, and Maybole branch of the
Royal British Legion Scotland.
He also paid tribute to Maybole’s
web master Rich Pettit of Clearwater, Florida, USA, and thanked
everyone who had contributed photographs, articles and memories to
the web site.