MAYBOLE GREEN. The only plot of ground
belonging to the town is that little space of half an acre or so, which
the new Railway Station has brought into prominence. For a long time our
Green was a disgrace to us being a medley of scanty grass and sticky mud,
through which in the winter season it was not easy to pick one's steps.
But recently the towns-folk have made an effort, and at the expense of
some £300, put a new face on matters, led roads through it, and surrounded
the whole with a fringe of trees, and an iron railing.
The first record we have of the Green
thus given by Mr Abercrombie, the curate of Maybole, about 200 years ago:
"At the head of the School Vennal there is a pleasant plott of ground,
enclosed round with an earthen wall wherein they are wont to play at
football, but now at the gowffe and byasse-bowls." It is easy to see how
the "plott" might have been suitable for football or bowls, but the scope
for golf must have been limited. In 1819, the Earl of Cassillls of that
day threatened to claim the Green as having been originally the property
of the old Collegiate Church, whose heir-at-law he was. The opinion of
counsel was accordingly taken, from which it appeared that the town had
held undisputed possession so long, that it became theirs by prescription.
For many years, the Green was let
annually by the Town Council for grazing upon, the usual rent being 15/.
This practice, however, was gradually given up and the ground came to be
used as a play-ground by the children attending the Parish School, and a
stance for Shows at the Fair time. An old residenter tells me that on
Old-New-Year-Day there was a famous football match played annually betwixt
the Shoemakers and ''the Town," in which there used to be some rough
scrimmages. The last notice regarding the Green in the Council Records is
in 1847, when there is a minute to consider the propriety of disposing of
the stones forming the wall round the Ball Green, and rounding down the
Green to the road."
The present vacant look of our
Green seems to have suggested to the mind of an old wife recently pass in
the train, that it was a new cemetery the town had got, and she remarked
to the station master, naturally enough and grimly enough, that "it was a
lang while filling up, as there seemed to be only ae headstone in it"
The Rev. R. Lawson. January 1894.