Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

Glengarnock Steel Works: War Memorials unveiled (including Kilbirnie) November 1922.

To avoid confusion, let me explain:

  1. There was a Plaque for both wars  inside Glengarnock Church (demolished) and details can be found here on the Imperial War Museum´s site and it resides now in the Auld Kirk of Kilbirnie along with another plaque for their own Kilbirnie parishoners.
  2. A memorial for WW1 was a plaque attached to a building at the steel works.   I have seen it as a boy and I recall that it was on the back of one of the steel works offices. I do not know if that contained names of the second war also. The Colvilles staff magazines in the early 1920s contained a pull out glossy souvenir about those employees who died during the first world war. Details are below.
  3.  A new Plaque was unveiled at Glengarnock Primary School for WWII only but that school has since been demolished  – it may have been transferred to the replacement secondary school at Glengarnock. The outdated Imperial war museum entry is here for that one. 
  4. A separate war memorial exists in Kilbirnie at the park gate covering both wars for people who lived in Kilbirnie. The Imperial war museum reference is here.

Details of  unveilings for (2) and (4) and  are below:

Here is the roll of Honour from the staff magazine about Glengarnock with the Steel works Employee names on there:









Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

Hamilton McQueen – Glengarnock Steel Works

Extract from Colvilles Staff Magazine, 1921, (two pages) other names mentioned, An´ra MacDougall, Robert Breckenridge, PA Abernethy, E. Sharp, Avil´s Cottage, Ed Kerr, W Anderson, John Drysdale, GP West, Robert Ferguson, James McArthur, John Busby, Andrew Millar, James Millar, John McGhie, Hugh Aitken, James Robertson,  James MacBride, John MacBride,  Irvine Clifford, Hugh Blue, Alex McMurray, Robert Irvine, (there are other pictures of him around Kilbirnie and his work with the Salvation Army, if its the same person) John Colville, David Colville,

Hamilton McQueen

Hamilton McQueen p2


Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

Glengarnock Steel Works Magazines 1920-1960.

I recently visited the Mitchell Library Glasgow where the entire collection of the staff magazines for Colvilles are held. For those of you who dont know, Colvilles owned not only these steel works at Glengarnock but many others across the region. They issued a staff magazine between 1920 and the 1960s. At which time it became British Steel. The continued with magazines which are likely around somewhere. These bound magazines can also be purchased  if you google them, online.

The Colvilles magazine contains many bits of information, photos, stories and letters about and from the Glengarnock Steel works Employees.  I started to collect some of these  by using the camera on my phone before the library assistant stopped me and said I need to photocopy them instead. I am posting the ones I found which are a few extracts of the earlier magazines with news of Glengarnock.  The early copies seem to focus a lot on regular contributors like William Allan or Allen who was a gifted poet and photographer, and Robert Stevenson, a photographer and writer who seemed to finally leave in the early days, both locals. There also common surnames like Blue, McTaggart, Milligan, Geddes,  and many more in these 1920s editions.  If you are researching a particular North Ayrshire name, tell me and I will try to help. They also talk about the social events which the employees went to, such as dances, talks and classes, particularly in the Orange Hall (now demolished) which if I remember correctly may have been owned by the Steel works or at least built on steel works land.

I will post each one separately, in the coming days to ensure I cover and transcribe all of the relevant information in there.



Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

History of the County of Ayr : with a genealogical account of the families of Ayrshire

This book has a lot of detailed information about the Auld Kirk in Kilbirnie, River Garnock, Place, Fairs,  as well as the history of  prominent families and findings of the area,. Barclays, Crawfurds, Cunninghame, etc History of the kirk etc including names of early people serving there.

You can read it here

This book has also  very detailed sections about Parishes: Dundonald, Dunlop, Fenwick, Galston, Girvan, Irvine, Kilbirnie, West Kilbride, Kilmarnock, Kilmaurs, Kilwinning, Kirkmichael, Kirkoswald, Largs, Loudoun, Mauchline, Maybole, Monktoun, Muirkirk, Ochiltree, Riccarton, St Quivox, Sorn, Stair, Stevenston, Stewarton, Straiton, Symington, Torbolton.

catholic, Christian Science, islam, Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Poems, Uncategorized

Poem for Arran and the Holy Isle

Oh draw near, Great Love Divine,  and sooth my waiting mind.

Whiting Bay and Holy Isle, surely all are thine, within my heart appears the long forgotten saints.

Passing holy hours, like a tired monk I wait to find you in the maze of liturgies and pathways.

My naked head does burn, like earthly passions turn, to a higher calling, to vistas set eternal.

With a yearning voice so strong, I turn to what I long, to find my peace in thee.

May the mountains of the isles teach me humility of heart, to see beyond the peaks of shortcomngs to higher views of Love.

The sweeping vistas of Love, higher than the highest peak, swirling winds appear.

The joy of meeting departed ones, to commune again on the shores of thine Isles, I wait, I come.