While looking through old documents, it is almost inevitable that the reader's attention will be drawn from the intended target to other articles. The reports below were found in old Ardrossan and Saltcoats Heralds. Although they have no football content, they may be of interest.

The committee entrusted with the duty of selecting a stallion to travel in the Ardrossan district during the coming season have arranged with Mr J Kerr, Lochend, Kilbirnie, for the services of his celebrated horse, New Style, and a premium of £100. New Style is a dark brown Clydesdale four-year-old, stands seventeen hands high with good flat strong bones, splendid symmetry and first-rate action. He was bred by Mr A Coulrough, High Craigton, Milngavie out of a first-class, pure-bred Clydesdale mare by Crown Prince, the property of Mr Peter Crawford, Dungoyack, Strathblane. Crown Prince was the winner of many first prizes including the Glasgow Agricultural Society's premium in 1873. New Style has only twice been exhibited and was successful each time gaining the Girvan Society's premium, £60, in 1875 and the Strathearn Central Society's premium, £100, in 1876 and served in these districts to the satisfaction of the societies.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 January 1877

On Thursday evening (25 January 1877), about forty gentlemen sat down to haggis and other substantials purveyed in excellent style by Mr Alexander McKenzie of the Eglinton Arms Hotel (shown below in the early 1960s). Mr J H Mearns occupied the chair and was supported right and left by Mr Hugh Barclay, Mr Alexander Guthrie, Mr William Walls and Mr John McAusland. Mr Adam Cowan officiated as croupier. After the usual loyal and patriotic toasts had been given and duly responded to, the chairman, in an able speech, gave the memory of Burns. In the course of his remarks, he eulogised the Bard for his sturdy independence, his love of country, his tenderness for every living thing, his intense hatred of all that was mean, his strong love of truth and dilated on the halo of imperishable glory which his writing had shed around our land. The toast was most enthusiastically responded to. A large programme of toasts was gone through: Town and Trade of Ardrossan by Mr D Brown replied to Mr H Barclay; Town and Trade of Saltcoats by Mr Alexander Guthrie replied to by Mr James Aitken; The Provost, Magistrates and Town Council of Ardrossan by Mr John McAusland; Other Scottish Poets by Mr John McAusland; Bonnie Jean by Mr Cowan; The Land of Burns by Mr T Wallace; Ayrshire Lasses by Mr R L Alpine replied to by Mr George Barrie and Chairman, Croupier, Host and Hostess. Solos, duets and trios were sung by Messrs R L Alpine, W Reid, John Monie, Thomas Wallace, Gilbert McKie, James Barclay, Robert Barbour, R Harvey, etc. At the close, the company present resolved to form themselves into a Burns Club of which we will have more to say hereafter. A most enjoyable evening was spent.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 January 1877
There were references to Ardrossan Burns Club and Burns Suppers in the Heralds of 5 January 1878, 2 February 1878, 4 February 1882, 10 February 1893, 31 January 1896, 21 January 1898 and 15 February 1901.

Perhaps the greatest privilege enjoyed by the inhabitants of Ardrossan is access to the Castle Hill (shown right around the 1930s) and it is a privilege which all classes alike appreciate. For some time, the trees have been injured by branches being broken and the bark peeled off. The subject was brought up at a recent meeting of the Town Council and it was moved that a reward should be offered for the delinquents. As a result, at the Police Court on Monday (12 March 1877), three boys were brought up before Provost Barr and Bailie Hogarth and, having pled guilty, they were fined two shillings each with the alternative of five days imprisonment and a caution given as to their future conduct. The fines were paid and it may be a warning given to others as well as those brought up for trial. An Ardrossan schoolboy, with all the bonhomie of his class, sends us the undernoted lines which, if intended, we are sure will not be taken as an antidote to the richly-deserved punishment inflicted on these youths who, for peeling the bark off the trees on the Cannon Hill were laid hold off by a peel-dasher and dealt with accordingly.
    Noo sic a stir is in the toun
    I ken na wha is richt
    The lang ane's got his orders
    Tae nab us callan's tight
               A pound reward for breaking dykes
               An' ane for cuttin' trees
               I think a shinty's just the thing
               To crack the lang ane's knees
   He's got his orders noo tae march
   The hill baith noon and nicht
   What will the burgh streets by day
   Be when they've lost their micht
            The very micht that keeps the streets
            And causeystanes at rest
            An' watches o'er the Council
            The wise men o' the west
   Noo faithers, ye mon watch your sons
   And keep them in the house
   And if ye let them oot ava
   They mon be quate's a mouse
            It's guid for them that get nae sons
            As some folks never can
            Such should remember they were first
            A boy and then a man
   A boy's advice to some would be
   Gang an' attend the schule
   An' never heed the time-worn dikes
   Around the Cannon Hill
            Anither thing I would suggest
            Before I gang awa
            That the lang-ane should get a' the fines
            Or else get nane ava

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 March 1877

The clergymen in this neighbourhood have this week been and will be assisted by the following ministers.
Ardrossan United Presbyterian Church (shown below left as the Church of the Nazarene in 2002)- Reverend W McGilchrist
Wednesday - Reverend Mr Slater, Sanquhar; Friday evening and Sabbath - Reverend Mr Henderson, Innellan
Ardrossan Free Church (shown below centre as Saint John's Church in 1913) - Reverend John Stewart (shown right)
Wednesday forenoon - Reverend William Reid, Hurlford; afternoon - Reverend Mr Davidson, Kilbirnie;
    Saturday - Reverend Dr Easton, Darvel; Sabbath - Reverend Dr Easton, Darvel; Monday - Reverend R S Macaulay, Irvine
Ardrossan New Parish Church (shown below right as Barony Saint John's Church in 2009)- Reverend J D McCall
Wednesday - Reverend James Milroy, Dreghorn and Reverend James Summerville, Irvine;
    Saturday - Reverend John Orr, Kilbirnie; Sabbath - Reverend A Leiper, Gorbals, Glasgow

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 April 1877

The first match of the season between Saltcoats Parkend Cricket Club and Ardrossan Alma Cricket Club was played on the ground of the former on Saturday last (26 May 1877) and after a pleasant game resulted in favour of the Parkend by one innings and nineteen runs. For the Parkend, Lawson, Ferguson who is a most promising young batsman, Taylor and A Ingram scored 25, 20 10 and 10 not-out respectively while J Goodwin was the only one who got a double, 32 in the second innings, for the Alma. Messrs H Ingram and Taylor bode well for the Parkend as also did Messrs Ireland and R Anderson for the Alma. Scores: Parkend - one innings 100; Alma first innings 22, second innings 59 - total 81.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 2 June 1877

At the meeting of Council on Monday evening (2 July 1877), Bailie Currie, in absence of the Provost presiding, there were present Bailie Hogarth, Treasurer Gilfillan and Councillors Boyd, McLean and Craig. The Clerk intimated that he had written to Mr Milne, Public Analyst, notifying his appointment to that office and he had replied thanking the Council therefor. The repairs needed on the well-house, it was stated, had been attended to. Offers from the newspaper proprietors as to the rate at which certain burgh and election advertisements should be charged was remitted to the Finance Committee. The Sanitary Inspector reported to the local authority that he town was in good order. Boyd Stevenson had made a complaint against farmers on the south side of Ardrossan coming and laying dung on his park. He meant to stop the practice lest he was allowed a small remuneration for the use of his field. As it was considered a nuisance to have dung so near to the public road, it should not be there at all. By simply enforcing the Public Health Act, they could make it to be taken away. By that Act, all that was necessary to be done was to give the tenants notice and if they did not get their places cleaned, they could be proceeded against.
[Although complaint was made in these columns weeks ago, the dung heap is still there. What is the use of a Board of Health or an Inspector of Nuisances but to see that these nuisances are removed?
Editor, Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald]

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 7 July 1877

Mr Matthew Barr died on 27 July 1877 aged forty-five years. As nephew to the worthy Chief Magistrate of Ardrossan by whom he was brought up and with whom he resided, Mr Matthew Barr's decease at the early age of forty-five years would have called for notice in a local journal but he equally deserves the distinction for his own sake. The late Mr Barr took no part in public affairs but he was nonetheless known and respected. When a young man, he served in the Bank of Scotland (shown below as the Community Education Office in 2003) where he had the advantage of the excellent business training of Mr D I Mack and the friendly relationship then began, only terminated with death. For several years preceding his death, he was cashier to the firm of Barr and Shearer, latterly a partner and his relationship with the workmen was always friendly, just and upright. As a private gentleman, he was true to friends, prudent in speech and charitable in judgement. He was a lover of books and possessed a store of old world knowledge known only to those who were familiar with him. Not a few will miss him for the good he did in a private and unostentatious manner and in many hearts in Ardrossan, his memory will be ever cherished.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 4 August 1877
Matthew Barr's gravestone in Ardrossan Cemetery is shown above right. The inscription is 'In memory of Matthew Barr Finlay, nephew of John Barr, died 27 July 1877, 46th year of his age. He was an obedient and attentive nephew, respected and trusted by his uncle.'. It is the leftmost of the three gravestones shown above centre. The tallest one is for his uncle, John Barr, former Provost of Ardrossan and the other is for John Barr's wife, Isabella McJannet.

A painting of Ardrossan on a pretty large scale is at present showing the shop of Mr Guthrie, Princess Street. The view is taken from the Long Craigs (shown below in 2010) and embraces some excellent features of the landscape. It is a production of a young gentleman lately resident in Ardrossan.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 August 1877

The shipbuilding business recently carried on by Messrs Barclay and Roberton was yesterday exposed to sale in the Eglinton Arms Hotel (shown topmost in the early 1960s) but there were no offers.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 25 August 1877

A large circle of friends and acquaintances in the west of Scotland will this week hear with regret of the decease of one of our best known townsmen, Mr Thomas Wallace who died on Tuesday afternoon last (25 September 1877) aged seventy-two years. In his earlier years, the late Mr Wallace was well-known in Kilmarnock where, as foreman joiner, he had a good deal to do with the raising of the roof of Saint Marnock's Church. It was over thirty years since he entered the service of Provost Barr in which he continued until a few years ago. While in this service, he employed much of his leisure time in cultivating his taste for architectural designing and several of the buildings in this locality were designed by him. He was the architect of Kilmahew House (shown below left as the disused Ardrossan Burgh Chambers in 1978) - more than a century after Mr Wallaces's death), the residence of Provost Barr; the Royal Bank, Ardrossan; the City of Glasgow Bank, Saltcoats; the United Presbyterian Church, Ardrossan; the new Board school, West Kilbride and other buildings. He also acted as inspector of the New Parish Church, West Kilbride and the new schools of the parish of Ardrossan while these buildings were in the course of erection. At his decease, the late Mr Wallace was a member of the Town Council of Ardrossan and here, as in other public bodies, his practical good sense and stubborn independence were invaluable. He took the deepest interest and at elections times fought keenly for the Liberal Party. In church matters, he was equally decided, a dissenter from conviction and one who could hold his convictions at any cost. This allegiance indeed to whatever he believed to be truth was the one feature of his character that will longest be remembered by his friends. In more troublous times, there would have been no bending of him or even inducing him to compromise where he believed a principle was involved. He was of the stuff that reformers and martyrs are made of - a dour, conscientious Scotchman. He was one of the founders of the United Presbyterian Church (shown below centre as the Church of the Nazarene in 2002), Ardrossan and for many years has been its preses. In many ways, indeed, he will be greatly missed but most of all, we think, in the example he gave to a rising generation that true manliness consists in honest convictions, held without fear or favour. His public life was an exemplification of Pope's lines 'An honest man's the noblest work of God.".

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 September 1877
Thomas Wallace's gravestone in Ardrossan Cemetery is shown above right. The inscription is 'Erected by Mary Wallace in memory of her beloved husband, Thomas Wallace, Architect, Ardrossan who died 25 September 1877 aged 72 years; the above Mary Wallace died 21 September 1886 aged 84 years'.

The tie competitions, say the leading Scottish-American journal published in New York for the gold medal of the Ardrossan Boating Club resulted in James Barbour defeating John Hunter. The p(row)ess of our townsmen has thus been wafted across the wide Atlantic Sea.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 October 1877

The Ardrossan Young Men's Society For Religious Improvement has, we are glad to say, arranged for another course of lectures this winter. The Reverend Arthur Murcell delivers the first, we believe, in the New Parish Church (shown below as Barony Saint John's Church in 2009) which has been kindly granted by the trustees. He will be followed by Mr Ralston, Mr Moffat, Reverend Mr Barfield and Reverend Stowell Brown. A course which embraces so many well-known, popular lecturers cannot fail to secure public interest and patronage.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 27 October 1877