ARDROSSAN BURNS CLUB
On Thursday evening (3 January 1878), a meeting of those favourable to the formation of a Burns Club in Ardrossan was held in the Eglinton Arms Hotel where it was unanimously agreed to form such a society. The following gentlemen were appointed office-bearers : Provost Barr - honorary president; J H Mearns - president; John McAusland - vice president; Thomas Wallace junior - secretary and treasurer; members of committee - Messrs A Cowan, George Barrie, R L Alpine, David Gillies and J Hepburn. From our advertising columns (shown below), it will be seen that a meeting will be held in the Eglinton Arms Hotel on Tuesday evening (12 January 1878) to arrange for the forthcoming celebration on 25 January 1878.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 January 1878
ARDROSSAN BURNS CLUB
This club celebrated the anniversary of the poet's birth by a supper which took place in the Eglinton Arms Hotel and was attended by about fifty gentlemen. The chair was occupied by Mr J H Mearns, publisher, president, the croupier's chairs being ably filled by Messrs John McAusland and George Barrie. After supper, the chairman in giving the toast of the evening, The Memory of Burns, referred to the fact that all Scotchmen worthy of the name were familiar with his works from which they had gathered many of their finest thoughts. Burns could never be taunted with a desire to hide his faults, though he had invariably kept his virtues - and these were many - in the shade. His memory would forever be kindly cherished in the hearts of the Scotch people and this formed the best monument he could have. A number of excellent songs were rendered during the evening by Mr J M Kay who also presided at the piano, R L Alpine, J Barclay, T Wallace, R Barbour, J Cunninghame, J Jones and others.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 2 February 1878
There were references to Ardrossan Burns Club and Burns Suppers in the Heralds of 27 January 1877, 5 January 1878, 4 February 1882, 10 February 1893, 31 January 1896, 21 January 1898 and 15 February 1901.
ELOCUTION LESSONS IN ARDROSSAN
Some few weeks ago, we called the attention of our local readers to the fact that arrangements were being made whereby the services of Mr Moffat, Professor of Elocution, might be secured during the summer months. We now learn that Mr Moffat had expressed his willingness to conduct classes for the study of elocution, provided a sufficient number enrol themselves as pupils. The value of a class of this kind cannot be over-estimated and now we would advise all the young men of the district to take advantage of this opportunity. In the meantime, names of intended pupils are wanted and these will be received by Mr John Currie, Princes Street, Ardrossan or at the shop of Mr Guthrie, bookseller.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 April 1878
NO QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
A correspondent sends us a note enquiring how it is that we, in Ardrossan, have now no formal observance of Her Majesty's birthday, seeing that all around us, some manifestation is made of the loyalty of the inhabitants to her person. He suggests many queries as to the undemonstrative nature of those who guide our 'state barque', never doubting the loyalty of the lieges but not being 'personally conversant of the orders of the day adopted by the wire-pullers of our burgh', he is at a loss to conceive the real cause of our apathy on such an occasion of rejoicing and suggests the propriety of our merchants, as in Irvine last year, setting apart a day for themselves.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 18 May 1878
ARDROSSAN AND SALTCOATS HERALD
A QUARTER OF A CENTURY OLD
We note, this week, with something like a satisfied and grateful feeling, that The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, with today's impression (shown below), completes its twenty-fifth year.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 25 May 1878
ARDROSSAN WATER CART
The Commissioners, at their meeting on Monday (3 June 1878), it will be noticed, all but resolved upon using a water cart when necessary to lay the dust. It was very properly shown that it was no shopkeepers' question but one in which the whole of the inhabitants will reap the benefit. On windy days, the streets in Ardrossan are like funnels and private houses, any more than shops, are not exempted from blinding clouds of dust. Bailies Hogarth and Currie have done a real public service by pushing this matter to a favourable issue.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 June 1878
DISCOVERY OF OLD STONE TOMBS
AND HUMAN REMAINS ADJACENT TO ARDROSSAN CASTLE
On Saturday morning (22 June 1878), while a number of surfacemen were busy clearing away the earthworks that lie on the south side of the railway (shown above left in 2011) opposite the old castle of Ardrossan and behind the Pavilion Grounds (shown above centre in the early 1900s), to carry out the extensive alterations and improvements in the direction of Bute Place and Princes Street (shown above right in 2004) and to make extra accommodation for the increasing traffic of the town and harbour, one of the workmen came on a ridge of stones at a depth of about four feet from the surface which, for a time, stayed him in his operations. A neighbour, thinking his mate had fallen upon a mint or some of the treasures of the castle that had been buried outside the walls in troublous times, joined him in unearthing the mystery. While proceeding to work cautiously, one of the stones on the end out towards the rails fell in and disclosed to view a human skeleton. By the falling of this slab, the skull was broken in pieces but with this exception, the bones were all recovered and removed to the opposite side of the line in a good state of preservation. The teeth, though some of them were loose in their setting, were white and sound. Much care and labour must have spent in constructing this stone bigging. The body had been placed on a bed of shale which, in the process probably of centuries, has turned into a kind of slatey substance. Large slabs about two inches in thickness of the old red sandstone formation and that showed considerable care in construction - bevelled on the top like the ridge of a house - covered the body. The remains of another body were found on Monday afternoon (24 June 1878), and since then several others. Not only has the memory but, in some cases, the very bones of the departed have disappeared leaving only the empty space sprinkled with a kind of powder indicating that the dust of many generations bygone was scarcely distinguishable from Mother Earth. One of the receptacles is admirably formed being well-fitted on the sides and having neat slabs at head and foot. This, the most perfect specimen yet found, is six feet three inches in length; one foot two inches deep; breadth at heart - one foot three inches; at foot - eight to nine inches. In each case, the bodies were laid with the head to the west and the feet to the east respectively. It is supposed the first body lay on the left side. From the position in which the bones were found, in some cases arm bones alongside thigh bones, thus indicating the position of the body at the time of internment, many centuries must have elapsed since these bodies were committed to their quiet resting places on this ridge abutting the seashore in early times to lie undisturbed till within these last days, when in the march of improvement, the pioneer of progress respects alike the bones of mitred monk or morioned warrior. As it is extremely probable more graves may yet be discovered, we may recur to the subject again. The fact that so many cists - six - having been found in so close proximity to each other and so near to the ruins to the ancient stronghold of the De Barclays, has given rise to conjectures which further discoveries taken into the light of antiquarian research may do something to solve.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 June 1878
PRICE OF BREAD IN ARDROSSAN
How is it that, when at present, the four pound loaf is selling in Glasgow and Ayr at seven pence and in some places at six and a half pence, it should be eight pence in Saltcoats and Ardrossan but this is in a piece with the fact that potatoes which had been bought in Saltcoats were selling last week in Kilwinning at eleven pence per stone while in Saltcoats, the price was one shilling and two pence. Housewives, the remedy, to a great extent, is in your own hands. Buy flour and bake your own bread and let the potatoes alone until they are both better and cheaper and the merchants become less greedy of gain.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 July 1878
BATTY'S GREAT LONDON CIRCUS
We beg to remind our local readers that Batty's Great London Circus visits Ardrossan today, Friday (3 August 1878) when lovers of horsemanship may have their fully gratified by the wonderful feats which the several artistes undertake to execute.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 August 1878
MANDER'S WAXWORK VISITS ARDROSSAN
Ardrossan is to be visited on Monday (19 August 1878) by Mander's celebrated waxwork which contains a rare collection of high-class statuary and includes groups of the greatest personages of the past besides models of the most celebrated characters of the present day. There is also a gallery of specimens of mechanical ingenuity with some of the gems from the Paris Exhibition. A treat is also afforded by a figure of a negro flute player which is made to execute several difficult and pleasing tunes and models of the Siamese Twins. The exhibition met with great success while on a visit to Kilmarnock and from accounts we hear that it took the lead at Paisley during the holidays. Favourable notices have appeared of the numerous ingenious mechanical contrivance to be witnessed.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 August 1878
LETTER TO THE EDITOR - CHEWING
Seeing our New Parish Church (shown below as Barony Saint John's Church in 2009) is to be opened on Sabbath first, tomorrow (15 November 1878) after having undergone a thorough painting and cleaning, I would like to throw out a hint to the managers or those whom it may concern and that is that those who will not deny themselves the use of the weed, being themselves fair specimens of the 'weedy article', should stay at home or go elsewhere to squirt their tobacco juice. The sanctuary should not be used as they would use a tap-room nor made a place to expectorate in a way that is an outrage on decency and propriety and is most offensive to their fellow worshippers.
14 November 1878
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 November 1878
ARDROSSAN SOUP KITCHEN
The Ardrossan Soup Kitchen was successfully opened on Tuesday last (12 November 1878) and will be continued every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at twelve o'clock noon so long as it is required. The committee desire gratefully to acknowledge the following donations: Mr Hunter, Montfode - one cart of turnips and a quantity of vegetables; Mr Hunter, Glenhead - one cart of turnips; Mr Gibson, potato merchant - half a ton of carrots and two bags of potatoes; Mr Goodwin, Overton - a quantity of carrots and greens; Mr Caldwell, Boydston - a quantity of greens; William Rankin and Son - half a stone of barley and half a stone of peas. Mr John Galloway, South Crescent, has also offered to supply coals at prime cost and this week, thirteen tons were distributed amongst needy and deserving poor who had not already been supplied from other sources and it is intended to make a further and general distribution of coals to all the poor when their present supplies are exhausted. It is also intended, in some cases, to give supplies of meal. The committee have also handed over £2 10s to the Saltcoats Soup Kitchen and £2 10s to the Saltcoats Ladies' Benevolent Society, being part of the proceeds from the readings.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 November 1878
On Monday evening (23 December 1878), there was a large attendance in the Bute Place Hall (shown below as the Winton Rovers' Club in 1974), Ardrossan to hear William Muir esquire of Her Majesty's Customs and party give a concert of carols on behalf of the fund now being raised to relieve existing destitution in Ardrossan and Saltcoats.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 December 1878