NON-FOOTBALL STORIES 1938
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 Scotsman newspapers. Although they have no football content, they may be of interest.
FORTY-FIVE YEARS MINISTRY – FAREWELL
GIFTS TO RETIRING ARDROSSAN PASTOR
Last night, the Reverend Dr R M Adamson, Saint John’s Church of Scotland, Ardrossan, who has retired from the full charge of the congregation after a ministry of forty-five years, was presented at a social meeting of the congregation with a wallet and Treasury notes and a wireless set. Mrs Adamson received a gold watch from the Women’s Guild. Dr Adamson, who was educated at Edinburgh, Leipzig and Jena Universities, has been a prominent member of various standing committees of the General Assembly and took a particularly active part in the Union negations. He is the author of many theological writings, including a volume The Christian Doctrine Of The Lord’s Supper. In 1931, the Senatus Academicus of Edinburgh University conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Dr and Mrs Adamson are taking up residence in Edinburgh.
The Scotsman, 13 January 1938
UNION OF THREE TOWNS PROPOSED –
ARDROSSAN, SALTCOATS AND STEVENSTON
At a meeting of Saltcoats Town Council, a motion by Councillor James Reid that the Council invite representations from Stevenston and Ardrossan Town Councils to meet in joint conference to discuss the question of amalgamating the three towns was, on the suggestion of Provost Gaul, remitted to the committee dealing with the burgh boundaries. Provost Gaul said that there were several matters which were not quite ready for public discussion.
The Scotsman, 19 January 1938
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HUNDRED-FEET HIGH COLUMN OF SMOKE AND FLAME – TOWNS SHAKEN FOR MILES AROUND
Five men and a twenty-one-year-old girl were killed and about twelve other persons injured as the result of explosions yesterday afternoon at Nobel’s Explosives Works, Ardeer, Ayrshire, owned by Imperial Chemical Industries, Limited. The men were working in one of the gelatine mixing houses where the first of two explosions occurred while the girl, it is understood, was employed at one of the nearby huts and was struck by a piece of flying debris. Up to a late hour last night, men were still endeavouring to recover some the bodies from the wreckage. The noise of the explosions was heard over a wide area. A number of heavy plate glass windows in the heart of Irvine – three or four miles from the scene – were smashed. The shock was also felt at Kilmarnock, nine or ten miles away and at Ayr, eleven or twelve miles away. Alarmed by the detonations, many people in these towns, as well as in surrounding areas, telephoned to the police and fire brigade stations asking for information. At first, it was feared that the roll of dead and injured was even heavier and every available doctor in the Saltcoats and Ardrossan districts was summoned to the scene.
The dead, all of whom lived in Stevenston were J Hamilton, aged 61, foreman, married, 141 New Street
The factory is the largest explosive centre in the world. Great precautions are taken to avoid accidents and with a view to preventing disasters, the individual buildings are isolated among sand dunes.
The works are practically self-contained and immediately after the first of the blasts, a detachment of the ambulance and fire brigade services hurried to the scene. It was found that there was no fire or threat of further explosion and the ambulance workers concentrated on aiding the injured, the majority of whom were girls suffering from shock. News of the explosion quickly circulated in the surrounding towns and villages and there was an immediate rush to the scene. Relatives of employees travelled by bus, private car and on foot and there were many affecting reunion scenes outside the works gates. Clergymen of various denominations were among the first to hurry to the affected area. Representatives of The Scotsman visited Ardeer last night and learned that a sharp detonation and a thick pall of smoke ascending from the factory area gave the first intimation of disaster. Alarmed by the first ballast, people in the district adjoining Ardeer had flocked to the nearest vantage points and saw flames and a menacing pall of smoke pouring from the area occupied by the works. About three minutes later, there came the second explosion and the onlookers saw a huge mushroom-shaped column of smoke flecked with flame bursting upwards. A sudden rattling of windows and shaking of crockery told householders in Saltcoats that something was wrong. On looking out, many of them saw a pillar of smoke rising from the factory. At first, the extent of the disaster was not fully realised but with later details, there were many anxious enquiries at the works regarding relatives and friends. At every street corner, anxious groups discussed the meagre details then available and workmen from the factory were repeatedly accosted for information.
Our Irvine correspondent, telegraphing last night, said the town received the full blast of the explosions as the wind was blowing directly across from Ardeer. The explosions rocked the town to its foundation, resulting in considerable damage. The first shock caused frightened inhabitants to run panic-stricken on to the streets. When the second explosion followed, the thoroughfares were crowded with people watching the large cloud of black smoke which rose like a huge balloon in the sky. The damage done in Irvine included the shattering of several large plate glass windows of shops, while in the town and surrounding district, there were reports of ceilings in properties having fallen in. While Saltcoats escaped the full force of the explosions, the vibration was felt from end to end of the town. A local shopkeeper said that, when in his home during the afternoon, he heard the door of his room give a sudden rattle. Thinking that it was a caller, he went to the door and found no one there. His wife suggested that the noise might have come from Ardeer and ,on going to an upstairs window, he saw dense smoke clouds above the factory. Crowds were running down the street towards the East Beach and a few minutes later, he saw a second smoke pall ascend from the buildings. The proprietor of a hotel situated on the shore stated that about three o’clock, there was as sudden sharp crack. He saw that the front door had been pushed inwards and on looking out, was in time to see the effect of the second explosion. He described the yellow-tinted smoke column as over a hundred feet high and said that through the heart of it, ran a tongue of flame. A few seconds later, he heard the roar of the second detonation which seemed to be less severe than the first blast.
The disaster is the worst that had happened at Ardeer for a quarter of a century. The last serious explosion occurred only seven months ago in June 1937. On that occasion, four men received fatal injuries following a series of explosions in the blast powder section. The injured were taken to Glasgow by a specially chartered train then transferred to the Western Infirmary. The first fatal accident at the factory happened in 1882 when a sample magazine exploded, ten young women losing their lives and four others being injured. In 1902, one man was killed and five years later, three were fatally injured in similar explosions. A serious disaster happened in March 1913 when four guncotton stoves or drying huts were blown up, six men being killed and ten injured. A year later, an explosion in a hut when blasting gelatine was being handled, resulted in the death of eight men and injury to a number of others. During the war, two explosions occurred and on each occasion, three men were killed.
The Scotsman, 28 January 1938
;A Cameron, aged 58, process man, married, Glebe Street
;A Johnstone, aged 45, process man, single, 8 Moorpark Road East
;F Smith, aged 41, process man, married, 174 New Street
;J McLelland, aged 41, process man, married, Boglemart Street
andElizabeth Bell Hamilton, aged 21, cartridge worker, George Place
.Hamilton and Cameron were considering retiring and the latter had arranged to go on a holiday to Switzerland. The following statement was posted at the gates of the works shortly after five o’clock. ‘The company regrets to state that an explosion occurred in a mixing house in the blasting department of Ardeer Factory, causing the loss of six lives. The cause of the explosion is at present unknown and is being investigated. Apart from the immediate area involved, the damage to the factory is slight’.
SPECIAL AREAS ASSISTANCE FOR SCOTTISH
SCHEMES – PLOTHOLDERS’ LOANS
Lord George Nigel Douglas-Hamilton, Commissioner for the Special Areas in Scotland, announces that during February 1938, he has offered further grants in respect of schemes designed to improve public health and other service in the areas. The schemes include a Maternity and Child Welfare Centre and Toddlers’ Playground costing £4315, improvement of water services at Millglen, Ardrossan costing £4500 and the beautifying of an iron slag bing at Newmains costing £350.
The Scotsman, 11 March 1938
SOLE NOMINEE FOR ARDROSSAN CHURCH
The Reverend David M G Stalker, B D, assistant in Glasgow Cathedral, is sole nominee for the position of colleague and successor to the Reverend Dr R M Adamson, Saint John’s Church, Ardrossan.
The Scotsman, 23 March 1938
At the annual General Council meeting of the British Women’s Temperance Association, Scottish Christian Union, which was concluded in Dundee yesterday ... a resolution appealing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to resist all proposals of the trade to lower the duty on whisky which would militate against the sobriety and wellbeing of the people was unanimously carried. It was moved by Mr Charteris, Kilsyth, and seconded by Miss Fletcher, Kirkintilloch. A resolution “having regard to the increase of Sunday drinking in Scotland and to the large number of road accidents on that day attributable to drivers being under the influence of alcohol” and urging the Government to introduce, at an early date, legislation amending the Act permitting the sale of intoxicants to bona-fide travellers was moved by Mrs Kirk, Aberdeen. Mrs Kirk said that in these days of motor transport and Sunday trains, the distance of three-and-a-half miles qualifying as a bona-fide traveller to obtain alcoholic refreshment was absolutely absurd. She cited the instance of West Kilbride – about four miles from Ardrossan – where, on a Sunday evening just about the time of divine service, a bus-load of men from Ardrossan arrived. One of them went to church and all the others went into the hotel. ... They should press for fresh legislation and she would suggest that the qualifying distance for the traveller should be made at least ten time three-and-a half miles. ... Mrs Morrison, Torry, Aberdeen, second and the resolution was unanimously adopted.
The Scotsman, 1 April 1938
The Reverend G D M Stalker, B D, formerly an assistant in Glasgow Cathedral, was yesterday ordained and inducted as colleague and successor to the Reverend Dr R M Adamson, Saint John’s Church, Ardrossan.
The Scotsman, 10 June 1938
GROCER’S VAN IN SPILL – WHISKY THROWN
OUT OF CAR BEFORE POLICE CAME
A forty-eight year old licensed grocer from Main Street, Kilwinning pleaded guilty at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court yesterday to a charge of having, on 11 June, on the road between Seamill and Ardrossan at West Kilbride, driven and been in charge of a motor van while he was under the influence of drink. It was stated that at 10.30 on Saturday evening, his van was found overturned on the roadway at West Kilbride. The accused was staggering about. His van had gone to the offside of the road, mounted the footpath and overturned. While awaiting the arrival of the police, the accused was observed to be rummaging about in the cabin of the van and he then threw something on to the shore. The police were informed of this and they found a gill whisky bottle which was half full. The grocer, much under the influence of drink, was taken to Ardrossan Police Station where he was examined by a doctor who certified that he was unfit to be in charge of a motor vehicle. The accused, on his own behalf, said that he had been at Greenock seeing his sister off to Canada and was a bit upset at the parting. The Sheriff, in passing sentence, pointed out that the accused was guilty of a very serious offence and was liable to a fine of £50 or four months imprisonment besides disqualification. A great many people in charge of motor vehicles, he said, were absolutely unfit from temperament and conduct to be on the road and constituted a menace to other drivers. They took their duties far too lightly. His Lordship imposed a fine of £25 with the option of three months imprisonment, ordered the accused’s licence to be endorsed and disqualified him from holding or obtaining a licence for one year.
The Scotsman, 14 June 1938
ARDROSSAN AND SALTCOATS GOLF
About a hundred competitors played over the Ardrossan and Saltcoats course on Saturday (18 June 1938) in the annual contest for the Kemp Trophy. The results were:
Kemp Trophy – G Bryce, Ardeer (9), 63
Scratch Prize – J Lamont, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, 72
Other scores were:
J Somerville, Ardeer, (12), 67; J R Rae, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (7), 69; J Templeton, Ardrossan and Saltcoats (12), 69; K Wilson, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (11), 70; G Bradie, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (10), 70; J Lamont, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (2), 70; J Walker, Portland Glass, (12), 71; M Robertson, Irvine Ravenspark, (8), 71; D Fulton, Irvine Ravenspark, (7), 71; E Randall, Ardeer, (5), 71; R McGillivray, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (2), 71; R Shearer, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (12), 72; J A Goodwin, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (12), 72; J Govan, Irvine Ravenspark, (4), 72; J Cowan, Ardrossan and Saltcoats, (5), 72; W Woodside, Irvine Ravenspark, (7), 72.
The Scotsman, 20 June 1938
SCHOOLBOYS’ ATHLETIC FEATS
HIGH JUMPER WHO SHOULD WIN SCOTTISH TITLE THIS WEEK – ABERDEEN LAD’S FAST SPRINT
“There is not much wrong with the boys of today when they can go year after year setting up such records” said Mr A Martin, President of the Scottish Schools Athletic Association at the conclusion of the inter-scholastic sports at Goldenacre, Edinburgh, on Saturday (18 June 1938) when four records were established. Some outstanding performances were expected but at least two of the new records were truly remarkable. W Stevenson, a fifteen-year-old Aberdeen lad doing the 100 yards in 10.2 seconds and W Murray, Ardrossan Academy, clearing the bar at 5 feet 10 inches in the high jump. Murray’s performance was really amazing and it must be anticipated now that he will win a Scottish championship for which he is entered at Hampden Park on Saturday (25 June 1938). His record jump, which was accomplished with comparative ease, is the same height as won the S A A A (presumably Scottish Amateur Athletics Association) title last year for P L Tancred, a Queenslander who is two inches ahead of all others and is not entered this year. In this seventeen-year-old Ardrossan lad, it would seem that Scotland has at last a potential expert in this highly specialised event. His performances at Goldenacre had to be seen in order that their true merit could be realised.
The Scotsman, 20 June 1938
CONGREGATIONAL PASTOR ACCEPTS CALL
The Reverend Russell Lewis, Congregational Church, Ardrossan, has accepted a unanimous call to Aberfeldy Congregational Church. Mr Lewis had his training at Belfast University and at the Paton Theological College, Nottingham. He was ordained in 1903 and has been in the Ardrossan charge since 1932. The Aberfeldy church became vacant in April last when the Reverend Duncan M Turner terminated a fifteen month pastorate upon his application for admission to the Church of Scotland.
The Scotsman, 18 July 1938
DEATH OF ARDROSSAN HEAD POSTMASTER
Mr Donald Mackay, head postmaster of Ardrossan district, died suddenly while on holiday at Lamlash. He was appointed to Ardrossan two years ago. A native of Inverness, he commenced his Post Office career in Edinburgh. He was afterwards transferred to Inverness where he was successively overseer and assistant superintendent. In 1932, Mr Mackay was appointed head postmaster of Wick district and from there, he went to Ardrossan four years later.
The Scotsman, 5 August 1938
ARDROSSAN INCREASE OF FOUR PENCE
Ardrossan Town Council has fixed the rates for the ensuing year at 12s in the £. – 5s 1d on owners and 6s 11d on occupiers. This is an increase of 4d in the £1 – 1d on owners and 3d on occupiers.
The Scotsman, 14 September 1938
ADMIRALTY NOT TO TAKE OVER ARDROSSAN
The Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, Mr Shakespeare, writes, in reply to Mr Robert Gibson, Greenock, that no proposal has been made by the Admiralty for taking over Ardrossan Harbour nor are there any requirements at present for the Princes Pier, Greenock, or the old Caird shipyard to be used by the Admiralty.
The Scotsman, 4 November 1938
TRINIDAD PROFESSORSHIP OF ENTOMOLOGY
– APPOINTMENT OF DR A MARTIN ADAMSON
The authorities of the Imperial Agricultural College of Trinidad have determined to raise the entomology lectureship to the status of a professorial Chair and they have appointed as Professor Dr A Martin Adamson, the results of whose entomological researches have received publication. Professor Adamson was educated at Ardrossan Academy and Saint Andrews University and later studied at Vienna. He was assistant in biology to Professor Sir D’Arcy W Thompson at Saint Andrews. Some years ago, he was offered an appointment as biologist to accompany the ship The Discovery but he preferred an American appointment to pursue entomological research in the Marquesas Islands.
The Scotsman, 10 November 1938