Fairlie not Arran 1967

Fairlie 1967, photograph by Gerald England

Photograph Gerald England, 2003

In the late 60s I lived in Glasgow. Much of my free time was spent travelling around and taking photographs with my new Kodak Instamatic camera, bought for the princely sum of 5 from a shop on Sauchiehall Street.

I especially enjoyed travelling on the train to Helensburgh or Gourock and "gooin' doon the waters" sailing in the Firth of Clyde. I recall one evening taking the train to Ardrossan and sailing over to Brodick. With just about half an hour ashore, there was time only to take a short walk and a few quick pictures.

Some years ago I started putting a selection of these old pictures on my website at Old Scotland, including the one above which was labelled "Brodick, 1967".

Later I was informed by someone who had lived in Brodick all her life that the photograph was not of Brodick. I went back and looked at my original photographs. I had three with "Brodick 1967" scribbled on the back in pencil, and another labelled "Arran". I presented these here in the hope that someone would recognise something in the photographs and confirm the locations.

A number of people said the photograph reminded them of Brodick but sources on Arran stated quite firmly that it wasn't.

Someone then suggested that the photograph might be of Fairlie. He recalled sailing to Brodick from Ardrossan in 1968 but the return ferry landed at Fairlie.

I found a photograph of Fairlie Church on an Ayrshire genealogical site and it looked very similar to the one in my photograph. I was unable contact the site-owner for verification, but finally got in touch with North Ayrshire Council and a spokesman for the Estates Office told me

I have checked your Photo on your web site . It was taken from the old pier in Fairlie looking back towards the village. I have double checked this against our old plans. My colleague informs me that Fife racing yachts were built in the small boat construction yards in front of the church.

I have since been told that the boat shed in front of the church was one of two where William Fife built yachts but the larger racing yachts were built at another shed which stood to the left of where the photo was taken which was adjacent to the railway station. James Bunting from West Kilbride and his company Maricraft Scotland Ltd continued to build boats from this very yard for a period of time.

The photograph below shows how the village has changed in 37 years!

Fairlie 2004, photograph by Alistair Gibson

Photograph Alistair Gibson, 2004

This photograph, another four years on, is from the Geograph website.

Fairlie 2008, photograph by Johnny Durnan

Photograph Johnny Durnan, 2008

The old wooden pier has since been demolished. This photograph was taken from the site of the pier in June 2010.

Fairlie 2010, photograph by Thomas Nugent

Photograph Thomas Nugent, 2010

This photograph shows the scene in August 2013.

Fairlie 2013, photograph by Leslie Barrie

Photograph Leslie Barrie, 2013

Some follow-up reminiscences can be found on the blog Ackworth born, gone West

More information about Fairlie can be found on the s1 Fairlie community website


Webpage design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 20th August 2013.