We are now into 2015 and I cannot think of any special thoughts of what we should expect for the coming year. There are always some who attach great significant to numbers etc which will be a warning of things to come. However the rest of us in ignorance can look forward to it being a year of pleasure and perhaps peace around the world. Surely it is time for everyone to copy those first war soldiers and come together to shake hands etc.
However that is all history but in looking for tales to tell I also dip into the past. Did you appreciate that Prestwick is considered by some to be the oldest Burgh in Scotland and is the only coastal town in Ayrshire that does not have a harbour..My, My just think of it even villages such as Dunure and Ballantrae have harbours.
However Prestwick does have an airport and has had one since 1935 when flying enthusiasts the Marquess of Clydesdale and David McIntyre developed it and it became the only guaranteed fog free airport in Britain. Now these two gentlemen had another claim to fame as they were the first men to fly over Mount Everest so they must truly have been enthusiastic flyers. The Marquess of Clydesdale became the 14th. Duke of Hamilton and had met Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, another flying enthusiast, at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Hess had been trying to contact The Duke of Hamilton to broker a peace treaty with Britain in 1941 when his plane came down in a field in Eaglesham.. David McClean, a local ploughman, was first onto the scene and used his pitchfork to bring Rudolf Hess into captivity. This of course brought Eaglesham to everyone’s notice and the 10th. May 1941 became a date of great significance for the area and naturally also to David McClean.
But of course we must realize that Ayrshire is the home to many famous men, their inventions and actions have brought benefit to many. Muirkirk was the first town in the whole of Britain to be lit by gas in 1859. This was due to the Muirkirk Coke and Gaslight Company which operated in the town until 1977.
John Boyd Dunlop the inventor of the first practical pneumatic tyre was born in Dreghorn and where would we be today without that invention. Mind you we could do with Mr. Dunlop’s help today to invent something that will protect us from the terrible potholes in the Ayrshire’s roads. But that is just wishful thinking. There are many famous people connected with Ayrshire and it is probably the fresh air and the sea breezes which keeps their brains clear and active. I hope to have more tales for next week, see you then.