From the archives

A look through the files of the Kilsyth Chronicle

1901

COMMUTERS were disappointed to learn that an application “for a late train to Kilsyth on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the continuance of Exhibition” had been refused. The Kilsyth Merchants’ Association had made the request that the townsfolk be able to return home as late as 10.25pm from Glasgow, however, a Mr W. F. Jackson, on behalf of the N.B.R. said there was not sufficient enough demand for the service for the carrier to gain enough to cover the cost of the service. He added that safety concerns would also arrise due to the late time at which the driver would arrive back in Queen Street Station in Glasgow. The company considered these to be valid enough reasons to reject the request without further assessment by officials.

EXCAVATION work being undertaken on the site of three 17th century buildings on Baker Street uncovered a sinister secret of their past. “A human skull was found lying in a cavity resembling a grave by its dimensions. The fact that a quantity of lime was found in the same spot has given rise to the supposition that the skull tells a story of foul play many years ago, but of such a story there is no hint in the local records, nor has tradition handed it down over the years.”

1936

TWO Falkirk men had a lucky escape when their motorcycle and sidecar burst into flames outside of Colzium Estate. The pair were travelling along Stirling Road on their way home when the stopped for a brief rest to stretch their legs. “On making to restart the engine, flames burst out and involved the sidecar. Luckily the passenger was not in it at the time. The flames were so hot that they were tearing divots from the roadside.” The driver of a passing motor lorry tackled the blaze with an extinguisher. The sidecar was completely destroyed, as was much of the bike. A petrol leak was believed to have been the cause.

TWO brothers from Kilsyth were elevated to the higher echelons of the Scottish cycle racers pool after winning some of the most coveted prizes on the calendar. J. A. Potter won the Glenview Cycling Club’s 50 miles and 25 miles races, incredibly, on the same day. Not to be out done, a matter of days later, his brother, T. W. Potter, took the flag in the Glasgow Transport Sports half-mile sprint before also finishing first in the two miles invitational.

Kilsyth Academy’s annual prize-giving had to be cut short as the heat during the ceremony was said to be unbearable. Rector, Mr Allan, decided on the early finish to allow everyone to enjoy the evening sunshine.

1961

AUSTRALIAN magazine The Accordianist carried a feature on Kilsythian George Hay, who had emigrated down under some 13 years earlier. “The magazine stated that Kristine Attwood, one of George’s pupils, played on the radio and appeared at the Festival of Trees in Newcastle City Hall. His group of two accordians, three melodeons and a guitar, are popular wherever they play.” The story was accompanied by a picture of George and his group, and he was said to be looking very well by those who knew him.

TALENTED Kilsyth artist Jack Erskine gained many admirers when one of his paintings, titled ‘Tak-Ma-Doon Road’, was on show at the Glasgow Civic Art Exhibition. One man, Alex Moffat, from Banknock, was so taken with Mr Erskine’s work that he parted with a considerable amount of money to acquire it. The artist was said to be delighted at the deal.

MANY Kilsyth folks enjoyed a night at the theatre, without having to leave the town. Kilsyth Academy’s school concert made a triumphant return and a massive audience poured in to watch the budding thespians perform, firstly, a number called Scotland in song, dance and story. The second half included a production of The Pirates of Penzance.

1986

PUPILS at Kilsyth Academy were sad to see Depute Rector David Eunson retire after more than 10 years in his position. “Mr Eunson (61) was special guest at a farewell dinner held in the Coachman Hotel, along with colleague Mr Donald Cameron, a remedial teacher, who is retiring after 12 years. More than 60 members of staff, past and present, attended.” Rector John Mitchell presented Mr Eunson with a cheque before paying tribute to his lengthy service to the school.

THE Balmalloch area of the town was engulfed by a thick cloud of smoke from a fire set by vandals. The blaze was started at the disused Neilston Quarry, which was being filled by a Paisley-based firm, commissioned by Kilsyth Lennox Golf Club. Alan Stevenson, secretary of the club, said: “I am sorry that so much annoyance was caused. The amount of petty vandalism that has been going on at the quarry is inbelievable. We hope to have the infill completed some time next year, but we are concerned that these incidents are causing so much concern to the community.” Golfers had been driven off the course by the acrid smell and the walls of the clubhouse had been breached by the cloud. Security and fencing around the quarry site was to be beefed up as a precautionary measure.