If Kilbirnie were a harp with strings I'd surely sweep a strain, An everlasting melody Which no man could restrain I'd write a song of thanksgiving Of peace and love and cheer To bless the town with all its woes Bring pleasure to their ears I'd play the song on Knoxville road And at the Walker Hall I'd play it at the Labour club While drunkards take their fall I'd play the harp so silently For those who hate the sound To aid them out of hopelessness To turn their lives around I'd sweep a strain of sad refrain At steel works passing by I'd touch upon a melody And older folks would cry I'd play it softly at the match While folks would cheer their team And move along the park so long To watch the Garnock stream I'd play the harp across the tracks As cyclists speed me by I'd play and wait at graveyard's gates For mourners with their sighs I'd play it at the Garnock's heart Right up at Jacob's Well, where no one goes to see it flow Or care to even tell I'd play a tune right at the school The Children would be pleased I'd pass the harp to little ones To hold upon their knees So to the town with all my sounds And everlasting strains I leave the harp right at the cross For others who remain To strain their sounds of happiness And hope for all the town To watch it grow with sadness no! As an everlasting crown.
Easter 2023 A gentle rising over mountains and hills The new, God filled mornings where birds gently shrill Small new born lambs dance closely by mills as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire Sacred songs, worship, with words full of praise In Churches surrounding the Largs hills and braes Children hunt eggs and voices are raised as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire Another ray shines, o'er those still asleep Hope for all people from the Great Mercy Seat A baby is born, little feet, mothers weep as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire O'er darkened bleak forests, beams shafts of white light Laying beacons of hope, joys, filled with delight The Saviour has risen, o Beautiful Sight as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire Every day of our lives we await his appearing Through our darkened thoughts and opinions still seething Power so Gentle and soft,ever nearing as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire Shining with hope for people oppressed And those with anxiety, seeking some rest Bringing peace to our town, all people are Blessed as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire Pillars of light upon earth's lofty shafts Old time honoured rituals falling at last A new Light is dawning and all are agast as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire An angel appears and rests on our thoughts Like butterflies clinging to their earthly lot Of Thoughts and Prayers higher than possessions sought as Easter dawns upon Ayrshire Joseph McTaggart
Meet Malcolm McTaggart and Janet Smith
Malcolm McTaggart and Janet Smith (my Great Great Great Grandparents) lived in Montgomery Street as well as the Paddockholm area of Kilbirnie and then Glengarnock and were in many ways the parents of most McTaggart families who live in Kilbirne and Dalry today. The others came from his siblings, aunts and uncles.
He died in the late 1890s and she lived until 1919. His first wife was Jane Leitch, with whom he had one child and he is pictured here with his second wife Janet Smith. Together they had a lot of children.
Their parents came from Islay, the island off the west coast and they could only speak Gaelic when they first arrived here in the 1840s. Malcolm was born in Kilbirnie. His father was also married to a Janet Smith, Father and son married mother and niece. Everybody worked in the steel works.
Malcolm and Janet are buried with their son John and they are one of the first graves as you enter the old cemetery across from the old old cemetery gate.
Poem: The Bing, Kilbirnie
The bing was a huge mound of cement and gravel where kids climbed on the corner of Place View and Newhouse Drive. It was converted into a playpark in the mid 80s. Oh the years upon the bing with cousin Margaret children played climbing up with all our power by Newhouse drive where people stayed Amid the thorns and grey cement there seemed a moment, time well spent and sliding down the gravel slope I skinned my knees without a hope My grannie waiting at the door with borax, plasters by the score O the hills we thought were steep when now in older lives we keep Mountains slopes upon our minds perhaps a bing of different kind climbing o’er our darker thoughts just like the thistles we did trod Lessons from the bing well learnt of my granny’s soothing balm o how that Love returns to me a nd brings with it a sense of calm And behind the trees sat Warrior’s bing perhaps a sign of future years with bigger slope and hills to climb amid the darker fading years
Poem: Snow in Paisley
And comes a pure white blanket laid around the river Cart Across the darkened thoughts of man a Love which does impart And o´er the bogs and swamps there´s ice up to the Abbey door A voice says “Man with all your cares be still for just an hour” The darkened views of waning health, exchanged for winter cheer The snow reflects a gentle calm upon the town so dear And on the braes the deer are seen walking proudly by For no man can touch their safety now upon their mountain high Upon the tombs of rested men lies layers of icy sense Reflecting that the One great Mind preserves their innocence
ِDennyholm Street, Kilbirnie
I have attached 3 photos.
On one you can see a map showing that the Dennyholm (street) ran parallel to Newton Street but was on a level at the back and beneath the street. (next to number 836 on the map). The mill was a bit further back.
The other two photos show the entrance to what was “Dennyholm Street” with a very long row of houses. We can only see the first house on Dennyholm Street on the colour photo which is sitting down from of what appears to be the back of a block of flats which are built upwards to Newton Street. The older photo shows a concrete shed in front of the same first house a little bit closer.
I initially thought that Dennyholm street would have been the blocks of tenaments built up to Newton Street but one of the North Ayrshire Directories of that time describes them as “a long row of houses prone to flooding.” The census of 1921 shows them as having only 2 rooms each.
The area has been completely replaced with the Dennyholm Wynd Housing Estate although on Google Earth you can still see the same street, which is more like a lane now with those yellowish grey flats beneath the ground level of Newton Street.
In the 1900s the street had shops and a school. Dennyholm Street no longer exists and is simply the river walk at the back of Newton Street now.
LIlac – A Poem
Last night I dreamt of Lilac buds Upon the Garnock Stream amid the thorns and briars thick a purple colour beamed I thought about the folk who came and chanced upon this sight perhaps ancestors,long since gone who left it burning bright Perhaps a bird did carry it from far and distant lands or from a child´s hands it fell and grew to proudly stand Or from Place Castle seeds did blow across the glade and vine to where the lovers meet in quiet with bodies deep entwined From where before the lilac came no man knows for sure cemetery or Moorpark House or from the Fairlie Moor So when you come and chance upon the purple lilac hue Give a thought from whence it came Ancestors before you