Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Poems, spirituality, Uncategorized

A Snow White Blanket Dawn

And comes a snow white blanket dawn
around the Garnock way
across the darkened thoughts of man
a Love at break of day

And o´er the bogs and hills there´s ice
the cows they gently cower
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
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

O the Love that comes to Man
and all that went before
with coal fires, spades and gas lamplight
the steel work furnace roared

Now with vision double glazed
with houses big and warm
we still declare it's not enough
to get us through the morn

Demanding more at every turn
it gently takes us higher
looking towards a Higher sense
than simply vain desire

Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

Mary (Maria) McTaggart 1887 – 1907

Maria McTaggart worked for W and J Knox in Kilbirnie and sadly caught her breast in one of the machines. She was a sister of my Great Grandfather Neil McTaggart.

She eventually died at the young age of 19. The family maintained it was because of her wound which became “cancerous”, yet there is no known link between a breast wound and cancer. That is now known to be an urban myth. She in fact died of a lung condition.

It seems the family were living out at “the Den” which was a little village called Barkip. It no longer exists but you can still see traces of it on the Beith to Dalry Road. It was disbanded in the early 20th Century and the people were moved to other locations such as the Longbar, Rows, Beith and Dalry. It had a Church, Bank, Post Office and school.

Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Poems, Uncategorized

The River Garnock at Grahamston Avenue #poem

Flowing to a land of peace 
We watch her gentle stream
Old Churches, schools ravished by time
Reflect her gentle beams.

Starry nights and sun-filled days
Upon her granite poised
Where children played upon the bridge
O´er shadowed now with noise.

Yet peace she brings with every stone
Where faltering birds do nest
And otters with their children come
To take their peace and rest.

In her divine appointed flow 
Fear leaves no saddened thoughts 
For change is named upon her brow 
With no heightened sense of loss.

And by her banks sweet angels flow
Attending to their wards
while we stand upon the bridge alone
With only darker thoughts.

Yet sweet repose and Love are here
For all who hear her song
Far away from bills to pay
And every sense of wrong.

Her gentle flowing higher streams
Do guide us in our thoughts
to a peaceful place of mind
flowing o´er the darker rocks. 

´Tis good for us to stop and hear
Her gentle peaceful flow
While Angels pass with quieter thoughts
Allowing us to grow.


Kilbirnie / North Ayrshire, Uncategorized

James Clifford

James, later known as Jaime (Jamie) Clifford was a 19th century protestant missionary who went from Kilbirnie Gospel Hall to Argentina. Ironically he was born in a house which sat on the present site of the Gospel Hall at Schoolwynd.

It was noticed that he had great oratory skills when he gave speeches for the Independent Labour Party. He initially attended the red kirk across from St Columbas before his religious conversion.

He became very well known in Argentina and is buried out there. Visiting Kilbirnie a few times after he left. His son Alejandro Clifford continued his work in Argentina.

His biography in Spanish is here