Since wemyssbay.net was
launched, I have received quite a few e-mails from people sharing
memories of their time in Wemyss Bay. These can now be read below.
you would like to contact any of the people listed below please
details and I can put you in touch.
can contribute too!
If you would like to share memories
of your time in Wemyss Bay, please
and I'll add them to this page (messages may be edited slightly
prior to publication, just to tidy them up etc).
I was 10 years old when I visited a distant relative's beautiful home in Wemyss Bay. I am now 42 years old and live in America (I am from America I might add).
I met a little friend who was the same age as me and I remember his name was Steven. He lived up behind the Dunloe and he showed me around the Bay and I have to say, the adventure will stay with me forever.
I promised Steven I would be back in a year but my parents never did take me back to Scotland. I wanted to let Steven know that I have not forgotten about him after all these years. If by any tiny chance Steven reads this, please feel free to email me so we could possibly reconnect. I'm sorry I do not know his last name. My name is Shawna and I miss Wemyss Bay so very much.
I also wanted to find out if the "Dunloe" is still alive and well. I miss Wemyss Bay so very much. I want to visit again so badly.
I also would not mind if you posted my phone number here in America (Colorado) in case Steven just by chance reads my story. I almost want to say his last name was MacCormick but I am not certain. He defininately lived up and behind the "Dunloe", up the street a little ways on the left hand side. I keep a picture of the "Dunloe" on my mantle all the time. What a special place.
God bless and warm regards,
Tel: USA 970-308-5496
Moved to Wemyss Bay in December 1974. My dad got a job at the Power Station. Truly it rained for 6 months after we moved in!
The house (6 Morar Road) was an SSHA rented one - I don't think the houseowners liked the renting families - remember the residents and the tenants association? The Lawrence houses were badly built - the squeaky floors, thin flimsy walls and terrible heating. However living in Wemyss Bay was great - the woods, the rocks, the castle - fantastic!
Even Mr Honeyman, Miss Stenhouse (bad piano), Mrs Barnfather (very bad piano), Mrs Black etc etc fantastic League of Gentlemen types at Inverkip Primary.
The Skelmorlie cubs / scouts / gang shows with Banks Wylie / the indefatigable Alistair Wylie / Skipper etc and some more sinister characters (Stanley the Inverkip tramp - rumoured to be a millionaire and others...) What a fun place!
The demise of the castle is terrible... it was fascinating... the badminton court, the pier, the flag site, climbing up the castle floors, the greenhouses etc and the roman baths, monks cell, and it all seems built on now.
When I've been back its difficult to remember exactly how it was but the shore is identical... those rocks you climbed over at 10 years old - identical - only you have changed - a potent reminder of mortality - "this will be here long after you've gone mate".
Sorry to get maudlin... it was a great place to learn alcohol too - if you could get someone to buy a carry out from Jeans.
Hello to Paul, John, Maurice, Andy etc. Hope the Porteous are well and any one else that remembers the Renwicks.
I was born at South Lodge (Bank House), Wemyss Bay in 1927 and
lived there with my family until 1943. There was four boys and a girl.I am
wondering if anyone can remember us. I used to know Hughie and Nan Bar, Tommy and David Landels, Ronnie Herbert,
Tommy Kid, Carson McCartney. My relatives lived in upper Skermorlie. As a boy
I was a friend with Jim Halliday who lived at Woodburn Cottage just up the
hill from the Wemyss Bay Hotel.
When I come back to Scotland I usually take a walk round the Bay. I used to play at the creek with Hughie Bar, Tommy Landels, Ronnie Herbert and Eddie McKerra. I often wonder what has happened to them. Jim Halliday was one of my friends.
I was born in 1927 and can remember all the activity when they were concreting the shore for the landing crafts to take the commandos over to Loch Striven to carry out manoeuvres with live ammunition. In fact when I told my older brother Billy who is now 82 that I was struggling with trying to use this laptop and we were talking about the commandos he reminded me of the ambulances that used to come down regularly, I think from Greenock, to take casualties away.
I read that the Bay was used as a sea plane base but I can assure you that
they were never there, as far as I can remember they were at Gourock and down
at Largs. When the Wemyss Bay home guard were formed it was just like dad's
army, Mr Napier was the officer in charge. My brother, who
was four years older than me, had he been alive would have been able to
tell me more information. Unfortunately he passed away ten years ago.
9th July 2009 - Tom sadly passed away on this date. Read more.
You were asking
what the shore was like as you looked at it from South Lodge before it
was concreted over. It was all pebbly and as the tide went out it was a
very nice sandy bottom with a sand bank.
During the last war we used to
love it when we saw one of the big tank landing crafts coming in on
half tide and it was a bit stormy, because they would suddenly ground on
the sand bank and they thought that it would be shallow enough to drop
their draw bridge and the tanks would come out and after 20 yards or so
they went under water (poor tank crews) but boys would be boys and we
thought it was great to see all the commotion. That was why Pearson's
Garage started to fit snorkels on to their exhausts, so we were told at
I have written a book about my childhood days as far back as
I can possibly remember for my grandchildren and great grandchildren
to read when I have gone and to let them know what a wonderful place
that Wemyss Bay is.
I will close now and apologise for being such a poor
writer, I wish you a very happy and healthy new year. Tom Moodie.
My name is Joan Jobson, I was born in Wemyss Bay in 1923, my
name was Margaret Joan Heggie and lived there until 1944 when I married a
Canadian naval officer and emigrated to Canada.
I attended school at the Academy in Greenock and travelled by train and bus.
I remember cycling to Largs on many occasions and got a nice wave from the
bus driver when he saw me.
I was an only child and my parents were Thomas
Heggie and Mary (Daisy) Heggie. The golf course wasn't too far from
our home and I started going with my parents when I was five. My main
job at the time was picking up sheeps' droppings for my father's garden.
I have enjoyed the Wemyss Bay web site with the pictures of local scenes that
I remember clearly. The short memories written by locals from days gone
past caught my attention. I would be very pleased
to hear from anyone who recognizes me or my family. I currently live
in Sidney, British Columbia, Canada. Thank you and wishing you the best.
If you would like to contact Joan please
and I can put you in touch with her. She has visited Wemyss Bay several times, the last visit was to attend her mother's funeral in 1979.
|From: Arthur Brocklebank in Dingwall
Hello, I submit this contribution for
My name is Arthur Brocklebank. When
I was 11 my father and mother and I came to live in Wemyss
Bay having been
bombed out during the Greenock blitz.
As my father was organist
at the English Episcopal church on Inverclyde's estate,
Lord Inverclyde invited us to stay
at the castle for a couple of nights until he made enquiries
in the area about accommodation for us.
He approached Mr
Stewart of Dunloe and suggested opening up Ardvar. This
was agreed and we moved in with what possessions
we could rescue from our wrecked house in Caddlehill Terrace
Soon, other evacuees moved in and we became a small happy community.
Every day, I caught one of Dunlop's buses at the Smithy to take me to Greenock Academy. Dunlop's
buses found the hill from the Hotel on the main road quite a challenge
especially if they were full.
It did not take me long to meet up with some of the boys and girls who lived close
by and I remember Hugh and Nan Barr, Ronnie Herbert and Ian Ramsey from the grocer's shop
I joined the Skelmorlie Scouts with Mr
Alexander as the Scoutmaster and headteacher of the primary
school, delivered fish on my bike round the area from Smith's fish shop in
the village, joined the Skelmorlie tennis club, fished
off the rocks in borrowed boats below Ardvar for mackerel
and plaice, played and got many a soaking in the famous
creek, and, on Saturdays and Sundays, delivered milk with
horse and cart from the estate farm. The horse was named "Boy".
The arrival of the Americans with their armoured cars and
tanks brought great excitement to the village. Pearson's
garage had the job of welding on exhaust snorkels to
the vehicles, and when the beach was covered in concrete
it was fun running to welcome the landing craft when they
crossed over from Rothesay. We were told, secretly, that
these Americans were training for landings in Sicily.
The estate walled garden above the castle was kept going
during the war years and we boys had great adventures
clambering over the wall to pinch some apples. Often
the gardener would come round which forced us to lie face down until
he passed by. We were never caught!
My father joined
the local Home Guard. one of his duties being to guard
Wemyss Bay pier at night against invasion
by the Germans with his rifle and one bullet.
A year after the war ended, we left Ardvar and returned home.
These were happy years. but at the age of 75, I have forgotten
nearly all the names of the many friends
I made. I would be delighted, if any of my contemporaries from
those days are still alive, would care to get in touch.
I now live in Dingwall.
If you would like to contact Arthur
and I can put you in touch with him.
V Vivek in Bangalore, India
I am an Indian, currently living at Bangalore, India.
Was reading an article on the Skye bridge and one
thing led to another and I got to your site. It is
very nicely designed.
I had come down to the London in 1996 and within a
month of being there, there had secured a contract
position at IBM. My company had put me up at the
Wemyss Bay Hotel (a gorgeous B & B) near the equally
gorgeous railway station. The people there were
amazingly friendly (like all scots) and went out of
their way being nice to me.
I still remember of the extra care they took in
preparing food for me as I am a vegetarian. I lived
there for a month and then moved to Largs. After being
in Largs for more than 2 years, I went back to London,
then Singapore and am back in India working for a
software multi national but Scotland especially Wemyss
Bay / Largs and its wonderful people are always
special to me.
If you can, please let me know if the hotel is still
there and whom do I get in touch with? It used to be
run by Ms Tricia McCauley. The lady who cleaned the
rooms was an angel and also made sure the radiators
were always on so I did not freeze to death.
V Vivek (eternal scotland and Glenmorangie supporter)
|From: Wilson Blaikie in Australia
Hi From Australia,
I lived in Woodburn cottage from 1950 to 53 with my
parents and brother, it was a great place for kids.
We used to spend hours up at the Smithy and petting
the calves left there to be picked up the lorry, and
each of us took turns pumping the bellows for the Forge.
One area that was out of bounds was the radar gun base
that had been built up near where the powerstation is
All the kids had free range of the gardens around the
Bay so long as we did not cause any damage. We fished
at the old harbour and generally had a carefree time.
We had to get the bus to Inverkip to go to school (sweets
were still on ration) and the race to get to the bakers
when the bus stopped to get the BEST broken biscuits
was on each morning.
We moved to Ayrshire in 1953 and lost contact with
our friends. Hope this triggers memories for some others
of that era.
George Sneddon in Cumbernauld
looking through the wemyssbay.net history page I was
interested in the comments re the part played by Dunavertie
House in the Second World
War. It was during that
period that I had a close association with Dunavertie.
My mother assisted the housekeeper and as a result I as a young boy spent
much time in and around Dunavertie, its pond and its gardens.
The period in
particular would be around 1943/1944 but since it's some 60 years ago it's
difficult to be precise. The reference to the house being commandeered
for top secret intelligence intrigues me somewhat as
the only people I can
recall ever being in the house were the housekeeper, my mother, Robin the
son of the house, a family of evacuees from Greenock
and myself and there
certainly was no restriction on visitors. Also the reference to the Short
Sunderland and Catalina flying boats using the bay again I cannot recall,
however there was a flying boat base at Largs in the grounds in front of
the old Barrfields theatre, now the Vikingar, and if
I'm not mistaken the slipway
used then is the one used by Largs RNLI.
The Wemyss Bay beach
which we knew as the shore road did have the concrete
as is mentioned and was
used by landing craft that came from somewhere and went up some lochs
somewhere but we never found out where, such was the way of the war,
but the concrete landing area certainly made a good outdoor
swimming pool if the
weather was good and the tide was in.
I was living at this
time in a caravan in Kelly Estate in the avenue, a
short distance from McIntyre's Kelly Mains farm,
having moved down from Glasgow
after the Clydebank blitz. The caravans were all well spaced out under
the trees, unlike the present day, and the rent paid
to Mr Bill McIntyre was £5.00
It was not unusual
to be awakened in the wee small hours by the sound of
army tanks, bren carriers and army lorries
coming up into the
estate and stopping under the trees to avoid detection from the air,
also not realising that the caravans were all occupied
thinking they could perhaps
get a good billet for the night.
One particular instance,
where having disturbed us during the night, the young
English officer in charge
apologised the next morning and stated that they were
now leaving and taking
the bridge to Rothesay. We explained there was
no bridge to Rothesay and it
transpired that he was looking for the Kincardine Bridge as they
were going to Rosyth!
The memories of my
almost five years living in the caravan at Kelly are
many, some sad
some happy, it's not always good
to revisit old haunts,
particularly the Kelly Estate itself which as a boy I considered
as my backyard. I prefer my memories to remain a
slice of time.
George Sneddon, Cumbernauld.
I moved to Wemyss
Bay with my parents in 1974. It was a great place to
grow up. It was much quieter a place then as there was
far fewer houses and much more open space for us kids
to run riot in.
The woods were
always a favourite place to go exploring in. We would
build 'dens' and attempt to build treehouses and big
rope swings. In the fields we would hide from each
other and use hay bails to make houses. And if that
wasn't enough for us we had the beach with all the
rock pools and the grounds of Castle Wemyss to explore.
I'm sure we were
luckier than most and were rarely bored over summer
months. I am sitting smiling as I write this as I remember
those days and they weren't really that long ago.
I lived in Wemyss
Bay after I got married but it wasn't the same as it
just kept growing and less and less of the character
of the village was left. I now live in Gourock but
Margaret Smith Elliot[nee]
Found your site
this evening & thought I'd comment. The pictures of the
Pier House & station are great, from the outside the
premises look almost like old times. However, this past
year I managed to get inside the old house, after many
years of trying & many phone calls. What a let down!
I wonder, since the buildings are now listed, why the
powers that be allow the decay to take over?
I grew up in this
environment, lived many wonderful years there, with
my Grandparents, in the 1940's. I have a head full
of memories of people, employed in/around the station & pier,
the local butcher, Archie at Pearson's, Ginn's tearoom,
the Fishmonger, the grocery shop, whose name escapes
me at his moment. Your postie is to be complimented
for his camera work. I would like to participate in
the "ex-pats segment". I have many lovely old pics
which I will look out with a view to forwarding to
We will be back "home" later
Margaret Smith Elliot[nee]
I enjoyed reading
all the material on your site. The contributors, I think,
are all a generation or two, after myself. Where does
the time go?! I feel like it was yesterday that we left
there. I am most upset about the pier house, almost derelict.
Would you know where
all the paddle boxes disappeared to, the ones that were
all down the inside covered area, station to the steamers?
The grocer family was Ramsey. We had many connections
in Upper Skelmorlie also, Golf Course, Craig na Hullie.
Michelle Stevenson in Lossiemouth
Julie and I lived
on the estate that was built to house the workers, who
worked in the Inverkip Power station. I lived at 29 Innellan
Rd up until I moved away in 1988. I have been back several
times but only in passing and I feel it is overgrown
with housing as it used to be a great place when we were
children. We loved to roam about the old castle, pier,
woods and never grew tired of living there. Julie and
our other friends had fun but I don't think I will be
back as I am living in Lossiemouth now and it's much
better up north. I will be visiting Inverkip this weekend
as my sister Hayley lives there so maybe I might meet
some people I know. Michelle Stevenson.
Julie my e-mail
address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ian Macleod Cassels in the Netherlands
Hi there :)
Ok, it is a while ago that I went to Wemyss Bay.
The last time I went over was when my grandma passed away and I am now 26 years
old. My name is Ian Macleod Cassels and I live now in Rotterdam in the Netherlands
and was born in Leven Road 17 or Levens Road, I don't know it any more.
My father and mum are John Cassels and Marcella Cassels so maybe some people
know us? :)
I had a great time
there but unfortunately we had to leave because of my
I keep thinking back of Wemyss Bay and Gourock and when I was young the lights
in the middle of the road and all the tiny lights at the other end of the
Yes, I can say that I miss Scotland and it will always be with me until I die.
Thank you and greetings from the Netherlands,
Ian Macleod Cassels
Murdo Messer in Canada
Hi there, I was
just supplying some biographical information to the Canadian
Dental Journal which will be featuring a painting of
my father's on the cover on their April issue. I mentioned
that he was born in Wemyss Bay. I did a search on the
web for curiosity sake and stumbled across wemyssbay.net.
father (Dr Jim Messer) was born in the Wemyss Bay Hotel
on April 11, 1940. His parents managed the hotel at
the time I believe. I have a picture of him as a grown
standing outside the hotel taken at the same spot as
the photo on your website.
I just wanted to say thanks for the pictures. Though I lived in Glasgow as a
child I have never been to Wemyss Bay, I hope some
day I will. I was born in Canada where dad eventually
See http://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-69/issue-4/artwork.html for
the article about Dr Jim Messer's artwork.
Jim Messer in 1979 outside the Wemyss Bay Hotel
David Wilson in Glasgow
Site. I've been going down to Wemyss Bay from Glasgow
for about 30 years and I was married in St Joseph's last
year. I can't believe the changes in recent times. The
housing developments have ruined the town. I heard that
the Caravan Site has recently bought the wild woodlands
on the Kelly estate down from the farm, a good place
see deer and all manner of animals, no doubt this is
in danger of being destroyed. Only in Scotland do we make
such a dogs breakfast of our towns!!!
The power station
I believe was always a white elephant, I was told it
never actually made
a contribution to the
National Grid, I would need this confirmed though.
They should knock it down - it's such an eye sore. Return
the area to a nature reserve would be good.
Some historical stuff , the "horses tomb" did
have the remains of horses in it at one point, however
I could not find out why Lord Inverclyde did this,
apart from being keen on horses. The Castle was always
a source of gossip, apparently Inverclyde was a bit
of a ladies man and enjoyed the wild entertainment of
day......drunken skinny dipping in the Clyde off the
castle pier was often seen at his parties!
The Kelly house was
destroyed by fire instigated by some woman's movement
early in the last
century, I believe
the villains were caught the following day at Fairlie.
The Stable House, which housed the horses and carriages,
still stands in the Forest (just down from the Farm)
but it won't be there long if the Caravan site have
thanks for your reply. I've got an old aunt in Wemyss Bay
who has been there since WWII, she has lots of stories about
the area and some old
photos of Wemyss Bay even before the main road to Largs was tarmac'ed.
I have some scanned onto a floppy somewhere I'll see if
can find them and
pass them on.
I never knew about the South Lodge, if it was in England it would be
renovated, they seem to be more into preservation than us. I remember your
house [on Undercliff Road], it was near the place on the rocks which are carved out like large
stairs, I think it was the first pier for the Castle. I was a keen rock
climber at school, I did some practice on the rock faces near your old
house when the tide had gone out.
I didn't know many people down there, most people I knew lived on Lomond
Road. The names of which totally escape me. You should take walk up the
Kelly when the weather is good you will get some good pictures for your Web
site. Go up were the clay pigeon tower is located at the top of the hill,
the views are fantastic up there.
Frank in Alaska
|Really enjoyed your
site, especially the one photo of the sub in the Clyde.
The first fish I ever caught was out on the Clyde with
my granda in his wee row boat and as I was reeling it in
one of those American subs popped up a couple of hundred
yards away and sailed right by us, man did that photo bring
back memories. I was only four years old and I remember
it clear as day. I'm trying to get things together so I
can make a trip back home, permanently I think. I've been
away from Scotland for over 30 years; I left when I was
6 and I've only been back once. Your site and the pictures
just made me want it even more.
Grant in Australia
I really belong to
Largs, as of many years ago, but it is pretty hopeless trying
to contact anyone there. I found your site to be very good
and I used to take part in the 10 mile bike race from Largs
to Wemyss Bay as a member of the Greenock Wheelers. That
was 53 years ago, today I live in Australia and feel a little
homesick reading all the stories on the net, and somehow
the net brings everything so near. Thanks for the chance
to talk to you.
This site made me
laugh and brought back a lot of memories. I used to stay
in Wemyss Bay when I was younger, I am now 22.
Maybe you could answer
a question for me? Just before I moved away, roughly 1989/90
I took part in the recording of what I think was an educational
show for television with the primary school. Unfortunately
I moved and forgot all about it. Any ideas?
I went to the primary
school from 1984-89 (roughly). I had loads of really good
friends in Wemyss Bay which if I remember correctly were
a lot smaller then. I have been back a few times but I have
lost touch with everybody which is a pity.
I moved to Ayr after
Wemyss Bay and I now live in Kilmarnock. I don't know if
you know Martin Smith but he was a good friend. I also was
friendly with Helen Sweeney? This is strange as I always
wondered who still lived there.
My family used to
live in Wemyss Bay, and I grew up there. I used to play
in the Castle ruins, which was great. It was fantastic to
see the pictures you have, including the Horses Tomb (and
to note that it was still called that).
Although I don't have
any photos myself I hope that people will still contribute.
Could you add dates for when the photos were taken?
The 'stone table'
is actually a small building. It was hard to get to, as
I recall, but all through the woods shown in that picture
are paths and steps from the original gardens.
I would really like
to see pictures of the new Castle housing development. I
am sure the area has been ruined, but I heard that the stone
jetty had been preserved. No, I'm not too lazy to go there
myself, but currently I am living and working in California.
Yes, I know the Meiklejohns.
I am now 32, and I went to school with David Meiklejohn.
I moved to Wemyss
Bay when I was 4 (in 1973 I think), and I left in June 1984
when I was 15. I went to Inverkip Primary School (the Wemyss
Bay Primary at the top of the Lawrence Estate had not been
built then, but it opened a year or so before I went to
The last time I went
back was in 1994 or thereabouts, and I hadn't been back
in the intervening period. There were a lot of changes,
especially lots of new houses. When we moved there the Lawrence
estate had just been started (we lived in Larch Walk) and
I think the houses up to Leven Road had been built.
There was the woods
between the Estate and the coast on the west side to play
in, and the field between the houses and the road and railway
on the east side. The north was 'under development', with
a large area for builders' supplies by the telephone exchange.
The SSHA estate was
started a few years later, on the hill to the very north
of the Lawrence estate, and east of that was a stockyard
for material for the power station.
I think the building
of the power station drew so many people to the area, and
is what caused its decline. It saddens me that that decline
was now for no reason, since the power station is not used.
My father worked
hard on that project, I should ask him how he feels about
I think your web site
could be a great place to pull together memories from people
who are now scattered far and wide. Wemyss Bay was a fantastic
place to grow up in the seventies.
I am not sure I would
like to live there now. It's nice to see the entries from
people who lived there and who now live there, and it's
nice to receive e-mail from you. Isn't the web splendid?!
At the gate at the
south end of the Castle estate (at the corner of Undercliff
Rd and Castle Rd) were some coal holes in the wall, and
there were some buildings and a small courtyard behind the
I could swear there
was a building with a glass canopy there, but I am really
not sure. Anyway, beyond that was the 'hall' (Baseball hut).
Past that was a field with a summerhouse (octagonal, I think)
nearby. Through that field would take you to the stone jetty.
(Re: Flag pole)
The flagpole base was actually another small building,
and you could go inside. There were steps up to the roof
(about 6' off the ground), and railings around it. I always
got vertigo when I looked up at the pole.
(Re: Horses Tomb)
even think it was a horses tomb, despite what the people
on the message board say. At least the name remains consistent.
Do you think 'Freddies' is from the Elm Street horror movies?
It certainly was a bit spooky there. There was an actual
dog cemetery in the grounds of the castle. I went there
the last time I was in the area. It rained.
I noticed in the
winter pictures a photo of the house on the cliff. It seemed
to have windows boarded up. I had a friend who lived there
for a while. Also, are the big old houses on the beach front
I once wanted to research
the Castle, and I did start putting together some information.
I think I have only four our five items, so it's not very
impressive, but I'll try to dig it up.
Can anybody tell me
the name of the farm on the road up to Denny's caravan site?
Who owns it? Bob?
I used to work there
in the summer as a student. I'm now in Melbourne, Australia.
I am now living in
Skegness, Lincolnshire and have been for the last 7 years.
I remember when Inverkip Power Station was first built as
we were one of the first families to live in the estate
built for the workers.
I have not lived in
Wemyss Bay for approx. 10 years now but still go up as my
sister still lives on the estate. Every time I go up it
has changed so much, and might I say not for the better
in my opinion. I remember when it was a lovely little estate;
now there are houses everywhere.
I am at present reading
the Largs and Millport and this is where I saw your e-mail
address and reading about Wemyss Bay Castle.
I have very good and
fond memories of Wemyss Bay but unfortunately I probably
will never live there again.
Before anything is
done with the Power Station site I just wish people would
look at what they are doing to this beautiful countryside,
and I think it is becoming more and more unattractive. This
is only my opinion of course, I do not live there anymore.
My dad, who is Jack
Edwards, worked at Inverkip Power Station from 1975 to 1989.
He then went to Hunterston.
I remember bonfire
night. My father, John McDaid (who has unfortunately passed
away but I think his wife Jean still lives in Innellan Road)
were the main people to start the Wemyss Bay Tenants Association
who organised events, Carnival day etc.
They also built a
play park at the back of the estate with the help of other
men on the estate. Also the ladies got involved as well.
The wives used to make massive pots of soup and treacle
toffee etc. for bonfire night. They also organised a Silver
When the estate was
first built there was a steel storage yard behind the area
where the shops are now. We lived at 4 Whiting Road and
could see this from our bedroom windows.
I also remember when
they were building the new Largs to Greenock road. I will
also try and look for some photos of the Old Castle as we
used to call it. Many a time our gang! used to play there
and climb the Castle. One of my friends got stuck at the
very top and we had to get her father to get her down.
We also used to swim
at the Old Pier in the summer. Also, where the Gate House,
was there was an old concert hall with a stage, it was full
of old doors, old keys, which I had but threw out, you know
what you are like when you are young you do not think to
Also there was the
tin advertisement boards with Oxo, Cadburys etc. on them,
stupid me threw them away as well! There was also the dogs
graveyard at the Old Castle.
Please let me know
how much information you would like because I could probably
sit here and write all night. I will get as much information
as you need and I can also name the first people to live
on the estate. It depends really what everybody is interested
in. I will ask my dad who also lives down here now to help.
I don't remember the
Stone Table is that where the Monks Caves were on the cliff?
As kids you know what it's like we all used to go to the
Castle and the lads used to make eerie stories up and all
the girls would be screaming running off.
The lads used to say
that a man called Stanley would come and get us and he was
called Stanley because of the name of the knife he used.
You believe anything as kids.
I think the Power
Station was built where it was because of the transporting
of the oil for the Power Station but would have to ask my
Dad about it. I will send you a photo looking down at the
jetty from the chimney. I
was on the YTS when they had one. Our group were the first
to do it there. Brilliant laugh. I could not finish the
course because my dad got a secondment to South Africa so
I went there for two years to live until I was 18 years
old. Party Party Party!!!!
I do remember the
Meiklejohns and the Skeltons at the bottom of Whiting Road.
I am trying to think of anybody else but a lot of people
have now moved away.
When I was about 9
years old I went to a Sunday School and that was run by
Mr and Mrs Renton and Mr and Mrs Page that was held down
at the beach road in this old building. Sorry can't remember
the road. On
the road where you can walk on the beach and the Wemyss
Bay Hotel is at the end.
I have some pictures
and will look out for some better ones for you if you like.
On the main road, at the estate where North Lodge is, that
used to be just two houses. Father Woods lived in the second
I still like to go
up to Wemyss Bay when I have got the time but it is not
very often. Everything changes over the years and people
move on. I still know quite a few people in Skelmorlie who
still live there.
I read in the Largs
and Millport that someone is doing a book about Wemyss Bay
which I think would be quite interesting - will have to
keep my eye out for it when I come up there.
My sister also told
me recently that the Wemyss Bay Hotel has changed hands
again and that they are having an Indian restaurant in it.