Corrections to 200 Years of Helensburgh

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Page 6. Hopner, not Hoppner.

Chapter 1: Before 1802

Page 11, para 3, last line. The multiplicity of spellings in Blaeu’s map may also be due to the difficulties which his Dutch printers had in reproducing Gaelic place names.

Page 11, 2nd last paragraph. Marion, Lady Cathcart died in 19 years before her father, Sir John Shaw (or Schaw) who died in 1752, the year in which Sir James Colquhoun bought the lands of Milligs. Research therefore needed into whether Sir James Colquhoun bought the lands from Sir John Shaw himself or from his heirs.

Chapter 2: The Year of our Lord 1802

Page 16, end of para 2. It has however been argued that, while the term “Clearances” may not have been used in this area, there was nevertheless considerable displacement of population from traditional settlements. The Colquhouns of Luss were among the pioneers of sheep-farming probably from 1757, but at the same time the provision of alternative employment elsewhere in their estates became available for the displaced tenants.

Page 18, para 1. 1799 Statistical Account written by Rev John Allan (junior) – he had succeeded his father of the same name as Minister.

Chapter 3: The Lairds

Page 23, 3rd last line. Cnoc Elachan means Hill of the Black Willow; it is located near Rossdhu and was the gathering place of the Clan Colquhoun and hence also their call to arms.

Page 26, 3rd last line. Although impossible to prove, it is generally accepted that sheep were introduced to Glen Mallochan by tenant farmer, John Campbell probably from 1757, not 1769. The Statistical Account of Scotland in 1791-99 recorded about 7500 sheep in Luss Parish.

Page 27, 2nd last line. “Loch Lomond Golf Course” should read “Loch Lomond Golf Club”.

Page 28, new concluding paragraphs:

Other Lairds

Although the MacAulays and the Colquhouns are the families most associated with being Lairds of Helensburgh, they were not the only ones. From at least the middle of the 15th century West Milligs was in the hands of the Galbraiths of Culcreuch (near Fintry in Stirlingshire). The MacAulays and their predecessors had been at the adjoining Ardincaple since the 13th century, but apparently only acquired Milligs after 1513.

The records are very sketchy and the nature of the Galbraith ownership or tenancy is unclear – under the feudal system it is possible that they became a form of sub- owner to the MacAulays. What is certain is that there was a long feud between the Galbraiths and the MacAulays. However sometime after 1593 the MacAulay of Ardincaple married the widow of Galbraith of Culcreuch. This in turn led to something of a truce between the two families in 1612 when Robert Galbraith and his wife, probably under some pressure from higher up, gave legal possession of West Milligs to his mother (now the wife of MacAulay of Ardincaple), and thus the Galbraith connection with Helensburgh came to an end.

Another prominent family of Lairds were the Dennistouns of Colgrain. The owned Camis Eskan House were over 500 years until selling it in 1836.

Chapter 4: Public Administration

Page 37. [Add to caption] At the same time a grateful public also presented him with a handsome set of silverware along with a list of all the donors; these were gifted to Helensburgh Heritage Trust in 2005. He was also given a copy of the portrait.

Page 39, end of para 5. [add] At the same time Colgrain acquired its own Community Council.

Page 41, para 5, line 8. The wreathed savage with the club over his shoulder is also part of the Sutherland coat of arms. The medallion at the foot of the old coat of arms signifies the baronetcy of Nova Scotia.

Chapter 6: Schools in the Helensburgh and District

Page 65 (photo caption): the dates should be 1966 and 1967 respectively, rather than 1976 and 1977.

Chapter 10: Origins of the Street Names

Page 93, para 2, 4th last line. Change “Charlotte Munro” to “Charlotte Mary Douglas Munro”.

Page 94. Glasgow Street was also for many years the terminus for buses to and from the city.

Page 95. The spelling of Rhu appears to have been changed from Row because of frustration caused by frequent mispronunciation.

Page 100. Replace paragraph on Kent with “Commodore DG Kent was the first commodore of the Clyde Submarine Base.

Page 102, para 2, line 9. Replace “Butt was the middle name of town clerk Edward Maclachlan” with “Edward Butt was the first Town Chamberlain of Helensburgh and also brother-in-law of town clerk George Maclachlan (see below –14 lines)”.

Page 102, para 2, section on Maclachlan Town Clerks. The son was called John [not Edward] and the grandson Edward [not Ian].

Page 103, After para 2, add. Giffnock Gardens takes its name from the nearby Giffnock House which was so called because it was built out of stone from Giffnock Quarry near Glasgow.

Chapter 11: Transport

Page 106, para 1. The funnel of the Comet was designed so that sails could be hoisted up it to provide extra power – see the picture on page 208. Steamships continued to use sails for many years.

Page 108, para 1, 2nd last line. Replace “1st August” with “31st July, calling at Helensburgh en route”.

Page 108, para 2, line 4. Replace “22nd August” with “21st August”.

Page 110, para 3, 3rd last line. The tradition was indirectly been continued by Clyde Marine Motoring whose Kenilworth today provides the ferry service between Helensburgh, Gourock and Kilcreggan.

Page 112, para 2, last line. Replace “and” with “in”.

Page 113, para 2, lines 11 & 13. Change Benbecula to South Uist.

Page 115, para 3, 2nd last line. The first railway in the area was meant to run from Glasgow to Balloch, but a shortage of funds at the outset meant that for a while it ran only between Bowling and Balloch.

Page 116, para 1, line 4. Helensburgh's original railway station was definitely NOT in George Street; it was on the site of the present railway station and was built in 1856 – two years before the opening of the railway. What was in George Street appears to have been a "railway landing" which was also sometimes known as a "ticket platform". A train headed for Helensburgh would stop at this landing and the passengers' tickets would be collected there. It appears to have opened around 1865-66 and to have closed in 1898, by which time quite a number of passengers were using it as an unofficial station and disembarking there!

Page 116, para 4, line 4. Another reason for the Cowlairs incline was that the owners of the Forth and Clyde Canal saw the railway as a threat and, by refusing to allow the railway company to build a viaduct over the canal, forced it to go underneath in a tunnel.

Page 118, last line. Electric train services actually started on 7 November 1960.

Page 120, end of para 1. [add] The last of the original electric trains was withdrawn from service at the end of 2002. Three express services ran from Helensburgh to Glasgow every morning; depending on how early they travelled, passengers were classified as striving, arriving or thriving!

Page 120, para 2, 2nd last line. Helensburgh Upper signal box and passing loop closed in 1968, not in the 1970s.

Page 121. Roads, end of para 1. Early records suggest that the Highlandman’s Road may even have been part of a pilgrims’ route from Stirling to Iona in the years prior to the Reformation in 1560.

Chapter 12: Sport and Leisure

Page 128, end of para 3. The East End Park was also a favoured location for circuses – perhaps the last was held there in 1977. As publicity for the circuses a parade of elephants used to take place through the streets of the town.

Page 133, line 2. [Replace paragraph entirely as follows]:

Other local musical groups of note include the Helensburgh and Lomond Fiddlers and the Helensburgh and District Pipe Band. The Fiddlers were formed in 1988 as the Helensburgh Fiddle Society and they play as a dance group at many local venues, the most prestigious being the Gathering of the Clans at the Tarbet Hotel.

The Pipe Band was founded in 1913 as the Helensburgh Pipe Band, becoming the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band around the Second World War and acquiring its present name in the 1970s. The Pipe Band members wear the Ancient Colquhoun tartan and their badges carry the Clan Colquhoun crest and motto. In winter their practice nights are held at Lomond School in Helensburgh, but in the summer they can often be seen practising on Helensburgh seafront. The Pipe Band has an illustrious past, being invited to play at the opening and close of the Empire Exhibition of 1938 at Bellahouston Park Glasgow. The invitation probably came about due to the fact that Sir Ian Colquhoun was on the Exhibition committee.

Page 133, para 3, 6th last line. Alter sentence to read “Today the performing arts are also staged locally by the Helensburgh Savoy ….”

Page 140, 6th last line. “credible” should be “creditable”.

Page 140, paragraph 4. Although Helensburgh Football Club was only founded in 1886, football was being played in the town at least 10 years earlier. On 3 October 1874 a Helensburgh team played a friendly against Glasgow Rangers; Rangers won 1-0 despite using only 10 players! A year later on 18th September another friendly was played against Rangers, this time in Glasgow, with the score being a 1-1 draw. The demise of Helensburgh Football Club in 1926 was largely due to the expense of travelling to away games throughout Scotland.

Page 141, para 1, last line. “….. sharing facilities with Helensburgh Football Club” should read “…. since 1973 sharing facilities with rugby players.”

Chapter 13: War and Peace

Page 146, last para, end of 5th last line. [add] and the buses had blacked-out windows. An air-raid shelter was even constructed under the West Esplanade, but it naturally filled with water!

Page 147, para 1, end of first sentence. [add] and a bomb demolished a wall at Waverley Avenue in Colgrain.

Page 147, para 3. Shandon Hydro was demolished in 1960.

Chapter 14: Art and Artists – the Early Art Scene

Page 158, para 1, line 4. Mary Ann should be Mary Jane.

Page 159. Caption under picture should be “En Plein Air” - not “En Plain Air”.

Chapter 15: Some Architectural Gems and their Architects

Page 174, para 2, line 3. Woodend Farmhouse stands at 2 Duchess Drive.

Page 175, last para. Drumfork House is situated in Redgauntlet Road almost opposite its junction with Jeanie Deans Drive.

Page 177, line 4. Cromalt is located at 148 East Clyde Street.

Page 179. Greenpark. Although John S Boyd designed the house for his brother-in-law R S McNicol, the partially built house was sold to William and Maud McCaig who became its first occupants.

Page 179. Greenpark. [Replace the last sentence as follows]. The original cut glass panels in the doors were designed by Charles Baillie (1903c 1960) who also designed the interior of the liner Queen Mary including a beautiful, illuminated glass panel in green with a fish motif; unfortunately only one of these panels remains at Greenpark, and it depicts a sun god in Greek style.

Page 182, para 4, line 2. The Victoria Halls lie between 80 and 96 Sinclair Street.

Page 182, column 2, line 4. “Diamond Jubilee” should be “Golden Jubilee”.

Page 183, para 2. The sheltered housing built by the Bield Housing Association is called Birch Cottages and they are situated between 96 and 104 Sinclair Street.

Page 187, para 1. The first railway station was definitely NOT at George Street, but where the present station is. For fuller details see Corrections for page 116, para 1.

Page 188, para 3. The Carlton Buildings are at 22 - 34 Sinclair Street.

Page 188, para 6. Clyde Street School  is at 40 - 44 East Clyde Street.

Page 189, para 2. The Library stands at 57 West King Street.

Page 191 - Carisbrooke. Change Major James Gibb DSO to Major James Gibb Allan DSO.

Page 192, end of para 1. Cairndhu operated as a hotel from 1951 to 1984.

Page 192, para 6. The remaining tower of Ardencaple Castle is to be found at the junction of West King Street and Frazer Avenue.

Page 197 - Red Towers. Change “grocer” to “merchant and JP”.

Page 198, para 6. Tordarroch stands at 2 Douglas Drive West.

Chapter 17: The Benefactors

Page 219, para 2, line 3. Richard Kidston died in 1819, not 1810.

Page 225, para 3, 4th last line. William was not the only son of WH Kidston – he had 3 other sons and 2 daughters.

Chapter 18: The Famous and the Infamous

Page 243, last para, 7th last line. Jimmy Logan’s last home was Springvale, 73 East Princes Street.

Page 246, end of para 3. An alternative explanation is that Messer was not a Catholic but set up the Devils because he regarded the Episcopalians as being only one step removed from the Catholics. A 3rd possible explanation is that Messer placed the Devils on the roof because the rector had disapproved when Messer married the sister of his own late wife.

Page 247, para 1, line 4. Cromalt is at 148 East Clyde Street.

Page 254, para 4, last 2 lines. Madeline Smith’s grave just carries the name Lena Sheehy and it is in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York state, not in New York itself.

Chapter 19: Out of the Past and into the Future

Page 258, para 4, line 7. Remove “also”.

Page 260, 3rd last para. In the days of horse-drawn carriages the wealthier residents of the town did not have to enter shops; instead either the shopkeeper would come out into the street and take their order while they stayed in the carriage, or a servant would be sent into the shop.

Page 267, para 3, 1st sentence. [Replace with] In 1951 the Infectious Diseases Hospital, twenty years older than the Victoria Infirmary, was only five years away from closure, but there was also a third hospital on the periphery of the town at Camis Eskan House.

Page 269, para 4, 3rd last line. Change “pleasant a” to “pleasanter”.

Postscript: Other Helensburghs

Page 271, para 2. In Australia it is pronounced Helensburg – without the last “h”!


Page 274, chapter 7 (Commerce). Drayton, Patricia Trading Places – Shops and Trades in Helensburgh, Then and Now Argyll and Bute Library Service 2002

Biographies of Authors

Page 278. Malcolm Baird became Honorary President of Helensburgh Heritage Trust in 2002.

Stewart Noble 24/05/20