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Susie-1-w_TrainorONE of the great characters of Helensburgh and district history is Susie, of Susie’s Castle fame, and in the summer of 2010 new information and pictures came to light.

Born Susan McGlone in 1847, Susie — or Suzie or Suzy, as her name was sometimes spelled — was a well-known character, not only at Portincaple, where she lived for many years until her death on January 20 1929, but also much further afield as well.

Charles_Bradlaugh_photoA VICTORIAN rebel who led a colourful and controversial life found the peace and quiet he longed for to recharge his batteries beside Loch Long.

The village of Portincaple was the regular holiday home of Charles Bradlaugh MP, who was born on September 23 1833 and died on January 30 1891.

willie-macphee-wONE of the last and most famous of the older generation of Scottish travelling people was born in Helensburgh in 1910.

Willie MacPhee was born when his mother and father were doing casual farm work around the town, planting the potato crop. Both his parents were natives of West Dunbartonshire and belonged to one of the biggest of the travelling clans, found all over the west of Scotland.

captain-david-bone-2ONE of Helensburgh's most famous residents for almost 20 years had the unusual distinction of being both a sea captain and a successful novelist.

Captain (later Sir) David William Bone, Kt., C.B.E., LL.D., lived from 1915-34 at Underwood, 9 Lower Sutherland Crescent, and had an astonishing and varied career.

Dr-John-Cameron-wTHE colourful life of a Kilcreggan-born doctor included active service in World War One — and later being a member of the ringside team of a world boxing champion.

John Cameron was born on December 8 1881 at Prince’s Terrace, the second son of master plumber and later Cove and Kilcreggan Town Council member and JP Alexander Cameron, and his wife Elizabeth McFie.

pilcher-3-w

SATURDAY January 16 2010 was the 144th anniversary of the birth of aviation pioneer Percy Sinclair Pilcher, whose early experiments in gliding were undertaken in fields at Cardross.

Percy used the fields of the thriving Wallacetown and Auchensail Farms for his experiments with three different gliders between 1893 and 1896.

A BRILLIANT young student from Helensburgh went on to play a major role in child health in both Britain and India.

Dagmar Florence Curjel, who lived at Daneholm, 37 Campbell Street, matriculated to study medicine at Glasgow's Queen Margaret College in 1909, and built up a glittering academic record.

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