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Gabriel-MacLeod-wONE of the most fascinating books about Helensburgh’s past is ‘A Nonogenarian's Reminiscences of Garelochside and Helensburgh’.

It was written by a burgh tailor, Donald MacLeod, and published by Macneur & Bryden Ltd. of East Princes Street in 1883.

Lex-McLean-1-wTHE top Scottish comedian of his age, Lex McLean, lived in Helensburgh for many years and loved the peace and quiet of his home across the road from Kidston Park.

Born Alexander McLean Cameron on April 30 1907 in a drab tenement at 6 Rosebery Place, Clydebank, he was the son of iron moulder Donald Cameron (1871–1951) and his second wife, grocer Mary Howe McLean (1876–1948).

Jimmy-Copeland-wA HELENSBURGH man was one of the best known character actors of his generation.

James Copeland — known to all as Jimmy — is best remembered for his appearances in the BBC TV drama series Dr Finlay’s Casebook and the film comedy Rockets Galore. But he was a man of many talents.

George-BlakeONE of the most prolific authors of his generation had strong connections with Helensburgh and lived in the town for four years.

George Blake, who was born in Greenock on October 28 1893, the son of engineer Matthew Blake and his wife Ursula, came to the burgh with his family in 1935 and stayed as tenants of The Glenan, 41 John Street, until 1939.

Jessie-Nickell-1-wA YOUNG girl who grew up on Loch Longside took the name of her home and went on to become a singer who worked with top stars including Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

Jessie Ronald was born in America, the daughter of an American father and Scottish mother. Sadly her father died two years later, and her mother brought her back to Glenmallon to live with her grandparents.

Taylor-Cairndow-Latimer-wA RAILWAYMAN was the inspiration behind two clubs for Helensburgh artists.

Charlie Taylor, who lived in the Claverton flats at 101 East Princes Street with his wife May (nee Thomson), was a keen and very good amateur painter, and he relished working with other local artists.

Alex_Archie_MacNeillA LEGENDARY figure in Scottish piping first learnt to play the pipes as a young man in the Helensburgh district.

Known as the Blind Piper, Archie McNeill was born at 23 Lambhill Street, Govan, Glasgow, on February 23, 1879, the son of Donald McNeill, a merchant seaman, and his wife Jessie, nee Napier, who were married at Kippen on December 21 1877.

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