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ailsa-tanner469-wA HELENSBURGH woman who earned a reputation as a fine art historian and painter, Ailsa Tanner, is particularly remembered for a book she described as ‘her life’s work’.

Her carefully researched catalogues for the centenary exhibition of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists in 1982, followed by the West of Scotland Women Artists, remain essential sources of information.

brian_d.osborneA VERY talented Helensburgh man with a great interest in the past began his working life as a librarian and ended up an author and made a major contribution to local history and research.

Brian D.Osborne, who grew up in the the family home in West Princes Street and regularly returned from his Kirkintilloch home, often to give talks, died suddenly on May 30 2008 while on holiday in Uzbekistan.

helen_macinnes-1THE author of 21 spy novels, which have sold more than 23 million copies in the United States alone and been translated into over 22 languages, is one of the most famous former pupils of Helensburgh’s Hermitage School.

But Helen Clark MacInnes, who was born in Glasgow on October 7 1907, only came to the burgh when she was five with her parents, Donald and Jessica McDiarmid MacInnes.

tom_gallacher420 A GARELOCHHEAD man rose from draughtsman and amateur actor to journalist and then a playwright whose work was produced across Europe and in America.

Tom Gallacher, born in Alexandria on February 16 1932, was the third son and one of five children of Edward and Rose Gallacher, who moved from the Vale of Leven to Linn Walk in the village when he was one.

john_quigleyA GRAPHIC picture of Helensburgh and Garelochside in its more genteel days over a century earlier was painted in two successful novels in the 1970s.

The large mansions, the servants, the steamers racing each other in the Gareloch for pier cargoes, the carriages at Helensburgh Central Station were all vividly portrayed and formed the setting for much of the action in ‘King’s Royal’ and its sequel ‘Queen’s Royal’.

neil_munroAUTHOR Neil Munro’s 67 years of life began on June 3 1863 in Inveraray and ended in Helensburgh, in whose east end he spent the last years of his life until he died on December 22 1930.

While a resident of the town he lived in the seafront mansion Cromalt (below left), 148 East Clyde Street, a fine house which was built in the 18th century.