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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’.

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.

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.

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.