ONE OF MY FAVOURITES
This one of my favourite places in Ayr to sit and pass some time with a good book. The building is the County Buildings originally the home of Ayrshire County Council and now the offices of South Ayrshire council. The buildings were built in 1931 on the site of Ayr Jail and opened by King George VI. The sunken gardens in front is the site of the memorial to the men of the Royal Scots Fusiliers who died in World War Two. The regiment were based in Ayr for many years in the now demolished Churchill barracks.
This building was originally the Ayr New Church. It was built in 1807-10 by David Hamilton to accommodate the overspill from the Auld Kirk. It was rebuilt in 1900. The gateway at the front is a 20th century addition. The church was taken over from the Auld Kirk in 1951 by the Cathcart Relief Church.
In 1984 the church was taken over by the Danserena dance studio.
The Auld Brig in Ayr was built in the early 1400s. The new bridge seen framed in the arch is actually the second new bridge, the first one being washed away in floods in the 1870s. Something that was prophesied in Robert Burn’s poem “The Brigs o’ Ayr.
The New Brig claims-
There’s men of taste wou’d tak the Ducat stream,
Tho’ they should cast the very sark and swim,
E’er they would grate their feelings wi’ the view
O’ sic an ugly, Gothic hulk as you.”
The Auld Brig replies-
“Conceited gowk! puff’d up wi’ windy pride!
This mony a year I’ve stood the flood an’ tide;
And tho’ wi’ crazy eild I’m sair forfairn ,
I’ll be a brig when ye’re a shapeless cairn!
The current New Bridge was built in 1878.
The other day I had the pleasure of popping into the Savoy Park Hotel to have lunch to celebrate my brothers 70th birthday. During the lunch George asked me if I knew anything about the history of the building and I had to admit I didn’t so time for a bit of digging in the archives. The original building was commissioned by Charles Henry Alston an iron founder from Glasgow and was designed by the Ayr architect James Archibald Morris. The house was originally called the “Red House” probably because it was the first villa in Racecourse Road to be built from red Machine Sandstone. Around the exterior of the building Morris’s fondness for large rain water heads is obvious. After only a few years the building was acquired by Charles Lindsay Orr Ewing, member of Parliament for the Ayr Burghs. In the early 1930’s the building was sold at auction for £50 to Niven Brown, Junior along with the then Provost, William Lanham. The current owners bought the hotel from William Lanham in 1960.
Above picture was taken in the early 1900s
One of my favourite streets in Ayr has always been Newmarket Street. Over the years it has always had a nice mix of shops many of them independent and with Queens Court it as always a popular part of town for retail therapy. However recently like most shopping streets in our towns it has suffered with shops closing and lying empty.
I have been heartened recently to see that some businesses have started to move back in. One I have found is the The Newmarket a bar/restaurant which has recently opened at number at number 48. Looking at their menu I can not wait to visit. Its at times like this I wish I still lived in the town and was not exiled in the depths of Renfrewshire. Still I don’t imagine it will be that long till I can organise a trip.
From what I can see the Newmarket looks like the kind of place the town needs and I hope it gets lots of local support.Details about the Newmarket can be found on their web page The Newmarket
This is my first post after debating for ages if I really wanted to start a blog or not. But I thought it was worth a go. I plan to write about my hometown of Ayr, some modern stuff to try and show off the town and some historical stuff that I have researched.
I am also a keen photographer so hope to showcase the town through that medium as well.
Hope everybody enjoys my little effort to the great world of social media.