Alexander "Sanny" Boyd Diaries

1. Diary Entries













2. Ryeside Mills Diary






























3. Transcribed Diary Entries

May 28th 1946

John McGuire motor engineer moved from the premises he had in Vennel Street to larger premises in Smith Street which were for many years the workshop of the late Allan Boyle joiners.

May 28th 1946

Miss Walker who had a drapers shop for years in New Street has sold her business to a Mr Troup. Miss Walker told me that her great-grandfather had also been in the business which counting her time too was 83 years altogether.

June 8th 1946

All public works were on holiday for Victory Day. There was little rejoicing in Dalry at any rate. The Bowling Green House was decorated with flags and some children gathered material for a bonfire on Templand Road.

June 15th 1946

Sports were held in the football field at Merksworth Park, running, jumping and five aside football. There was a large crowd and admission to the field was one shilling.

June 23rd 1946

At Broadlie Brickworks some repairs were being made . A Mr Campbell from Irvine who is one of the managers of the work told me that the owners Mr Kenneth and others had two other Brickworks and they each had a night shift working and the combined output for the three was for a day and a night 160,000 bricks. One brick weighs seven pounds.

July 3rd 1946

On going up the town I saw Mr MacLachlan and his daughter going into a motor car. She was going to be married. He threw out a handful of pennies on to the street, they were soon picked up by the people standing about. ( This is a common custom at marriages here )

July 31st 1946

The Fair holidays and six of the public houses in the town are closed as they have no beer to sell, a state of affairs never known in the town before.

August 1st 1946

Next to the ladies hairdresser shop a gentleman's hairdressing shop has been opened, there are now four of them in the town at present.

August 8th 1946

Some men among them being Mr Goldie and a Mr Macalmont began to make a road through a field to Templand Bing in preparation of it being used for making bricks at the Broadlie Brickwork.

August 8th 1946

On the same day three men, one named Mr Ferries and one named Mr Gilmour - two Dalry men and a third started to dig a foundation for another Brickwork in a field at Borestone for the same company Kenneth and Company Irvine.

August 13th 1946

Amusements arrived at Courthill Bing, Steamboats and Dollie Stands owned by various people, Salvana and Reader and others.

August 16th 1946

This day a reaper and binder was being used at the Ryeholm Farm to cut a field of oats. Oats were sown on the first day of April so that the days between sowing and reaping amounts to138 days.

August 19th 1946

The field of oats at Ryeholm farm was all cut and another field of oats was opened up for the reaper and binder.

August 21st 1946

At the football match between Dalry Thistle and Kilwinning Rangers I saw on the roads near the field three buses, two of them double deckers and also twenty motor cars. Surely an awful waste of petrol and on the part of those who came in motors a lack of wisdom. I heard that fifty one pounds was drawn in entrance money to the field.

August 27th 1946

The amusements have gone away from Courthill Bing. One of the caravans was undergoing repairs here which were done by Mr Crawford the joiner.

September 2nd 1946 Monday

An Englishman who in the meantime has taken a room in the Royal Hotel has bought the building in Courthill Street known as the British Restaurant, he is getting the place in order for a hosiery business and has electric engineers putting in electric for the knitting machines.

September 6th 1946

In the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald the following advertisement appeared ( Ryeside Mills Ltd, Dalry. Manufacturers of ladies dresses ) Fully trained machinists capable of operating Singer sewing machines and experienced in any branch of the clothing trade required immediately for the 'New Ideal Factory at Ryeside' Highest piece work rates paid £5 - £6 per week within easy reach - 40 hour week in splendid conditions manufacturing the smartest and most fashionable modes. Apply to the secretary giving experience.

September 23rd 1946 Monday

A new bridge was completed at the Broadlie Brickwork which is used by the men that look after the kiln.

September 30th 1946 Monday

An iron pillar has been put up at the roadside near the Lynn with a plate on which is the sign in large letters Dalry.

September 30th 1946 Monday

Young’s buses are not coming through Dalry for West Kilbride, the drivers are on strike. Co-operative workers who deliver the milk were on strike and there were no deliveries. The strike was not local but at headquarters.

October 2nd 1946 Wednesday

A field of oats at Ryeholm Farm which were sown on the first day of April, reaped on the 19th of August was taken in this day, the many days between reaping and carting into the stackyard is an indication of the bad weather conditions that prevailed during September.

October 5th 1946 Saturday

Young's buses were again running through Dalry to West Kilbride, the strike being over.

October 19th 1946 Saturday
With the exception of the drapery and the boot department all the other shops of the Co-operative were closed at one o'clock. Workers now have a forty hour week and no reduction in their wages.
October 22nd 1946 Tuesday

A new machine was started at Broadlie Brickwork, part of it goes into the kiln and puts the bricks onto a belt which is continually travelling and the bricks are loaded onto a motor lorry. The painters Conn are cleaning the stonework of the Clydesdale Bank , they also got the job of painting the inside of the bank.

October 24th 1946 Thursday

The gas pipes which are to supply the new houses at the Riddance have been laid, the connecting of the pipes was completed at North Street. The contractors for the work were Shanks and McEwan from Glasgow.

October 25th 1946 Friday

Mr Graham who is partner in the building trade with Mr Mercer was building a part of the wall at Courthill Church. He used old fine clay bricks then cemented them over. Mr Graham and his wife later moved abroad.

October 25th 1946 Friday

A young German prisoner of war was cutting the elder tree and the hawthorn hedge down on the road to the house known to the Dalry folk as the Sick House.

October 28th 1946 Monday

Messrs Hall took over Hugh McCulley's Tobacconist shop which is in New Street. It is a shop with three windows and in years gone past was occupied by Mr Spier who had a saddler's business in it for a good number of years. There is no saddler's business in Dalry at the present time.

November 7th 1946 Thursday

The Co-operative started a fish Shop in the premises of the Milk department which has been removed to the back premises of the bakery department.

November 9th 1946 Saturday

Bridgend Mills, the works of Fleming and Reid were idle today, the work people have begun a five day week. No work in the future on Saturdays.

November 13th 1946 Wednesday

A sale of chairs, tables, writing desks and other articles of furniture took place at Ryeside Mills, it was all government property.

November 13th 1946 Wednesday

A fish shop in the Main Street which was carried on by a Mr Smith from Kilbirnie for a good number of years has now been taken over by a Mr Wilson from Beith and Kilbirnie - he now has a shop in the three parishes. A motor lorry was taking away some of Mrs Kirkhope's furniture to Glasgow where she is going to reside. She told one of the removers who told me that she had occupied this house for fifty years and that she had been born in a house not far from where she stayed named Stanley Bank House which is now occupied by Mrs Barclay and two daughters.

November 26th 1946 Tuesday.

Some men came in a motor car from Kilmarnock with ladders and engaged in window cleaning. I saw them cleaning the windows of the British Linen Bank and also the windows of householders here, this is quite a new job here.

November 27th 1946 Wednesday

Mr Hough who is a joiner with Mr Crawford was repairing the floor of one of the rooms in the Mission Hall in Courthill Street.

December 1st 1946 Sunday

Between Sunday night and Monday morning a severe storm swept through the district. Some damage was done but I only saw one tree that had been blown down at Easterhill and it was a much decayed tree, its fall bent a railing which is along the roadside.

December 5th 1946 Thursday

Cochrane's furniture removal van from Paisley brought furniture belonging to Mr Law from Kilbirnie down to Mrs Kirkhopes house at Braehead. Mr Law of Kilbirnie has now bought it over. He has a grocer's business in Kilbirnie.

December 17th 1946 Tuesday

In the Main Street a new fish shop was opened by Thomas McClymont, it is next to his butcher's shop. A good lot of money was spent in preparing the fish shop and it is done up in grand style.

December 28th 1946 Saturday

All the motors and material that was stored on the space around Ryeside Mills has been taken away, there are still three buildings with corrugated iron roofs standing in one of the Ryeholm fields and in another field two large sheds and a small wooden house where the military policeman stayed in to watch that no person without authority went onto the premises. The men all away now too and civilians can now walk down to Ryeholm Farm if they wish without hindrance. Boards were still on a gate leaving the words ( Admiralty Property - No Admittance )

December 30th 1946 Monday

Two German prisoners of war were carrying some articles of furniture out of a motor and putting it into the Aitken Street Hall. This hall has in the past been used for many purposes. The Independent Order Of Good Templars met in it. The Liberal Party met in it and later on the Conservative Party had possession of it for some years. Recently a number of young Irishmen who were working at the dam at Knockendon were staying in this hall.

January 10th 1947 Friday

Two new iron gates and pieces of iron railing were fixed up at Courthill Church to replace those taken away during the war. The work was done by Mr Grahame and three youths in the building trade and a Mr Alexander Dodds from Milngavie.

[...extract missing]Ceremony. Mr Tait was also presented with a wallet of notes for his work by Mr Hugh McCully. The new minister has been in the West Indies for a time and then came back to the Kyles of Bute where he got a church in Tighnabruaich, where he came from to Dalry. The Free Church had been without a regular minister since August 1944 when the then minister Mr McClintock left and went to a church in Johnstone. The Free Church manse in Garnock Street is now occupied by a retired policeman Mr Carson and the new minister Mr Wilson had been given the house which was built for the West Church minister and is situated on the roadside going to West Kilbride.

March 3rd 1947 Monday

The Women's Guild had a social meeting to welcome Mrs Wilson the new minister's wife in the Free Church.There are some people thinking that too much is done for ministers when they come to a new church. They are not far wrong after all ministers are all but men.

March 13th 1947 Wednesday

The Howie's removed their business from their shop in North Street where they had been for some years to a bigger shop in the Main Street which had been standing empty for a time and was last occupied by Miss Crawford, milliner.

March 17th 1947 Monday

A few men who were receiving unemployment benefits were cleaning the snow from the roads, the snow was put onto a cart or motor and emptied on Courthill Bing.

March 18th 1947 Tuesday

The members and adherents of the church long known as the West Parish Church have all received a registered notice about leaving their occupancy of the said church from, ( Court of Scotland Petition of the Church of Scotland General Trustees for Interdict ) G Mercer Robertson S.S.C. Solicitors of the petitioners. Nearly two hundred have been interdicted.

March 28th 1947

The Dalry Farmers held a dance in the Public Hall, there were motor cars from the top of Aitken Street down to the bottom then some were round the corner at Garnock Street. I counted forty but afterwards there were more. What a waste and want of sense in these days of higher education.

March 30th 1947 Sunday

Some of those members of the West Parish Church , now that the presbytery have forbidden them to enter this church held a service in the British Legion hall up Kirk Close, this hall was for many years a grain store and belonged to Mr Howie who kept a grocer's shop in the Main Street.

March 31st 1947 Monday

A social meeting was held at the Biggart Hall by the Women's Guild, this was the first meeting since the soldiers left it and the hall had to undergo a lot of repairs after they had left as they had given it much abuse.

April 3rd 1947 Thursday

I attended a meeting at rooms in the Kings Arms Hotel, the speaker was a young man named Mr Winning from Kilmarnock, his subject was 'Vegetables' and how to grow them. There were twenty men present, Mr Scott of Templand Cottage was chairman. Above the fireplace hung a large picture of Robert Burns.

April 12th 1947 Saturday

This was the last day of John Barton's occupancy of the grocer's shop in New Street which he had been in for some years past, he has not been well for some time. The business has been bought by a man named Mr Johnstone who also bought the Misses Redman's dress-making business.

April 13th 1947 Sunday

In the forenoon the Reverend Mr Minto preached his farewell sermon in St Margaret's Church, he has been minister of this church for twelve years. In the evening a service of song was held in the church. A ladies choir from Paisley were singing and there was a good attendance, mostly women.

April 18th 1947 Thursday

The old men's club closed down for their first season as the premises are required for the tennis players during their playing time.

April 23rd 1947 Wednesday

A group of entertainments arrived at Courthill Bing owned by a Mr Stirling. Swings, ariel chairs and electric motors. There were few people taking advantage of them as yet.

April 24th 1947 Thursday

The shop in the Main Street vacated by the Co- operative Society had been reopened by some persons who have at much expense furnished it out as a sort of restaurant, they have a sign above the doorway 'American Soda Fountain'

April 28th 1947 Monday

Two men Mr Smith and Mr Muir who are bricklayers in the employment of Mr Cleghorn contractor, were engaged in building four extra chambers to the kilns at Broadlie, having finished the work they were transferred to Borestone to build a kiln there for Kenneth and Company who are proprietors of Broadlie Brickwork.

May 26th 1947 Monday

The Dalry Thistle were beaten on their own ground by Neilston Juniors by two goals to nothing, there were six large motors and over thirty private motors, far too many for this unedifying sport at any rate.

May 27th 1947 Tuesday

Three men from Kilwinning were putting a fence round the garden at Riverside Cottage where a hedge used to be.

June 1st 1947 Sunday

On this day Mr Wilson of the Free Church was the only Dalry minister fit for duty. The West Church was closed some time ago. St Margaret's Church minister Mr Minto has gone now to Glasgow to a church there and Mr Elvie was ill. A minister came from West Kilbride to preach in his church in Courthill. The manse of St Margaret's Church is now empty.

June 2nd 1947 Monday

The hosiery business which was started in the building in Courthill Street named the British Restaurant by an Englishman named Mr Hill was stopped for some time owing to his not being able to agree with the women workers. Mr Hill has now sold it to a company who are connected with the well known firm Hunter Barr and Company Glasgow, who are now carrying on the business. They have a notice in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats advertising as the Rogerstone Hosiery Company Limited.

June 16th 1947 Monday

Some people were removing to the new houses which have been built on the West Kilbride Road. A beginning to prepare the ground for these was made in the month of September 1945. A number of them are still in the course of erection. A new board has been put up at the Free Church with the name of the minister the Rev GT Fenton Wilson, the session clerk Mr Daniel Tait, the church officer Mr James MacDonald, the hours of service are also stated. The lettering was done by the Conn Brothers of Dalry.

June 18th 1947 Wednesday

I saw Mr Logan who was going to the football match which was being played to raise money for a Testimonial to Mr Lundie who has been secretary of Dalry Junior Football for twenty seven years. Mr Logan told me he has sold his motor hiring business in Sharon Street to the Scottish Wholesale Society and he was now one of the Society's employees.

June 19th 1947 Thursday

Three painters in the employment of Mr Guy, painter of Beith were painting the Regal Picture House. Mr Guy's workers have done the painting of the Regal since it was built.

June 20th 1947 Friday

Mr Steel, grocer has now a motor on the road delivering goods. A Mr Gray in the meantime driving the car, he was for some years motor driver to Mrs Grant of Monkcastle but had left her some time ago.

June 23rd and June 24th 1947, Monday and Tuesday.

On these two days the ration books were supplied to the inhabitants of the parish by county council officials in the secondary school.

June 26th 1947 Thursday

There was a football match at Merksworth ground between a team from Neilston and one from Stevenston, the latter team won by one goal. There was a large crowd, fifty private motors and six large motor buses, what an awful waste of petrol, money and time.

June 28th 1947 Saturday

The Sunday School children of St Margaret's church and St Andrew's Church and West Church were taken on a trip to Blair in the farmers' carts. The horses were nicely dressed with ornamental harnesses.

July 3rd 1947 Tuesday

A number of school children, boys and girls were brought from a school in Maryhill named Shakespeare's school to stay in Dalry for one week.

July 8th 1947 Tuesday

The roadmen began to mend one of the roads leading into the public park, they are tarmacadamising it and using also a small petrol driven road roller.

July 10th 1947

A circus and zoo arrived at the Courthill Bing and gave two performances, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. The lowest price for adults was 2/- The name of the owners were Robert Brothers. A new number of children arrived in the school from Balgray School Springburn Glasgow to stay for one week under the care of their teachers.

July 14th 1947 Monday

The new manager for Dalry Co-operative society started this day, his name is Mr Leadbetter and he came from Dunblane.

July 19th 1947 Friday

The Broadlie Brickwork was closed down for an indefinite period , there is a great quantity of bricks heaped up all round the works and the demand for them has slowed down in the meantime.

July 20th 1947 Saturday

A junior choir from Kirkintilloch gave a Sacred Concert in St Margaret's Church. The charge was all one price 2/- The choir was conducted by Rev JH MacPherson M.A.

September 4th 1947 Thursday

Mr Allan the Public Park Ranger was painting the bridge across the Rye Water leading to the park. He was almost finished with the job.

September 5th 1947 Friday

Some repairs are being made on the old joiners workshop by the new proprietor Mr Gardiner who bought it over from Alexander, it is situated in Kirk Close. A new gate and railings were put up for the Masonic Hall by Hugh Simmons blacksmith, he is a native of Dalry and has a workshop in Saltcoats.

September 7th 1947 Sunday

A band from the Salvation Army in Airdrie arrived in Dalry and played some hymns very well in different parts of the town, they held a meeting in the Masonic Hall.

September 15th 1947

At the Broadlie Brickwork one of the brick making machines was started. A machine for lifting the blaze and putting it into a motor lorry to be motored to the brick machine was started and this was the beginning of the removal of Templand Bing although there is still some blaze to remove from the bing being known as Bleeze Bing. A number of ex soldiers arrived at the huts which were built for the prisoners of war. The school had a half day holiday as this was the Headmaster Mr Pratt's last day at school, he is now retired from his profession.

September 16th 1947 Tuesday

The new Headmaster began his duties today, his name is Mr Holland, he resided in Beith but will be coming to Dalry.

September 22nd 1947 Monday

A canteen is being built for the children attending the catholic school at the foot of the Vennal. A Glasgow firm named Gray are the builders.

September 23rd 1947 Tuesday

The steeplejacks took all the ladders down off St Margaret's church which they were using in repairing the church. They did not work every day hence the reason for the time they took, almost a month.

September 25th 1947 Thursday

Mr Campbell painter began to paint the Brethren Hall in North Street, he had an assistant helping him.

October 3rd 1947 Friday

The shop in Main Street which was for many years a licensed grocers shop kept by Mr John Scott and which had been closed for some time was reopened as a greengrocers and fruit shop. The daughter of the butcher ( Mr MacLachlan ) was serving. The house in James Street named Northfield when built was bought by Mr Henry Watson for £900. When he and his wife died the members of their family sold it to Mr William Wilson school teacher for £600. Mr Wilson in this year has sold it to the Co-operative Society for over £2000, it is now occupied by the new manager of the Co-operative Society, his name is Mr Leadbetter.

October 6th 1947 Monday

Five men in the employment of Thomas Gray builders of Kilbarchan are engaged in making repairs on the walls and also the chapel.

October 8th 1947 Wednesday

The firm of Alexander of Kilmarnock are showing pieces of household furniture and wireless sets for sale in the Town Hall, it is a very fine display, though costly.

October 22nd 1947 Wednesday

Amusements arrived at Courthill Bing belonging to Mr Carrick and others. I don't remember ever seeing amusements here so late in the year.

October 26th 1947 Sunday

The Reverend Mr Kirkland from Edinburgh arrived from Edinburgh preached his trial sermon in the St Margaret's Church in the forenoon and evening.

October 27th 1947 Monday

The members of St Margaret's Church voted in the hall, the result being 424 for the Reverend Robert Kirkland and only three against him.

November 3rd 1947 Monday

The amusements departed from Courthill Bing, during their stay they were poorly patronised by the people in the town.

November 9th 1947 Sunday

A number of ex soldiers, girl guides and boy scouts led by a pipe band marched to the public park to the War Memorial where a short service was held and wreaths placed on the Memorial, thereafter they marched to St Margaret's Church where the Reverend GT Wilson conducted the service.

November 11th 1947 Tuesday

Mr Mc Clymont bought over David Brodie's business in North Street , cycle repairing and garage, he has a sale of cycle accessories just now and is using the garage and petrol tank for his motors now.

November 15th 1947 Saturday

Dalry Thistle Football Club had a replay with Beith Football Club in the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup. Beith won the game by three goals against two. I saw over eighty private cars and a few big buses, what a shameful waste because it was a cup tie, great importance in the two words Cup Tie. It was a record crowd for Dalry, the money drawn was stated in the Sunday Post to be £141.

November 21st 1947 Friday

At the Broadlie Brickwork the new machine for conveying the blaes from Templand Bing was tried for the first time today. Mr Kenneth Junior was looking on to see the machine working by electric power. The old house at Borestone by the side of Pitcon Burn which was for many years the home of Mr Glen has now been unroofed. Mr Glen removed to Stanley House which was occupied by Mr Barclay dentist who went abroad.

November 23rd 1947 Sunday

The employees of Howies Mill Doggartland were working all day, this is a record in Dalry surely for mill workers.

November 24th 1947 Monday

Palmer builder from Kilwinning had three men digging the foundations of four new houses in the field on the roadside past the railway station.

December 1st 1947 Monday

Two women whose maiden name is Kennedy ( they are sisters ) have taken over the job of caretakers at the Clydesdale Bank. They stayed at Love Lane for years before going to their new job.

December 10th 1947 Wednesday

A sale of cycle articles which belonged to David Broadie was sold off in North Street.

December 16th 1947 Tuesday

Four men from Glasgow were putting new steps up to the Clydesdale Bank, they completed the job on Wednesday the seventeenth. The windows of the school were painted by men employed by Mr Henry Watson Painter, he has also got the painting of a large house in James Street which was built for the late Dr Blair many years ago, it was designed by a Mr Miller of Glasgow.

December 25th 1947 Thursday

A number of shops were shut, the shopkeepers slow to recognise Christmas Day for a holiday, persisting with Scotch dourness to celebrate the New Year for their merry making.

December 26th 1947 Friday

The induction of the new minister for St Margaret's Church the Reverend Mr Robert Kirkland took place at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the time does not suit those who are engaged working in factories or elsewhere. At night there was a social meeting held in the church which was well attended, the Reverend S Dempster occupied the chair.

December 27th 1947 Saturday

In the afternoon at 3 o'clock the old folks were given a treat in the town hall, they were first given a good tea and sausage rolls and other eatables. Mr MacDonald's quadrille band played many tunes when the tea was being served and taken. There were several songs sung afterwards and short talks by the new minister Mr Kirkland, the Reverend McKelvie, the new father of the chapel as well. On leaving the hall the old folk, men and women received a small envelope containing seven shillings and sixpence, there must be much labour in getting up such a treat and those who are engaged in the work are entitled to much praise.

December 28th 1947 Sunday

The Introductory Service on the occasion of Mr Kirkland taking up his duties as minister of St Margaret’s Church was delivered by the Reverend Mr Sidney Finch M.A. St George's Church Hawick. The Reverend Mr Kirkland preached at night, the other churches were closed.

Source: Martha Tait