Friendship Holiday Association at Glenfinart House 1939

Following on from our previous articles related to when Glenfinart House was used for summer holidays by the Friendship Holidays Association, we are grateful to Richard Woolley who has provided us with the above photograph taken in August 1939 and shows a group of FHA guests outside Glenfinart House. The photo includes Richard’s Mother (back row, third from the right).

Childhood memories of Ardentinny 1926

Mr. Ian MacPherson-Blane’s 91-year-old mother, Margaret MacPherson has written about her childhood in Ardentinny where she lived for 19 years from 1926. Her parents, Cecilia and Jack MacPherson lived at Seaview Cottage from 1926 until 1954, prior to which they had lived at The Steading.

Ardentinny 1929

The photograph of schoolchildren at the jetty is c.1929 and Mrs MacPherson started school shortly after it was taken. 10th from the right is Jackie MacPherson, Mrs. Margaret MacPherson’s brother; 13th from the right, Donnie MacPherson, another brother; 5th from the right is Jock McIntyre. She thinks 12th from the right is Renee Gardener who was much older than her and who used to wear a lot of makeup.

She recalls she (Margaret) once plucked her eyebrows but didn’t say anything and her father looked at her for a while then said “there’s something different about you and I don’t know what it is but you look like Renee Gardener”. Margaret then confessed and got a row. Renee happily married a Commando and had a family. 20th from right is Ian MacLean “who was a nice, quiet lad who was taken prisoner at Dunkirk and at the end of the war died on the long walk home, too malnourished to make it.”

Further recollections are that “Jake Cairns, a widower lived in the Octagon (the row of cottages near the jetty) and Glencairn cottages although they let out Glencairn in the summer and lived in the Octagon, moving back to Glencairn in the winter and shutting up the Octagon.

Jack Cairns had two daughters, Nelly and Jenny and a son, Joe, who drowned in the loch as a youngster. They moved to Glencairn and the Octagon from The Bothie at Stronvochlan after Mr Cairns, who worked for the estate, had a heart attack, and lived there rent free, which was most unusual. Nelly married Jake Longmuir who had come from Carluke to Ardentinny in search of a wife after losing his second wife and Mr. Cairns went to live with them in Carluke. Jenny married Tommy Greer and, after working in Edinburgh for a few years, they settled in Newton Stewart.

Next to Glencairn was Blink Bonny but Mrs. MacPherson can’t remember the name of the end house (now part of Blink Bonny) although someone called Mrs. Rhodes bought it. She was a widow from England and had a son called John.”

We are grateful to Mr. Ian MacPherson-Blane who provided the photograph and his mother’s recollections. 

Ardentinny’s bygone sports day

We’re indebted to Jim Robinson who has been rummaging through his photo album and has come up with these gems from probably the 1980’s.

They are possibly of the Ardentinny School sports day held in the ‘football field’ behind the Swedish Houses. If you have any recollection of when this took place or who is in the photographs, please comment below or let us know.

Click image to enlarge.

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The ‘football field’ today.

Ardentinny monkey puzzle

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The photograph above of two children and a chimpanzee was provided by Elaine Allan, former owner of Blink Bonny Cottage, Ardentinny.

During renovation of the property some years ago, Elaine found the photograph hanging on a concealed wall. The image shows the children and chimp in front of a painted canvas backdrop of Glenfinart Bay and Shepherds Point. From the style of dress, it possibly dates from the 1950’s.

If anyone has any information on who the children are and how the photo came about, please get in touch.

Ardentinny D-Day Memorial plaque unveiled

The memorial plaque
The memorial plaque

On 6th June 2015 Tony Rodaway, nephew of D-Day veteran Billy Rodaway, travelled to the site of HMS Armadillo in Ardentinny to unveil a memorial plaque dedicated to Harry Smallman, Ken Oakley and all Royal Navy Commandos who participated in the planning and execution of the D-Day landings in 1944. The short ceremony and  memorial plaque also paid tribute to Seaman William (Billy) Rodaway and Bob Bull and the crew of HMS Prins Albert with whom they served. 

The plaque will be incorporated within the commando memorial cairn at Shepherd’s Point shortly.

Information on their outstanding service can be found here:

Royal Navy Commandos

Rodaways website