I have been trolling through some of the books of the Rev. R. Lawson in which he writes extensively about this area. He expresses sadness over the fact that some things which we have become used to and admired for their quirkiness and charm have to go in order to keep up with the times.
Yet despite the necessity of change we miss the article to be replaced as it has become a part of our lives.
But we must change with the times and in this instance the Rev. Lawson was referring to the old wooden bridge which crossed the River Girvan prior to which stepping stones were the way the river was crossed and this could only be done at low tide.
The ladies on their way to church on a Sunday got their skirts wet and this was not good either for them or the other parishioners, as no doubt the smell of all that damp clothing would not be very pleasant.
The stepping stones were then replaced by a quaint wooden bridge which was really not suitable in its structure, but it was picturesque with a certain charm and you had to have courage to use it.
Whilst you crossed the river dry the bridge was shoogly, the holes on the footway were somewhat awkward and dangerous to the unwary so eventually it had to be replaced.
A new iron bridge was erected by Sir William Arrol at the enormous cost, of £14,000.
It did not have a striking appearance and although a substantial structure it was low, flat and inconspicuous , not to be admired as its predecessor was.
However it was safe and wide enough for horse and carts to get through but not really convenient for current traffic.
This account, apart from the reference to current traffic, comes from the Rev. R. Lawson who wrote many books of local interest back in the 1880s and 1890s.
Without his works a lot of Girvan’s history would be lost such as the mention of the bridges etc. even though the gentleman concerned lived in Maybole.
Lawson even wrote a book ‘What I saw in India’ so he had obviously travelled well beyond the borders of Girvan and Maybole.
I have come by a few of the Rev. Lawson’s works and I will go through them picking up tales which I think may be of interest.
He mentions a lot of old characters who have brought a rich look to life in Girvan, and it is nice to know that the characters are not confined to years long gone by, as Girvan is still full of characters just as interesting as those the Rev. Lawson came into contact with.
See you next week.