The Wayfarer - What would Robert the Bruce think about his area?

I notice the stone known locally as the ‘Maid of Curragh’ is still standing forlornly in a very wet muddy field.

The weather of late must not have been too kind to her, but remember, lift the stone and she will start nagging again and with lying in all that wet she will have a lot to nag about.

I understand that she is waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of all the massive works being carried out at Turnberry.

This is something she could really get her teeth into, but the finished product could surprise even the Maid of Curragh and perhaps stop her tongue in its tracks. The other very important one time resident of the area was King Robert the Bruce, a true hero among Scots, and I wonder what his thoughts would be over what is happening in Scotland today.

A lady First Minister, in fact all the political factions in Scotland are led by ladies. But this is not a political column so enough said.

The changes since his day are massive and not always for the best but surely he must have been impressed by the tremendous alterations to the land surrounding his castle with the golf courses and hotel dominating everything. However he would have been saddened at the state his castle had been allowed to fall into, particularly as everything else was being spruced up..

I wonder whether Bruce would have been worried about an American taking over so much of Scotland. But of course there are many other fabulous places in Scotland and as expressed in last week’s column, there are also many fabulous Scots who have done so much.

One who comes to mind is Bill Shankly who became one of the most successful football managers of all time leading the mighty Liverpool F.C. to great heights.

It was the small village of Glenbuck on the very east of Ayrshire where Bill Shankly first donned his football boots. The village first came into being in the 1700’s due to weaving but that died away and coal was mined there for a number of years.

They had a famous football team called the Glenbuck Cherrypickers from which Bill Shankly born in 1913 rose to fame.

I understand that the name cherrypickers was given to those who went over the mine workings picking up the small discarded pieces of coal.

At one time the village had a population of in excess of 1,700 but all things have a finite and with the coal mines closing and the football team disbanding in 1932 there was little future and the inhabitants were housed elsewhere. But from small beginnings greatness can come.

See you next week.