Festival’s creative writing competition and search for smuggling ancestors

In the stocks
In the stocks

As the organisers of the Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival finalise their plans for this year’s festival due to be held from 18-23 August, the Carrick Gazette continues to support their efforts as a festival partner.

Two weeks ago we launched the Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival Creative Writing Competition for three age groups: Children under 12 years of age, children 12 years or over and under 18 years of age, and adults (ie over 18 years of age).

All ages at 1 July 2014. The deadline for entries is 30 June. Full details of the competition including the rules can be found on the Carrick Gazette website www.carricktoday.co.uk or on the Ballantrae website www.ballantrae.org.uk/smugglers.

Last week we asked whether your ancestors lived in or around Ballantrae in the 18th and 19th centuries and, if so, whether you might be a descendant of a smuggler or a revenue officer. If you think you might, please make contact now with the Festival organisers. Again details can be found on our website.

This week we publish more tales from Ballantrae’s smuggling past, naming the names of some of the families involved.

In February 1790, Robert Allan, John Coulter and Hugh Galloway, all fishermen at Ballantrae, used their boats to land tobacco and spirits from a smuggling cutter from Ostend while John Cumming, William Galloway, William McKissock and Hugh Thomson, all living in Ballantrae, were waiting to receive these goods on shore.

When Alexander Coulter senior, Alexander Coulter junior, Hugh Coulter and Robert Coulter, all described as sailors or fishermen in Ballantrae, were involved in smuggling geneva (gin) and brandy in 1814, Thomas Haswell and Hugh Ross, innkeepers in Ballantrae, John Earl, Henry King, Thomas McCormick and Allan Thompson, sailors or fishermen there, John Eagleston, a weaver of Holm Park, , Mrs Mary Ferguson Kennedy of Girvan, living in Ballantrae, William McKissock, a farmer at Bankend in Ballantrae, John McWhirter and his wife Mary McWhirter of Dornel, living in Ballantrae, and Mrs Agnes Ross, wife of Hugh Ross, were all subpoenaed to give evidence in the Court of Exchequer in Edinburgh.

Next week read about the officers who pursued the Ballantrae Smugglers.