This weeks Carrick Gazette letters page


Good things coming in threes?

What a pleasure it was to read this week’s Gazette.

As well as our usual diet of local, not always pleasant, news, we have two major reports of developments that promise a bright future for Girvan and the surrounding area.

Donald Trump is not only investing millions of his own money in Turnberry, but his upgrade will no doubt attract more, high quality tourists to the area.

Also, finally securing the grant for the swimming pool means that we will better be able to cater for them as well as providing for our local people.

The pool development will also tidy up that part of the harbour area which at present is less than handsome.

I hope that sufficient space will still remain to enable events such as the harbour gala, which we enjoyed this weekend, to still be accommodated.

Since all good things come in threes wouldn’t it be nice if Transport Scotland would join in and carry out the long delayed A77 Burnside improvements and link the two with a decent road. That would put some icing on this particular cake.

PM Barber



New footcare service for over 55s in Carrick

Voluntary Action South Ayrshire run a footcAyr service for over 55s throughout South Ayrshire. The footcAyr service is a community service. It is run by staff and volunteers who are all trained by NHS staff. This service was brought about through necessity, working in partnership with the NHS, as they are discharging all their low to moderate patients from the NHS podiatry service. They enlisted our help as the Third Sector Organisation in South Ayrshire and as a result have managed to free up almost 3000 appointments for high risk podiatry patients.

The NHS are about to start discharging their low to moderate risk patients throughout the Carrick area. As a result we have seen a requirement for a clinic in Girvan, to help your local residents access our facility once they have been discharged from the NHS.

We charge a nominal fee of £5 per visit; this includes a free set of £12.95 nail clippers and emery board at the first appointment. Each appointment is half an hour, we do this because of the social aspect associated with our service. Some of our users can be isolated and our service provides some one to one time, it’s about a lot more than toe nail cutting and care of the feet.

Our Girvan clinic is opening at The Townhouse on Friday July 29th.

It’s a great and worthwhile service that will benefit the community. I’d be very grateful if you could help get the information of our clinic starting in Girvan out and about to the local areas.

Call Faith or Karen on 01292 281800 for an appointment or more information.

Odette Landsburgh

Development Manager - Services


Memories of Suzanne Schaefer

When the decision was taken by the Curators of the Maclaurin Trust to stage an exhibition, Cultural Connections, highlighting the enduring influence on Scottish art of Jewish artists such as Josef Herman and Jankl Adler, who came to Scotland to escape Nazi persecution in the 1930s, no one realised that Rozelle House, where the exhibition is due to take place had its own Jewish wartime story to tell.

Did you attend school in Ayr during WW2?

Does the following ring any bells?

In May 1939, Suzanne Schaefer, aged twelve, came to Scotland under the mass exodus of Jewish children from Germany.

Kindertransport as this exodus was called was organized by charities to evacuate these refugee children to places of safety. Suzanne, the daughter of artists Albert and Steffie Schaefer, came from Berlin to Ayr and was fostered for five years by Colonel Claud Hamilton and his wife Veronica, at Rozelle House.

The contrast between her life in Berlin and Ayr could not have been more marked.

Her father, although well known in Germany as an illustrator and cartoonist was targeted in the early 1930s by the Nazi party because his wife was Jewish and to be able to continue working the couple were forced to divorce.

The divided family’s living conditions became austere in the extreme.

Speaking of her time of living at Rozelle House Suzanne said: “I soon got used to my palatial surroundings, the four poster bed, butler, cook, chauffeur and even a live in dressmaker.

“It was like a fairytale, beautiful rooms, wonderful meals and a posh private school right on the seafront.”

That posh private school was Wellington, at that time an all girls’ school, but once she had a good command of English she transferred to co-educational Ayr Academy to finish her schooling

When she left school in 1944 she joined her mother in London where Steffie was a ‘registered alien ‘and was working as waitress, one of the low paid occupations open to alien refugees. Suzanne went to college in London to study dressmaking and during this time Veronica Hamilton continued to support her.

After the war and the partitioning of Germany, Albert Schaefer found himself trapped behind the Iron Curtain and although Steffie and Suzanne kept in constant touch with him they were only able to see him once before he died in September 1951 aged 61.

In 1954 Suzanne married journalist, John Buck. They had two sons and lived in London and Hastings.

Suzanne died in London on 27th March 2002 aged 75.

Her husband and one of her sons and his wife are coming to the opening of the exhibition.

Almost certainly there are people in Ayr who remember Suzanne from her time attending Wellington School and Ayr Academy. The Curators of the Maclaurin Trust would be thrilled to hear your stories and welcome you to the exhibition Cultural Connections from 27th July – 22nd September.

Celia Stevenson

Maclaurin Gallery