Sunday, 27 February 2011
South Ayrshire 3 Towns walk Ardrossan Saltcoats and Stevenston.
Sunday February 27 saw 17 ramblers from the South Ayrshire group set out on a 3 towns walk consisting of Ardrossan Saltcoats and Stevenston. Firstly we walked around the Ardrossan marina what a great improvement to this area older bloggers will remeber the old petrolium tanks which were once sited here and it was a bit of an eyestore.On now to the promenade to Saltcoats and its harbour area with a lookout tower which we all climbed to admire the view over to a snow capped Isle of Arran.We visited a monument erected in remembrance of the aircraft carrier HMS Dasher which sunk in these waters. Our local rambling historian was able to explain that the Dasher started off its career as a merchant ship prior to becoming a warship.It is also claimed that this is where "The Man Who Never Was " originated from. For those readers who don't know what we are referring to this happened during the war when the Brits disguised a body with the uniform of a high ranking officer and put fake plans in his pocket and deposited him in North Africa where the Germans would find him and his dummy information. It is reported that the body used came from the Dasher. We then followed a road alongside the shore to Stevenston and were given a little bit of its history courtesy of a board erected by the local council. Lunch was taken at the edge of Stevenston Golf Course before heading off along an old railway line that used to carry the coal from the local pits. This was known locally as the Callie Line or as we know it as The Caledonaian Line.A visit to the ruins of a 15th century Ardrossan Castle where again we learnt that Oliver Cromwell's men removed some of the stone from here to construct the Citadell in Ayr.We then proceeded to make our way down to Ardrossan Town and back to the cars. A super walk with all the history involved in a local area that a lot of us were not familiar with. The weather was excellent considering it is only the end of February.