Personal Recollections – Saltcoats
I was born in 1947 in England! Mum (Patsy) married a soldier/driver Norman Ford and we lived in Yorkshire with Denny (born 1949) until 1952. We move to Mum’s home in Saltcoats in 1952. Went to Saltcoats Public where life was tough – Yorkshire accent amongst scots brought up to dislike English!
Had to learn how to fight quickly and to play ‘fitba’ to earn respect. Accent changed quickly and to this day most thought I was born in Scotland. Lived with Granny Babs (McGowan) in Anderson Drive until I was married to Marilyn McEwan (Stevenston) 1967.
Saltcoats Public School was great (didn’t think so when I was there!) and I still have loads of great memories from then. Captained the Primary and Secondary football Teams and became a football tragic. Strangely I could rarely get past my wee Brother Denny who loved slide tackling me. Had the marks to go to Ardrossan Academy but fretted so much that my Mum convinced ‘Snoop’ Bryson (Headmaster) to let me stay – Academy was Rugby – No way!
At 16 I went to Kilmarnock Technical College and Kilmarnock under 16 football Team – Donald Mc Crindle; Bobby Beattie; Cameron Evans; John Murray; Jim (Bootsie) Clark were other locals. Tough gig as we played in the under 18 league. At 17 I became an Apprentice Toolmaker at Ayrshire Metal Products and joined the Magnificent Ardrossan Castle United – what a Team. Also played for Dreghorn Juniors and a few games with Saltcoats Vics as A.N.Other with great friend John Lee. Finished with my Apprenticeship, got Married and became a 10 Pound immigrant to Slavia Football Team in Australia. What a culture and weather change.
As life is I am now in second marriage to wonderful Ellie who grew up with the Tulips in Holland
Still live in Melbourne 50 years later and proud Father of 2 wonderful Daughters and 6 Grandchildren. They can all say It's a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht the nicht.
I did return to Stevenston (Mayfield Grove) in 1974 for 15 months and worked at Hyster as a Draughtsman. Was reinstated to Ardrossan Winton but never did any good due to Glasgow Rangers and the Westfield Pub! Loved the Westfield home of many memories and laughs.