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Mining in Ayrshire was never the specialist subject of the writer, but over the years, a number of photos and articles have come to the archives here. Below, an index of material to hand.



THE CLAY MINE, Langside, Galston.

The poem below is written about the auld mine that sat below Langside Farm, Galston. Driving up the Killochead / Wynds road, you come to Alwyn. The track to the left at Alwyn took you down to the "Cli" mine. (Clay mine). The source of the poem has long since been forgotton, and sadly in all the family photos from the Baird's and Forbes' that lived at Alwyn, there is not a signle shot even with the Clay Mine in the background.

In the writers time, it is recalled that "Granny Baird" used to tell us as boys that there were two giants living there. Obviously to discourage us from snooping about the place.



You have heard about this Clay mine
That lies up by Galston way
When I started on this contract
They knocked four bob off my pay

We leave the yard at 7 am
Us three - Jock Tam and Willie
At 7 20 if all goes well
We're passing through Old Killie

Through Crookedholm then Hurlford town
The road in front straight lies
We draw up at the Creamery
And lift the Galston Boys

So on we go through Cessnock Woods
I give a wave to Kate
And if the "Chev" still carries on
We arrive at ten to eight

The clay is howked at Langside Mine
By James Allan and Jock McInnes
And hauled from there to Garrochburn
By your humble Willie Finniss

As I am passing Crosshands school
Joiner Candlish gives a shout
I hold my breath and look outside
My God the half-shaft's out

I jack it up and work away
You're nearly off your rocker
You got the nut back on again
To find the tongue is off the locker

I land down at the Garrochburn
Full of sorrow and dismay
Then get into the lorry
And start shovelling out the clay

I got back up to Langside Mine
To the Boss I tell my plight
The explanation that I give
The lorry's far too light