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(This was the last entry till 2009!!!)

I am amazed sometimes when my work becomes significant. This happened a couple of times recently. I was sitting in on an excellent talk about the life of Robert Burns, when the distinguished speaker proudly began to tell the audience about a government based web site having such a wonderful historic documentation of Mauchline from old times. I am sure you can imagine my consternation when a collection of ayrshirehistory.com images were displayed alongside the rest of the slideshow, while credit was openly given to an Edinburgh based concern. I questioned this in public, and was doubly assured it was material from the government based outfit. Later in the bar, I spoke to the speaker about ayrshirehistory.com, which rang bells with the gentleman. The error has since been cleared up, and was a genuine error.

Not a genuine error however was one character who even took it upon himself to copy both text and images from this web site, and mail the content credited to himself to a dubious Canadian based outfit called electricscotland.com. This was reproduced by the webmaster there, but taken back off line when the original source of the material was realised.

All that is asked is that the basic gentleman’s rule of use of material be honoured, and credit given to both this web site and the original donor of the image. That is why donor names are below most images on this site, and have been since day one. The Mauchline on line slideshow is a temporary exception, as the text for that is only half done.

(Kenny Baird, February 2006)


APRIL 2004


The main difference to the web pages as of mid April 2004, will be the new style front end, and menu system. It should in theory mean easier navigation of the site, as all or almost all pages are a mere click away from the front page. A lot of work is still to be done, and as time permits, it should eventually be done.

A reminder that if anyone is looking for specific files, some of the file names from the original work, were deliberately kept to 8 letters or less to suit old operating systems. Thus for example "page23.jpg" could have been "john_taylor_gibb_page_23". As long file names are common place, and have been for a number of years now, future files will have more descriptive titles. However there are no plans to change all the work already done. The time would be better spent adding new material. The site is still perfectly navigable. Some of the original files were made many years ago, and may look rather dated. The content will still be there, but in the early days, all the colours of the rainbow were used for text and links etc, simply because they could be. The old files are gradually being modernised, but the time factor creeps in again.

(Kenny Baird April 2004)




At last I have found the time to update the Website with an amazing on line slideshow of old Mauchline, over 300 new pages!! The images contained in the said show are mainly from the private collection of Willie Lyle. Willie has kept safe for over forty years, a collection of original glass negatives, which belonged to Mauchline minister, photographer and local historian, John Taylor Gibb. [1864 – 1948] The task to reproduce these images was by no means straight forward, and took many long hours in sometimes Baltic conditions. I therefore hope I can be forgiven if sometimes it seems there is little noticeable work being done to the site.

The original web site was designed around a screen size of 800 by 600, but in the case of the slideshow, I have used a screen size of 1024 by 768, to enable the maximum quality of the images to be portrayed. Some of the high res images on many of the over 1000 pages are also designed to fit nicely onto a screen of 1024 by 768. I know this makes it rather an awkward site, suiting both screen sizes, but it is unavoidable as technology advances.

Another long task is sorting out all the older images on the site which were used when the project was in its infancy. Initially most of the images were proudly displayed in an untouched, original faded and scarred state. In the last few years however most of the images have been cleaned, and touched up, and the effect is perhaps more realistic. With the collection of glass plates, the results have been described as awesome. The repairing of the original scans will take time, and therefore do not expect instant results. The web site is unfortunately a voluntary project, which takes up so much spare time.

(Kenny Baird Nov 2003)




There has been some dispute from time to time, that the credit for an image may not necessarily be to the original collector. All images on this site are credited to the donor of the material. Sometimes in separate collections, the same image will appear. Usually the credit is given either jointly, or to the owner of the image used, which would be the cleanest version. Remember that the original photographer in many cases does not even receive credit, and are generally unknown. The main concern is the fact that by having the image on this archive web site, the image has been preserved, in a non fading digital format.

A new idea has been brought into the site in February 2002. The private collections button takes you to just that.




This site was officially taken off line on Tuesday 24th April 01 by the former host, South Ayrshire Council. We would like to express our thanks to South Ayrshire for providing the server space for the last three and a half years. 

Since Thursday June 15th, the site has been on line once more, thank you to the support of Ayrshire Electronic Community. Thank you to Councilor Smith for his help in arranging this. The technical side of this server seems to be extremely encouraging. The download speeds are far faster than the previous host.

This site is completely non-profit making and totally unviable as a commercial project, and therefore has to be supported by goodwill. 

 <ayrshirehistory.com> is now registered as the domain name. <ayrshirehistory.net> also takes you direct to the full address <www.e-ayrshire.co.uk/local/sornweb>. Thank you to sornmilk.com for their support in this department.

A lot of time has been spent in early 2001 making the layout a lot more uniform. Time has been spent repairing typing errors which crept in. This is what comes of working late into the wee sma' hours. Anyone who notices any other errors, inaccuracies, or would like to add information, please feel free to contact any of us. All contributions are welcome.




This site went on line properly in early 1998, although a skeleton of the current archive. The preparation work was started in 1997, before even going on line.

The material here is for educational and historical purposes, and is available as a free standing, free to air web site to anyone around the world with Internet access. Although the concept of making historical collections available on the world wide web is a relatively new ideal, the history of the Internet itself goes back many years. The www [Internet] is in a sense the world's largest encyclopedia, and allows access in all corners of the globe. This technology is new and a mystery to many, but it is the best way of preserving our local history.

Many of the old postcards are great pieces of history, perhaps more so than many old personal photographs. The publishing firms had more experienced photographers, and in many cases, better (any) camera equipment than many homes had in earlier years. Sadly in recent years so much local history has been lost, which hopefully will never happen with what is left. So much material gets thrown out, perhaps unknowingly, by families of deceased. Much material has also been lost to collectors, which although still technically available, is as good as lost.  A collectable old postcard can trade for quite a sum of money, and could easily end up not only out of the area, but outside the country.




This web site was originally constructed to make access available to as many people as possible, including anyone still using old software such as Windows 3.1 and old versions of Netscape. File names were originally kept to 8 letters or less, although now file names are much longer, and more descriptive, but always lower case. Some operating systems may be case sensitive. The desktop area was originally limited to 640 by 480, to cope with anyone who has an older & limited VGA monitor, but the common standard 600 by 800 and/ or 1024 by 768 is used throughout nowadays. Laptops and wider screen monitors have even higher res screens. All common screen sizes should be able to cope with the whole site.


The site was originally designed rather clumsily around Netscape 3 and 4, with the need to change the settings in the preferences to make the links look better. Now though there is no need, and the default settings of both Internet Explorer and Firefox happily cope with the site. Netscape now is virtually dead, despite it's initial popularity during the early days of the web.

Although some early browsers did not support frames, the main reason for having none is simply so that images can be seen full screen. This is a site of an archival nature. Frames reduce the size of the screen, and with a small monitor, you can not afford any screen size reduction.

Worth noting is that since Internet Explorer 6, a nasty new default setting means that an A4 page wont fit to the width of the page and let you scroll down, but rather fits the height of the screen. If the PC operator is one of these folks who downloads all the silly extra toolbars and clutter from the web, there is not much room to display a large image. A silly brown square tool eventually slowly appears at the bottom right hand corner sometimes if you are quick enough, which expands the image. This can be switched off in the options if required.

(Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - Multimedia - untick "enable automatic image resizing")



Response to this massive undertaking has been very good in the local area. The e mail support, and response in the guest book has also been superb. Read the guest book up to 2001 as one html file from here. More soon hopefully. 

Latest News/ Blog From HQ

2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - OLDER ENTRIES

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