William “Inspector” Aitken 1851 – 1931

William Aitken was known as the Railway Poet.Born in Sorn in Ayrshire in 1851 where his father was the village shoe maker.   He rose in rank during his work with the railways, he lived and worked in Greenock staying at 25 Brougham Street with his wife Jean and family. Founder member of the Greenock branch […]

Old West Kirk beadle John Rowan

John Rowan was beadle at the Old West Kirk for 40 years and was succeeded by his son-in-law Andrew Mitchell. John was born in Ayr in 1820 and was a shoemaker all his working life.  He lived with his wife a daughter in Paisley before eventually settling in Greenock. In the 1851 census he is […]

The Clyde Pottery, Greenock.

There were two potteries in Greenock in the eighteen hundreds and the early nineteen hundreds.  One was The Clyde Pottery Company which was on a site near Ladyburn Church and the pottery workers’ houses were just to the right of Ladyburn Church. It was founded in 1816 and closed in 1905. The other pottery was […]

Margaret Victoria Chisholm and her Bible

  The mystery of the small Bible covered in blue velvet with brass edgings and lock.   It was found in a house being cleared in Edinburgh by a relative and taken to the Newcastle area.  She had no idea who it had belonged to but thought it too beautiful to be thrown out.  Subsequently […]

Henry “Chippy” McNish 1866 – 1930 Imperial Transantarctic Expedition Endurance 1914 – 1917

Henry McNish (McNeish) was born in Port Glasgow on 11 September 1866.  He was the 3rd in the family of John McNish and Mary Jane Wade.  John McNish was a shoemaker and the couple had married in 5 November 1869.  Harry, as he was known became a skilled tradesman, a carpenter, hence the nickname Chippy, and a metal […]

“Ocean” pleasure boat accident 14 September 1947

On Sunday 14th September 1947 a weekend cruise set out from Port Glasgow on a converted naval liberty boat, the Ocean, owned by John Travers, for a picnic at Ardentinny on Loch Long.   The weather changed shortly after they set out and the route was changed to go to the Gareloch instead.  The weather further […]

Lyle Kirk War Memorials

Lyle Kirk Church of Scotland, Greenock has 3 buildings all with several war memorials: Esplanade – previously Old West Kirk – has 2 memorials, one from the Gaelic Church and another 2 for the Old West Kirk. Newark Street – previously Finnart St Paul’s Church – also has 2 memorials, one from Finnart Church and […]

Sir Andrew Noble

Andrew Noble was born in Greenock at 22 Fox Street.   His parents were George Noble and Geils Moore Donald.  George was at that time a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.  Andrew was born on 13th September 1831 and baptised in the Old West Kirk on 11th October of that year.  He was one of a […]

Helen Simpson Dunsmore

Helen was born on 15th November 1926 the elder of 2 girls.  Educated in Greenock and went on to study chemistry at Glasgow University.  After being awarded a BSc she continued her studies for a PhD in Electrochemistry.  When these studies were completed she received a research fellowship in Canada staying there for 3 years.  […]

Rev Henry Charles (Harry) and Rev Dr Laurence Arthur Brown Whitley

Henry Charles Whitley (Harry) was born in Edinburgh in 20 March 1906.  He became a minister of the Church of Scotland  serving in several churches, including Newark Parish Church in Port Glasgow.  It was here that he married Elizabeth Young Thom in 1939 and where his son Laurence Arthur Brown was born in 1949.  During […]