Writers and Poets

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 […]

John Wallace Lyall 1836 – 1913

John Lyall was born in Paisley in 1836 , the son of a weaver.  His father was also a poet of some distinction and a passionate Scot – hence, John’s middle name, –  and although he died when John was a baby, he seems to have passed on to his son a love of poetry and […]

James Thomson 1834 – 1882 pseudonym “Bysshe Vanolis”

    James Thomson was born in Port Glasgow to James Thomson and Sarah Kennedy on 23 November 1834.  James’ father, a merchant navy officer,  suffered a severe stroke which paralysed him in 1840 and 2 years later his mother died.  He was sent to London to be educated at the Royal Caledonian Asylum and […]

Andrea Gibb

Andrea Gibb was born  in Greenock to Andrew and Rebecca Gibb. She attended school in Greenock and on leaving school she went to Glasgow University where she studied drama and sociology before going on to Manchester Polytechnic where she did a post-graduate teaching degree .  Andrea went on to do an acting course at the Drama Studio in London. […]

Bill Bryden

Bill Bryden

William Campbell Rough Bryden was born in Carwood Street, Greenock on 12 April 1942.  The family moved nearby to East Crawford Street and later to Forfar Road.  From there Bill attended Greenock High School.  He always enjoyed entertaining and was in the junior church choir of Cartsburn Augustine Church and had his first stage appearance there in a […]

At Home With Cathy MacPhail

Much has been written about popular Greenock writer Cathy MacPhail who is a pleasant, unassuming woman who feels that life has been good to her. For biographical details about Cathy and information on the books she has had published go to: http//www.catherinemacphail.co.uk or Google her or go to Wikipedia. My story is about Cathy MacPhail […]

George Logan 1866 – 1939

George Logan was born in Beith, Ayrshire in 1866 to John and Jessie Logan.  After school he was an upholsterer’s apprentice in the flourishing furniture industry in Beith. He became a furniture designer for the prestigeous Glasgow company of Wylie & Lochhead having turned down an offer of work from the London firm of Waring and […]

George Blake

George Blake (1893-1961) was born to Matthew Blake and Ursula Scott McCulloch on 28 October 1893 at 60 Forsyth Street, Greenock. He studied at Greenock Academy and then at Glasgow University where he studied law.  He was apprenticed to Neill Clark and Murray but this was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War.  He enlisted […]

Jean Adam

Jean Adam (1704 – 1765) Scottish Poet Early years Born in Cartsdyke Greenock in 1704 into a maritime family, her most famous work (though the authorship was for some time in dispute) is “The Mariner’s Wife”, better known by its refrain “there’s nae luck aboot the hoose”, a tale of a sailor’s wife and the […]

W. S. Graham

W. S. Graham

The poet William Sydney Graham (1918-1986) was born in Greenock at 1 Hope Street on 19 November 1918.  The family moved to Brisbane Street and from there Sydney, as he was usually called, attended Finnart School.  When he left school he worked for a time in a bank but went on to study engineering and worked at Hasties.   […]