Don Martin: The railways of Kirkintilloch: Thursday 4th October 2018

KDSA Secretary Don Martin this year re-visits one of his favourite subjects, although in fact it is many years since he last addressed the Society on "The railways of Kirkintilloch". Kirkintilloch’s railway history is certainly distinctive. It began with one of Scotland’s earliest public railways, the Monkland & Kirkintilloch, in 1826, and ended with a comprehensive blow of the Beeching axe in 1966, surely one of the most illogical closures of that era. Over these years Kirkintilloch served first as a connecting link between the railway system and the Scottish canal network (including ‘train ferries’ for mineral wagons), and later as a significant railway centre in its own right, with a range of junctions connecting different lines. Passenger traffic ended in 1964, since when Kirkintilloch has arguably been the largest town in Scotland without this facility.

Back o'Loch Halt, Kirkintilloch,1960. (© D.Martin)
Kirkintilloch Town Station, 1961. (© D.Martin)
Evening meetings of the Society are at 7.30 pm in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF. Visitors are welcome at all of the Society's activities.

Society visit to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow: 2 pm, Monday 8th October 2018

On Thursday 2nd February 2017, Ross McGregor, the Librarian and Heritage Manager at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, gave a fascinating talk to the Society on the College's history and collections; at the meeting he also intimated that it might be possible to arrange an afternoon visit for members. This will now place on Monday 8th October at 2 pm as described in the letter below which is being emailed to those members who have already given the Society permission to communicate in this way.
Visit to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, 232-242 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5RJ

 Date                             Monday 8th October, 2018.

 Time                            2 pm in the reception area of the Royal College.

 Duration of visit         About one hour.

Tour of the College    We will be met by Clare Harrison, the Library and Heritage Officer, who will guide the group and be available to answer any questions.

The usual facilities will be available to the group but on this occasion catering will not.

Transport                   This will NOT be provided by KDSA. Interested members will therefore have to make their own arrangements to reach the College by 2.00 pm. The principal options are:

1.    Car parking is limited in the immediate environs of the College and therefore is not recommended. It is also expensive if a bay can be found.

2.    Bus No. X85/87 from Kirkintilloch or Lenzie to Buchanan Street Bus Station or train from Lenzie to Queen Street Station and then either walk (about 15 minutes) or take a taxi. For members arriving at the bus station, there is also the option of taking bus No. 77 from there to Bath Street and then walking through Blythswood Square to St Vincent Street.
It is appreciated that these arrangements have been made at rather short notice and only a few days after the first scheduled meeting of KDSA. Nevertheless, it is hoped that a good number of members will take part in this first outing of the new 2018/19 season.

Final numbers need to be known as soon as possible (Thursday 4th October at the latest); please contact the Society via email: kdsantiquaries"at"

See you there
David Graham

Bits & Pieces: Town Hall, Kirkintilloch, 6.30 pm, Thursday 27th September 2018

Bits & Pieces is an exhibition in the Town Hall of photographs taken by the Society's Secretary Don Martin and locally based photographer, Edward Z. Smith; the latter will also be giving a talk entitled "Scotland from the air" to the Society on Thursday 6th December 2018. The event described in the poster below closes the exhibition and is an opportunity to listen to the two photographers talk about their work and to discuss it with them.

Doors Open 2018: Saturday 8th September

The Society contributed to this year's Doors Open programme in East Dunbartonshire on Saturday 8th September by its presence in the Town Hall and by hosting a guided historical walk focusing on  the railways of Kirkintilloch.

In the Town Hall, the Society provided an overview on its activities and presented a display on the ubiquitous red cast iron telephone boxes manufactured in Kirkintilloch - "The Kirkie Kiosk", curated by Don Martin, the Society's secretary. Various committee members and office bearers - Rita Bennie, David Graham, Les Jenkins, Valerie McClure and Ivan Ruddock - were also in attendance to provide information and answer visitors' questions.

The Society's stand and exhibition in Kirkintilloch's Town Hall. (© I.S.Ruddock)

In the afternoon, Don led a walk from the Town Hall to Eastside where he described the extensive railway system that Kirkintilloch could once be proud of. In the vicinity of the town's former railway station and later the Forth & Clyde canal's unique aqueduct, he explained how the railway grew from the small beginnings of the pioneering Monkland & Kirkintilloch Railway and contributed to the development of the town's iron founding industry before closing in the early 1960s with barely a trace of its existence now being visible.

Don Martin giving his introductory
remarks outiside the Town Hall prior
to leading the walk to Eastside.
(© I.S.Ruddock)

Doors Open 2018: Saturday 8th September

East Dunbartonshire's annual Doors Open Day is Saturday 8th September and Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries will again be participating - this time by means of an exhibition and a guided walk. The full programme for Doors Open and other details may be found by clicking here

"The Kirkie Kiosk" is the Society's exhibition in Kirkintilloch Town Hall (10am - 4pm)  celebrating the locally manufactured telephone boxes while at 2pm a guided walk around the site of Kirkintilloch's former railway station will leave from the Town Hall. Information on the Society's activities will be available during the exhibition.

(© EDLC and D. Martin)
(© EDLC)