Thank you to Miss Betty Milligan Lees for providing some New Cumnock memoribilia from her collection. New Cumnock born Betty was a teacher at New Cumnock Junior Secondary School.
Betty was my Primary 7 teacher in 1989/70 and I recall she had been on secondment to the USA prior to returning to teach at New Cumnock. This was the last year of the New Cumnock Junior Secondary School with Cumnock Academy now the destination for secondary aged pupils; while Betty went on to teach at Auchinleck Academy. New Cumnock Junior Secondary School would later be re-named the Castle Primary School and is now the New Cumnock Primary School.
In retirement Betty was a regularly attendee at New Cumnock Hisory Club and the Cumnock Living History Group. She has now returned to live in her home town of New Cumnock.
I’m sure you will enjoy Betty’s memories of New Cumnock
VIEWS OF NEW CUMNOCK
A class exercise illustrations and note on four “Views of New Cumnock”
1. MARTYRS’ CHURCH by TOM MORTON
The following article was obtained by Tom Morton in an interview with Mr. MacPherson
The present Martyrs’ Church was opened in 1833. The name Martyrs’ was given to it in 1929. It was suggested by Mr James H. Stevenson, Rottenyard farm, and was accepted by great unaminity by the congregation. This is the county of the martyrs – there is a monument to two of them off the Dumfries road.
The church replaced a previous builidng, now in ruins, which was built in 1659.
The church has had many ministers; the Rev. Robert E Murray was the minister for almost 50 years. The last minister, Mr Waugh, resigned his charge to take up a preaching appointment at the Riverside School, Falkirk.
2. ARTHUR MEMORIAL by JOHN MASON
The present church was built about 1914. There had been another church on the site before, but it was pulled down. The front of the old building was rebuilt as the front of the present church hall. The church was called the Arthur Memorial in memory of a local farmer, who when he died bequeathed the money to erect the present building. He also left money to build a library in New Cumnock which was never built. About 100 years ago this church had its own school; the house, at present is occupied by Miss McKenzie, was the headmaster’s house. Mr Lowrie told us all this. He also was very keen to show us round the church. He pointed out the stained glass windows and showed his paintings of previous ministers.
3. MR MILLER’S HOUSE by SHEILA ALLAN
The above sketch is one of the Schoolhouse next to the Junior Secondary School. It was built by a Mr Beattie in the year 1872.
Since then five headmasters have lived there. They were:
- Mr William Guthrie (1872-73)
- Mr John Nairn (1873-1887)
- Mr John Whiteford (1887-90)
- Mr John Wales (1890-1927)
- Mr Willian J. Dow (1927-47)
The last headmaster, Mr Dow now lives in retirement at Barrhill, Cumnock. He was headmaster of twenty years. Our present headmaster is Mr Millar who came to our school from Largs.
The teachers that followed have been pencilled in as follows –
- Mr John Millar (1947-1965)
- Mr Gordon Douglas (1965-1971)
- Mr Robb (1971-
- Mrs McMillan
4. SHILLING HILL by DAVID HUNTER
This drawing of the “Shilling Hill” by David Hunter (3D), is the fourth in our series of “Views of New Cumnock”. It was intended that David shoud write a short article explaining the origin of the name “Shilling Hill” to accompany the drawing, but so far we have been unable to find out why it is co-called.
MR TROTTER’S OPINION
Mr Trotter,good friend of the School, thought the term may hav a connection with the “Toll”, perhaps being derived from the payment of certain dues in former days. Perhaps one of our readers can tell us why this part of New Cumnock is called the “Shilling Hill”. In the meantime David Hunter’s drawing is capable of standing on its own merits
Note: Shilling hill is an knoll on which grain might be winnowed by the wind.
New Cumnock Junior Secondary School (Town School)
A photo of the New Cumnock Town School staff on the retiral of headmaster Mr JohnWales in 1927, the year after Betty was born.
Knockshinnoch Disaster Church Service 1950
New Cumnock Industrial Exhibition April, 1967
Old MIll Dam
The Castle from the church steeple
Of the Castle
AYRSHIRE TEACHERS 1915
…… with the rules of the day
More information on the Lees family can be found here.