Tag Archives: Heritage

New Cumnock Community Action Plan 2014-2019

Had a fantastic time at the New Cumnock Community Action Plan event in the Community Centre. What a tremendous turnout and great to see so many people taking an active interest and having their say in shaping our future.  Add to that the superb entertainment provided by our young folk and those younger at heart….. New Cumnock’s got talent indeed. Of course the tea, coffee and home-baking went down a treat too!

To the business of the day ……


We asked you what you wished for your community by the year 2020.

Here is a summary of the collective vision for the future of New Cumnock taken from the household survey and stakeholder interviews.

  • We will have a healthy local economy creating jobs, and provide quality amenities, goods and services for locals and visitors.
  • We will be known as an attractive place to live and visit.
  • We will have made the most of our local heritage and environment.
  • We will have good community and recreational facilities for locals and visitors …… and good community organisations, activities and events.


I was delighted to host a stall on behalf of the New Cumnock Liaison Group and share the progress and plans for our Auld Kirk and Village Heritage Trail.New Cumnock Community Action Plan 02

Thank you to everyone who visited the ‘Auld Kirk and Village Heritage trail’ stall and sharing their memories of the kirkyard. It was great to hear how some people had only noticed the Auld Kirk ruins, now that ivy had been removed, while out on their walks to the lagoons.

New Beginnings at the Auld Kirk


aa_HLF_auldkirk01Things are moving along at a great pace in the Auld Kirk.

  • Vegetation has been removed from the ruin to reveal parts of the Auld Kirk that have never been seen for generations.
  • The next phase includes essential masonry repairs to part of the ruins.
  • Followed by a programme of lime pointing



Work has started on cleaning and repairing some of the headstones

Reverend Thomas Hunter

The lair of the Reverend Thomas Hunter and his family lies against the Auld Kirk walls. He served the parish for 50 years and died in 1760, aged 95 years.  His first spouse Christian Ker lies and son Joseph lie buried here too.



A number of the family headstones which remember their sons fallen in the Great War required to re-set in new foundations.  Local firm Ayrshire Memorials from Auchinleck came to the rescue with an amazing piece of kit that could lift the fallen stones, some weighing 1.5 – 2 tonnes.


  • Ayrshire Memorials at work


New foundations with securing pins now in place.

Of course on occasions the Auld Kirkyard doesn’t only allow us ‘to walk in the footsteps of  our ancestors’ it delivers some wonderful sunsets.



Stone, Timber and Lime Conservation

Click on logo

Click on logo

On Wednesday I met with Stephen Kerr and Wendy Corrigan of our project conservation architects Wylie Shanks Architect at their Glasgow Office and was introduced to Graeme Frew of Stone, Timber and Lime Conservation who will be carrying out the conservation work on the Auld Kirk ruins and on five lairs in the kirkyard  – Rev Thomas Hunter, Rev James Young, William Arthur and Hyslop of Bank.


I am also delighted to announce that after discussions with  one of our  funders it has been possible to realign some of the grant to reset four of the soldiers headstones that have tumbled – we believe this is a more meaningful use of the money, particularly with next year being the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.

StoneTimberLineLogoThe work is scheduled to take five weeks and begins tomorrow morning.

Welcome to our project, Stone TLC.

Planning the Trail

I enjoyed a very productive visit to East Ayrshire Council at the Johnnie Walker Bond, Kilmarnock this afternoon.  A big thank you to Sandra Marshall and Marion Fergusson at East Ayrshire Council for taking me through the process for applying for permission to erect the Interpretation Panels (Story Boards) and Information Boards that will make up the Village Heritage trail.

Next step is to complete and submit the applications.

Auld Kirk Clean-up

Auld Kirk Log : Stardate 01 July 2013

Another trip to the Auld Kirk tonight and another wall cleared including the window sills. Quite a bit of cleaning carried out before the midgies got the better of us again.

Another wall cleared

Another wall cleared

We received a detailed report on the Auld Kirk and the five family lairs we plan to work on from  WylieShanks Architects, the conservation architects that are supporting us with the project. At a meeting in Glasgow last week we  agreed a strategy for progressing tenders to carry out the necessary work and these will be issued in the coming weeks.

Adele is a big hit at the Auld Kirk

Adele and Louise

Adele and Louise

New Cumnock Liaison Group’s (NLCG) youngest volunteer Adele was a big hit when she joined in with mum Louise, big sister Annabelle and big brother Ewan in the second session of our Auld Kirk clean-up.

Clean up continues

Clean up continues

Later own we were joined by another two young helpers Calum and Thomas, who along with the rest of us battled the midgies as they came out in their droves for an evening snack. A big thank you to my wife Sheena for another star turn and early birthday wishes for tomorrow xx

We're getting there !

We’re getting there !

We’re making good progress …….

Auld Kirk Clean Up Session 1

Clean-up Session 1

Clean-up Session 1

An excellent start to the clean-up sessions with the focus on the inside of the ruins . A big thank you to Mr and Mrs Glendinning, Billy Lees, Sheena and Cameron. Six full bags of litter, leaves and twigs.Cleared wall

Cleared wall

A good few hours work before the midgies came calling !

Auld Kirk

Auld Kirk

Kirkyard Clean-Up

Auld Kirk Clean-up

Auld Kirk Clean-up

We will soon be tendering for the work to be carried out on the Auld Kirk ruins and five family lairs.  With the current spell of decent weather we are looking for volunteers to help with a clean-up of the kirkyard through picking up litter and the sweeping up leaves.Litter graspers, gloves and bags will be provided.

If you have some spare time and would like to help we intend (weather permitting) of having the following clean-up sessions

  • Wednesday 19th June 7pm-8:30pm
  • Thursday 20th June 7pm-8:30pm
  • Saturday 22nd Jun 11am-4pm
  • Sunday 23rd June 11am-4pm

So please if you spare 30 minutes or more or just passing by during a walk over the Knockshinnoch Lagoons then call in, we would be delighted to see you.