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282 MAR18 - Gryffe Advertizer

The Advertizer - Your local community magazine to the Gryffe area. The Advertizer is a local business directory including a what's on guide and other local information and an interesting mix of articles.

24 LOCAL history the

24 LOCAL history the advertizer Renfrewshire Tile Works In the 18th century, the most obvious improvement to farmland was the enclosure of fi elds. Less noticeable, but equally important, was underground drainage. From the 1750s, huge increases in quantity and quality of crops, resulted from the drainage of fl at fields and bogs. The digging of ditches and fi lling them with rubble was common practice on any forward-looking Renfrewshire estate. Further improvements could be made by lining the bottom of the ditch with flat stones, to form underground drainage channels. From the 1830s, interest grew in an even better solution: the laying of manufactured clay pipes, known as ‘tiles’. Initially the tiles were u-shaped, not circular, as they were easier to make. Clay was pressed flat and cut into rectangles, then folded by hand over rods, to form each tile. They were then dried and fi red in kilns. Laid open-side down, the tiles often included a separate fl at clay ‘sole’. They were known as drainage ‘tiles’, probably because they resembled the curving red roof tiles imported from Holland. In the 1830s and 40s the ministers of Erskine and Renfrew described tile draining as the ‘greatest improvement to agriculture in recent years, which is going forward in nearly all the farms in this parish’. The drainage had particular benefi ts in the growing of potatoes. Most large estates sought a supply of clay to set up their own tile works. The landowner usually provided the tiles, with his tenants carrying out the heavy work of digging and laying the tiles at regular intervals across their fi elds. Apart from improving drainage, the old ridges and furrows were no longer required, and were flattened out. The best fi reclays were found around the north and west of Paisley at Walkinshaw, Ferguslie, Caledonia and Inkerman. These quality fi reclays were valuable enough to be mined from the same shaft as coal, which was used to fuel the tile kilns. Although these big works usually produced drain tiles, their high quality clays were suitable for a whole catalogue of sanitary ware. Most tiles for draining fields were produced at smaller rural ‘Brick and Tile Works’ which will be discussed in next month’s Advertizer. © 2018, Stuart Nisbet, Renfrewshire Local History forum The Forum’s next archaeology lecture will take place in the Shawl Gallery in Paisley Museum at 7.30pm on Thursday, 8th March. Our speaker is Alan Blair of GUARD Archaeology. His topic is. Bronze Age Roundhouse and a Late Bronze Age Hoard at Carnoustie. Visitors are most welcome to attend our archaeology lectures. Bridge of Weir in the Great War 100 years ago this month – March 1918 Captain Alex Cameron, 6th, attached 8th Argylls Corporal Charles Morgan, 8th Argylls In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution had led to an uneasy peace between Russia and Germany, allowing Germany to move manpower to the Western Front. The USA had joined the war in April 1917 but by March 1918 still only had four raw Divisions (about 70,000 men) in France. Ludendorff saw a window of opportunity to win the war with Germany’s greater numbers in its most important theatre, before the continuing US build-up tipped the balance. The day he chose to launch his Spring Offensive, or “Kaiserschlacht” (Kaiser’s Battle) was 21st March 1918, the main thrust directed near Saint Quentin, where the French and British Armies met. He hoped to drive a wedge between them, rolling up the flank of the British Armies from the south, and pushing them towards the Channel coast. It wasn’t unexpected. German preparations for battle had been observed but Haig’s pleas for more men to strengthen the outnumbered sectors of the front were resisted by Lloyd George. On the first morning of the Kaiserschlacht, Ludendorff launched the biggest artillery bombardment of the war, over 1,100,000 shells in fi ve hours, against the British Fifth and Third Armies. Directly facing that terrifying onslaught were the 8th Argylls, then in the 61st Division, which held the line north west of St Quentin. Amongst them were two men from Bridge of Weir. Captain Alex Cameron, the son of a schoolteacher from Johnstone, was a successful businessman, a partner of Thomas Wiseman and Son, foreign merchants, and had married Gertrude Cowan in 1910, settling in Watt Road. He was a keen golfer and tennis player but as a Territorial he had been on active service since August 1914, initially training recruits in England. He was posted to France in December 1917, and attached to 8th Argylls on 1st January 1918. On 21st March they were in reserve huts at Marteville, but by mid-morning the Germans had overwhelmed the front line and the 8th Argylls were in action, managing to hold their positions. The battalion casualties that day were however: “Officers: 1 Killed; 4 Wounded; 2 Missing: Other Ranks: 14 Killed; 102 Wounded; 142 Missing.” Alex Cameron was the officer killed. Corporal Charlie Morgan had trained in the family bakery and confectionary business in Ranfurly and won prizes at Glasgow Technical College. He had been captain of the Kilmacolm football team, and married Ruby Boyle in April 1917. He was a full cousin of Tommy Morgan, later to become one of Glasgow’s best-known comedians. Charlie was one of the 8th Argyll’s 142 missing on the 21st March, but it wasn’t until January 1919 that any hopes of him having been captured were dashed and the family received official intimation that he was presumed dead that day. He probably never saw his daughter Agnes who was born on 1st February 1918. Read more about Alex and Charlie’s lives and untimely deaths at http://www. bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk and in the book “Supreme Sacrifi ce: A Small Village and the Great War available from www.birlinn.co.uk or Abbey Books, 2 Well Street, Paisley, and other major bookshops or online. Gordon Masterton deadline date for our april issue - Friday 16th March - You don’t want to miss it!!

march 2018 t: 01505 613340 e: info@advertizer.co.uk Legal Blog by Isabella McKerrow, Affinity Family Law The Cost Of Divorce 25 A major concern when a person is contemplating raising divorce proceedings or defending divorce proceedings is how much they will have to pay their solicitor for legal fees. Legal fees in divorce can be extremely expensive as the chef Marco Pierre White and his wife found out when, after a highly contested divorce action which had been litigated in court for eight years, they had to abandon it due to the astronomical legal expenses they had each incurred. Where a divorce is likely to be contested, a solicitor is unable to advise you at the outset of how much your legal expenses will be as much is dependent on the length of time it will take parties to reach an agreement, or where no agreement is reached, for the court to decide the issue. In such a case the solicitor is likely to take the case on “a time and line basis” whereby they will provide you with a quote for their hourly rate and charges are incurred for the time spent working on your case and drafting letters and making telephone calls etc. While they will not be able to provide an estimate of the full costs due to the contested nature of the case, they will be able to advise you at each stage of the case the legal expenses and outlays that have been incurred. In cases where the divorce is unlikely to be contested a solicitor may be willing to take your case on a fixed fee basis, whereby they will advise you at the outset of the exact fee they will charge and what the outlays will be. Essentially the cost of legal fees in divorce is dependent on the particular circumstances of the case and the type of court procedure it falls under. Kilbarchan March 1918 New Memorial to World War One Heroes Inverclyde Council has created a new memorial to a group of Port Glasgow men killed in the First World War. The original bronze plaque bearing the names of the 29 Toll Boys is to be moved from the wall of the building at 5 Glasgow Road - where the old Toll House stood - to allow for the regeneration of the local area. Environment & Regeneration Convener Councillor Michael McCormick said: “I am delighted the new memorial has been completed in plenty of time to mark the centenary of the end of World War One. So many lives were lost, not just here in Port Glasgow and Inverclyde, that we owe it to the sacrifice and selflessness of all who served to pay our respects in the best way we can.” Depute Provost Councillor David Wilson said: “Every year the Toll Boys feature prominently in our local Remembrance Day programme and we want to continue with that tradition whilst of course honouring their memory and sacrifi ce. The Council has come up with a sympathetic design which creates a new local focal point for the town and serves as a lasting and fi tting tribute to the Toll Boys.” The Toll Boys were all local unemployed men who spent their days repairing furniture at the Toll House to help others in the local community. Ronald Wilson is Chair of the Kindred Clubs of Port Glasgow who asked for Council support for the new memorial. He said “It is fitting that we honour the memory of not only these young lads, but also those local men and women who have laid down their lives in subsequent confl icts.” A re-dedication ceremony for the monument will be held later this year. Private William Gray Telford served in the 24th Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps (MGC) then was posted to the 8th Battalion MGC on 21st January 1918. In the 1911 census he lived with his mother and four brothers at 11 Low Barholm. All the boys had been born in the village. In 1911 William was a postman. He married Catherine McLarty and they lived at 30 New Street. On 21st March 1918 the Germans launched 'Operation Michael', a major offensive which put the Allies on the back foot for some time. The attack was preceded by a massive bombardment with the German guns fi ring far into the Allies’ defences. William Telford (31) was killed on 21st March and has no known grave. He is remembered on Panel 90-93 on the Pozieres memorial. Private Alexander Rictchie, 7th Gordons, 152nd Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division enlisted in October 1915 and was initially in the Cameron Highlanders before being transferred to the Gordons. The family lived at 20 New Street at the time of his death. Before the war he had worked in the Johnstone Labour Exchange (Job Centre). Like William Telford he was a victim of the German March Offensive. His battalion was in reserve on the 21st, but the German assault was rapid and he was killed on 22nd March 1918. He was slightly wounded by shrapnel and as he made his way to a dressing station he was fatally wounded. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Bay 8 and 9 on the Arras Memorial. Corporal John Meikle, Military Arras Memorial Medal, 7th Argylls, 154th Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division. John was killed on 23rd March 1918, the third day of the German offensive. He had won his M.M. in the autumn of 1917. He had joined the army in Paisley in December 1915. He worked as a plumber in his father’s business which was at 3 The Cross, with the home at 25 New Street. In the retreat in the face of the German advance his company had been ordered to defend a position. A Seaforth major ahead of the Argylls was hit and Corporal Meikle crawled fi fty yards to bind the officer’s wound: as he made his way back a sniper shot him in the head. He was unmarried and thirty years old. He has no known grave and is remembered on Bay 9 of the Arras Memorial. @GryffeAds www.advertizer.co.uk

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