Old New Cumnock by Donald McIver
Old New Cumnock
by Donald McIver

First published in the United Kingdom, 1997
By Stenlake Publishing , Unit 16a,
Thistle Business Park North, Cumnock
Ayrshire K18 4EQ

ISBN 1 872074 92 8
New Cumnock Far and Away by George Sanderson
New Cumnock Long Ago and Faraway by George Sanderson
Robert Burns and New Cumnock by Chris Rollie
A Stroll through the
Historic Past of New
by Donald McIver

First published in the United
Kingdom, 2000,
by New Cumnock Environmental
Regeneration Volunteers,
12 Castlemains Avenue,
New Cumnock, KA18 4BQ

New Cumnock
Far and Away
by George

Geddes, Irvine, 1992
New Cumnock Long
Ago and Faraway
by George

Geddes, Irvine
Robert Burns and New Cumnock
'Flow gently sweet Afton'
by Chris J. Rollie,
President of New Cumnock
Burns Club (No.500), 1996

For a small town , New Cumnock is extremely fortunate to have people with the desire , enthusiasm and
commitment to put the history of the community into words and pictures for others to enjoy. The most
recent publications by Donald McIver , George Sanderson and Chris Rollie are presented below . Although
each of their works cover different aspects of New Cumnock's past they share a common theme - all are
undoubtedly 'labours of love' and all have been inspired by the people and the landscape of New Cumnock.
Donald was responsible for my generating my own interest in local history. He lead the New Cumnock Local and
Natural History Society and filled the gaps (or chasms) that school-taught history failed miserably to deliver. The
Covenanters, Wallace and Bruce, castles of New Cumnock, maps (and more maps) , mines and minerals all in a
glorious upland setting .

His latest publication 'A Stroll through the Historic Past of New Cumnock' covers many of these topics and is
superbly illustrated with some stunning views of the parish . His first publication 'Old New Cumnock' is an excellent
collection of old photos and postcards with some weil kent faces and places.
The images below show that my own copies of George Sanderson's two colossal works are well thumbed and rightly
so - they provide a wealth of information. On the cover of his first book, 'New Cumnock Long ago and Faraway',
is shown the War Memorial in the Afton Cemetry , New Cumnock .The book itself is a fitting memorial to the young
men of New Cumnock that lost their lives. It tells their story and the story of their community during the war years .

'New Cumnock Far and Away' is chronoligical sweep of New Cumnock's recent past and a fantastic collection of
events and names of people and places. This is my first port of call when trying to assist New Cumnockians in exile
caught with their genealogy bug.
Chris Rollie, probably knows every blade of grass in New Cumnock and every word that Robert Burns penned .
I it surely was no accident that sweet Afton flows through New Cumnock, it was put there for Chris.

In the introduction to his book James A. McKay (a leading licht on Burns) remarks 'General research on Burns has
now reached the point at which the only way ahead is for the local historian to take up the challenge. The person with
the time and specialised knowledge of a particular town or parish can hopefully tie up the many loose ends that still
abound in the career and chronology of the poet. This book, by Chris Rollie, is a splendid example of the genre.'

As my best man of twenty years ago, Chris's book is a truly treasured possession .
'Beyond the hills a village lies,
Where I was born;
Of there I dream until I rise,
Each waking morn'
Other publications that can now only be found in
reference libraries or antiquarian bookshops and
that deal specifically with New Cumnock include
A Corner of Old Strathclyde
by Hugh Lorimer F.S.A.

Published by Andrew Spence, Glasgow 1952
A thrilling account of the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde with particular
emphasis on the Dark Ages of 400AD-700AD. The house of Coel Hen is
discussed in detail . Better known as Old King Cole , 'the merry auld sowl', he
gave his name to the district of Kyle in Ayrshire.

Lorimer climbs amongst the branches of Coel Hen's family tree and demonstrates
that many of them have also left their names on the landscape of New Cumnock.
A detailed history of the development of the New Cumnock coal-field ('Old King Coal') from the Afton Mineral
Pioneers to the birth of the National Coal Board . The Preface pays tribute thus, 'The story told is that of a small ,
struggling coal-field in a remote district . Fortunes have not been made at New Cumnock, and the interest of
the story is in the tenacity of the purpose and faith in the coal-field of those men who sought to develop it
If you are interested in
obtaining copies of any of
Donald's publications
please E-mail
The New Cumnock Coal-Field
by John L. Carvel

A record of its development and its activities
by John L. Carvel (Author of One Hundred Years of Coal)
with a Chapter by John C. George

Privately Printed
by T. and A. Constable Ltd.
Printers to the University of Edinburgh
(The maps of the New Cumnock coal-field were
prepared by Mr Francis Guthrie, Surveyor)
A copy of a complimentary ticket from the directors of
the New Cumnock Collieries Limited.

A.M. Mitchell Esq. (Chairman)
J. Graham Esq.
J. C. George Esq.
Col. Sir H. P. Mitchell Bart., D.L., J.P.
A. H. Telfer Esq., J.P.
Sir G. S. Harvie Watt Bart., D.L., T.D., M.P.
Black Avalanche by Arthur and Mary Sellwood
Black Avalanche
by Arthur and Mary Sellwood

Published by Frederick Muller Ltd. 1960
The Sellwood's account of the Knockshinnoch Disaster

'Never has there been a pit disaster to compare in terms of human
courage with that which overwhelmed Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery
in the wet September of 1950'

129 miners were trapped by an in-rush of liquid peat , 116 were eventually
rescued whilst 13 souls lost their lives in New Cumnock's blackest day.

Click here for New Cumnock Home Page
The New Cumnock Mural , at the Mary Morrison Memorial Garden
History of the Parish
of New Cumnock
by Robert Guthrie