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The Beith Supplement

The Story of Beith’s Newspaper


Donald L Reid, The Beith SupplementThe Story of Beith’s Newspaper

Published on 15 October 2000.  ISBN 0 9522720 1 6

Here is a book that will open your eyes up to the rich history of the little Ayrshire town of Beith, famous for its cabinet and chair making skills. This fascinating book, limited to 1500 numbered copies, traces the history of the Beith Supplement newspaper from its birth in 1865 until it was incorporated into The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald in 1965. The newspaper served the town of Beith, with a population of less than 7,000 people, for 100 years. During that time there were only four owner/editors, and the book captures their contribution to the success of the newspaper. Readers will be captivated by the excerpts of news from the newspaper during its 100 year journey including details of Beithites who migrated firth of Scotland in the early 20th Century; news about cabinet works; curling works; The Beith Volunteers; the intriguing Dr. Mathias; the Cadgers parade and races; the military resident in Beith to tackle the smugglers; Rev. John Witherspoon, Beith minister who signed the American Declaration of Independence; the fight for a clean water supply to combat fever and cholera; the fight for a branch railway in Beith; the much loved Spier’s School; deaths and injuries in the factories of Beith and Barrmill. The many stories in this book give a fascinating insight into Beith over a period of 100 years, evoking memories of bygone times.

The foreword to the book was written by popular retired GP, Dr Arthur Jamieson FSA Scot. In addition, 110 photographs of Beith and district are included together with 16 lines drawings of people and places supplied by local artists Anne McLean and Elizabeth Nimmo to illustrate the text. This book is sure to appeal to anyone who has connections with Ayrshire, and with Beith, Kilbirnie and Dalry in particular. The book is limited to 1500 numbered copies. Interestingly, Yesterday’s Beith - A Pictorial Guide by Donald L Reid and Isobel F Monahan published in January 1999 sold out completely (1500 books) in 7 weeks. There are no plans to reprint this book. The Beith Supplement book is available from Wilsons, Main Street; Brightsparks, Strand and Val’s, Eglinton Street, Beith for £8 or by post at £9.40 only from Beith Open Award Group, c/o Donald Reid, 7 Manuel Avenue, Beith, KA15 1BJ Tel No. 01505-503801 or e-mail:  donaldreid@bun.com. Within 5 days of publication the book has already sold almost 500 copies, which is a truly remarkable achievement and a measure of the interest in this book. This is a book to be dipped into and enjoyed as you are taken back on the wings of time to a Beith which even surprisingly young people will recall with a glint in the eye and a great sense of pride.

Author, Donald L Reid, belongs to Dalmellington, but has lived in Beith for the last 15 years. He served as a police officer in the Ayrshire Constabulary and Strathclyde Police for 32 years, the last 7 as a Superintendent. He was in charge of operational policing in Glasgow City Centre for the last 5 years of his service. His first book was Reflections of Beith and District in 1994 and with Isobel Monahan, Yesterday’s Beith – A Pictorial Guide in 1999. His next book entitled Old Beith was published by Stenlake, Ochiltree (Tel. 01290-423114) on 20 October. All royalties arising from the sale of this book will be donated to Beith Old Folks Welfare Committee and Beith (North Ayrshire) Open Award Group.

 Iain D Shaw, Past President of Greenock Burns Club (Tel. 01505-614506)

This review was published on the Ayrshire History website on 21st November 2000.

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