Great Scots Ayrshire

Dunure Castle

Are you interested in a guided tour of Ayrshire? Please visit our day tours of Scotland page.

Great Scots Ayrshire

1) Artists and Painters

a) John Thomson Of Duddingston (1778- 1840) b. Dailly.

Famous for Scottish Landscapes.

2) Engineers:

a) John Miller (1805-1883) b. Ayr.

He and Thomas Grainger were the leading railway engineers in the mid nineteenth century. Built the viaducts at Mauchline, Lugar and the Almond Viaduct near Ratho.

3) Founders

a) Sir Thomas Brisbane: (1773 – 1860) b. Largs

Astronomer and soldier – Brisbane, Queensland named after him.

b) Rev. Thomas Burns

A nephew of Robert Burns, closely involved with William Cargill in settling and building New Edinburgh, Dunedin in Otago, NZ.

c) David Dale: (1739 – 1806) b. Stewarton

An real entrepreneur, evangelist Christian, industrialist and philanthropist, who conceived and set up the revolutionary social cotton mills of New Lanark, before passing it on to his son-in-law Robert Owen. He was described as “the greatest cotton magnate of his time in Scotland. He set up the first Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Glasgow, as well as setting up other spinning plants in Blantyre and Dornoch. He also energetically chaired the Glasgow Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. He famously housed a shipload of Highlanders from the clearances, from a ship at Greenock, who were supposedly heading for the New World.
Today New Lanark is one of the 6 World Heritage sites in Scotland, visited by people from the world over.

d) Daniel MacMillan: (1813 – 57) b. Arran

Founder with his brother Alexander of the MacMillan Press.

e) James Templeton:

Co-founded the Axminster Carpet Co. in Ayrshire in 1839.

4) Industrialists / Inventors:

a) William Murdock: (1754 – 1839) b. Lugar

He developed many innovations for the mining industry in Cornwall, but most famous for the adaptation of coal gas for lighting.

b) John Loudon McAdam (1756 – 1836) b. Ayr

Inventor of the Tarmacadam Road Surface – Tarmac today.

c) Charles Tennant: (1768 – 1838) b. Ochiltree

Bleaching textiles, and patented a chlorine-based powder bleach invented by Charles McIntosh. His St. Rollox Street Chemical Works were the largest

d) Stirling Family of Engineers (1790 – 1878) of Galston

It all started with John – Church of Scotland Minister of Galston, who invented a hot-air engine – sons Patrick, James and Matthew.

e) Johnnie Walker: (1805 – 59) b. nr.Kilmarnock

Founder of Johnnie Walker Whisky.

f) John Boyd Dunlop: (1840 – 1921) b. Dreghorn

In 1887 he devised an Inflated Rubber Tyre and patented it in 1888.

5) Journalists

a) Hugh Mcilvanney (1934 – 2019) b. Kilmarnock

He left school to work as a reporter at the Kilmarnock Standard, before moving to the Scottish Daily Express. He then became a sports writer for the Scotsman, before joining the Observer in 1962 to 1993, before finally joining the Sunday Times.
He received the OBE in 1996 for services to Sports Journalism, followed by a Lifetime Award in 2004 by the Scottish Press Awards. He was the only Sports writer to be voted Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards, and in 2005 was included in the Press Gazette Hall Of Fame.
We was named British Sports Writer of the Year 7 times.
Further honours included:
– the Edgar Wallace Award for Fine Writing.
– in 2008,was voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
– An honorary degree from Leicester’s De Montford University.
– The Scottish Football Hall Of Fame.
– The English Football Hall Of Fame.
– The British Sports Awards for outstanding contribution to Sports Writing.

Described by Gary Lineker as the “Shakespeare” of Sports journalists, whilst his outstanding writing skill was backed up by his marvellous gravelly Ayrshire brogue.

Arguably the greatest Scottish Sports journalist of all time,and indeed one of the outstanding World Sports Writers of any time.

6) Literary People

a) Robert Burns: (1759 – 96) b. Alloway

Scotland’s writer and poet of World reknown.

b) John Galt: (1779 – 1839) b. Irvine

Novelist dealing with Scottish Life / Society. He founded the town of Guelph In Ontario.

7) Musicians/Singers

a) James Macmillan (1959 -) b. Kilwinning

Composer and Conductor.

b) Nicola Bernadetti: (1987 -) b. West Kilbride

Scottish Classical violinist.

8) Physicians

(a) Sir Alexander Fleming: (1881 – 1955) b. Darvel

Inventor of Penicillin in 1928 and further developed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. They all won Nobel Prizes for Medicine in 1945.

9) Politicians/Statesmen

a) Jim Sillars: (1937 -) b. Ayrshire

He helped found the Scottish Labour Party in 1976, but later joined the SNP.

b) Jack McConnell: (1960 -) b. Irvine

First Minister of Scotland in 2002.

10) Sportspersons

a) Bill Shankly: (1913 – 81) b. Glenbuck

Footballer and manager and father of Liverpool F.C.

b) Sam Torrance: (1953 -) b. Largs.

International Golfer and Son of famous coach Bob.

c) Rhona Martin: (1966 -) b. Irvine

International Curler famous for winning the Gold Olympic Medal for her team G.B