I've manage to get back to the end of the 28th century on the Ballantyne side, which I am delighted about. Last night, I sat with my dad and we looked through a pile of old photos. It's so important to just make the time to do this. I write as much information as I could on the back. I think it's such a shame when no one can remember who the people are in fantastic old photos, very sad. Dd got very excited at several photos that brought back very happy memories. We discovered pictures of his uncle Sandy Galloway and his Auntie Nellie, Galloway who he was particularly fond of, and remembered fondly. Uncle Sandy was a slater and it was him who slated my mum and dad's house. The stories came thick and fast, how he, as a young apprentice, had been given the job of climbing up the front of the Institution in Hurlford to cover the clock with wire so the door couldn't get in. The Institution was a grand building at Hurlford Cross; a hall upstairs for concerts and downstairs, billiards and an 'old man's cabin.' Sadly gone, pulled down in the 70s when such buildings were not valued - what a loss.
After looking at the photos for a while, we found two very important pictures; his grandfather Robert Ballantyne and his wife Agnes Dickie and then his great grandfather, Walter (Watty) Ballantyne and his wife Janet Brown. Amazing! The photos were taken in their houses in Stewarton, Ayrshire. Watty is my children's great, great, great grandfather...how cool is that?
My dad then thought it would be a great idea to go visit Stewarton so that he could actually show me where the lived. Before we knew it, we were in the car and heading into the past. It was great to see me dad so excited, he has such happy memories of his Stewarton grandparents, visiting there as a boy from Hurlford, going on the bus. He spent so much of his childhood either at his grandparents or with Geordie Ballantine at Little Cutstraw Farm, very close-by.
My dad was very keen to explain to me that the houses were actually in Kirkland, no Stewarton, these days both places have joined together. We saw both houses, substantial buildings, and then I took him to the houses that the Ballantynes first lived in when they arrived in Stewarton. He had no idea about these houses in Loudoun Road and was very happy to know more about his family's story.
I don't know how long it's been since my dad visited Stewarton, but our visit last night certainly brought back many happy memories.