ONE of Helensburgh’s top living artists was born in Northampton — but loves the west coast of Scotland which features in many of her paintings.

Julia Gurney and her husband Peter Gourd and their family moved to Havelock Street in the burgh in 1991, and the scenery and the weather captured her imagination.

NUMEROUS poems have been composed about Cardross and its surroundings, including several by poetesses with village connections.

The best known was Frances Porter Stoddard, who was born in New York in 1843 to American parents whose roots in the New World went back to Puritanical settlers who arrived in 1639.

HELENSBURGH and district is well known for renowned artists and architects . . . but it also has had notable poets.

This website provides coverage of two of the ‘greats’ of poetry, Cecil Day Lewis and W.H.Auden, who, by coincidence, were both teaching at Larchfield School in 1930. But their time here was short.

A VERY well-known member of Helensburgh Parish Church wrote an autobiography covering an astonishingly full and active life.

Octogenarian Katharine M.E.Liston’s book ‘Doorstep to Damehood’ tells her story from when she was left outside a hospital as a baby until 2015 when she was invested as a Dame of the Order of St John.

A WELL-KNOWN face in Helensburgh and district was a man who saw a lot of the world, and more than likely his experiences helped shape a mature outlook on life . . . and his poetry.

James Hunter’s early years were inauspicious, as he was put to work at the age of nine. But his career then took him in a quite different direction.

A HELENSBURGH actor and singer had a quiet 2020 because of coronavirus restrictions . . . but that is very unusual in a varied and successful theatrical career.

Bass-baritone Duncan Smith, youngest son of well-known local artist and art teacher Gregor Ian Smith and his wife Kathleen, has appeared in many West End productions, toured at home and abroad, and worked with many famous names.

'The Old Soldier of the Gareloch Head'

This poem was written by Professor John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895).

Professor Blackie was appointed to the Greek Chair in Edinburgh University in 1852. He worked hard to preserve the Gaelic language and literature and he was instrumental in founding the Chair of Celtic Literature in the University of Edinburgh.

His Scottish-related poetry was published in "Lyrical Poems" (1860), and "Lays of the Highlands and Islands" (1872).

I've wander'd east and west,
   And a soldier I hae been;
The scars upon my breast
   Tell the wars that I have seen.

But now I'm old and worn,
   And my locks are thinly spread,
And I'm come to die in peace,
   By the Gareloch Head.

When I was young and strong,
   Oft a wandering I would go,
By the rough shores of Loch Long,
   Up to lone Glencroe.

But now I'm fain to rest,
   And my resting-place I've made,
On the green and gentle bosom
   Of the Gareloch Head.

'Twas here my Jeanie grew,
   Like a lamb amid the flocks,
With her eyes of bonnie blue,
   And her gowden locks.

And here we often met,
   When with lightsome foot we sped,
O'er the green and grassy knolls
   At the Gareloch Head.

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