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.

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 HUGELY talented Scottish artist and illustrator spent part of World War One living in Helensburgh and serving as an Admiralty Assistant Overseer Airships at the Inchinnan airfield.

Works by William Russell Flint (later Sir William) became more and more in demand over the years, despite what some critics considered to be crassness in his treatment of the female figure.

A HELENSBURGH traditional musician and her musical partner are leading lights in the Scottish traditional music scene.

Eilidh Steel, on fiddle, and Mark Neal, on vocals and guitar, play music and song strongly influenced by the music from Argyll and the west coast, as well as their own original compositions.

'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.

THE MYSTERY of two Gareloch steam yachts has been solved by a local expert in the field.

It all began in August when Mary-Jane Selwood of the Anderson Trust Local Collection, which is housed in Helensburgh Library, researched the work of watercolourist Tom Campbell (1865-1943) because one of his works is in the collection.

TWO talented and enterprising artists who met while training in Paris ran art classes in Helensburgh from 1890-1906.

Mary Park (below right) and Madge Ross held the classes initially at 8, then 3, Prince Albert Terrace, Victoria Road. They moved to Glasgow in 1906, and in 1911 Miss Park returned to her home country of New Zealand.

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