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Military hospital in park

HELENSBURGH had a military hospital in Hermitage Park during World War One.

Hermitage House and its grounds, now Hermitage Park and the War Memorial, originally were adjacent to the Malig Mill, at the rear of the Victoria Hall, and the Mill’s Lade, a lake where Hermitage Bowling Club now stands. In the Great War the house became an Auxiliary Military Hospital.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 January 2014 18:29 )


The Gareloch's forgotten training ship

FOR A few months in the spring and early summer of 1913, inhabitants of Rhu would have seen a handsome vessel moored there, not far from the wooden bulk of the training ship HMS Empress.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 January 2014 19:08 )

Second account of loch tragedy

THE MOST generous benefactor in Helensburgh’s history believed that divine intervention saved his life, and giving was his way of expressing his gratitude.

Provost Andrew Buchanan is best remembered for donating the outdoor swimming pool, but he also paid for a paddling pool at the foot of James Street, and refurbishment of the Victoria Hall to mark the Silver Jubilee. Privately his generosity was just as great.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 January 2014 19:01 )

Sermon on causes of World War One

A SERMON preached by the father of Helensburgh-born TV inventor John Logie Baird early in World War One was considered at the time to be exceptionally moving and apposite.

The Rev John Baird had been the minister of Helensburgh West Parish Church, later named St Bride’s, for many years, and he came out of retirement to preach the sermon on Sunday September 20 1914. He was 72.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 January 2014 18:29 )

First Argyll to die in Flanders

THE YEAR of 2014 marks the centenary of the start of World War One, and many men from Helensburgh and district lost their lives in the extraordinary conflict.


One is particularly remembered in the annals of the local regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, as he was the first man in the 1/9th Battalion to die in Flanders during the Great War.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 January 2014 17:38 )

Chemist was expert on whisky

ONE of the leading chemists of his era — and an institution in the whisky industry — lived for much of his life in Rosneath and Helensburgh.

Professor Robert Rattray Tatlock was an analytical and consulting chemist, an expert witness in trials involving chemicals, and later public analyst, gas examiner and sewage chemist to Glasgow Corporation.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 January 2014 16:28 )

Shandon mansion full of art treasures

WEST SHANDON HOUSE, the home of the father of Clyde shipbuilding, Robert Napier, was Helensburgh and district’s biggest and best mansion.

The imposing structure was built over a period of years in the mid-19th century, and in its later years became Shandon Hydro.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 January 2014 17:57 )

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Next Open Meeting

Fraser-Noble-wThe second of six Winter Open Meetings will be held on Wednesday October 28 at Helensburgh Tennis Club in Suffolk Street at 7.30pm, when Fraser Noble will talk about boatbuilding at McGruers. The AGM is at 7pm.

Winter Talks 2015-16

  • Wednesday September 30 2015 — Melissa Simpson: Hermitage Park: past, present and future
  • Wednesday October 28 — AGM at 7pm; Fraser Noble of McGruers: My family has been building boats since the 11th Century
  • Wednesday November 25 — Sir Malcolm Colquhoun and James Pearson: The Clan Colquhoun and the History of Helensburgh (to be held at the Loch Lomond Golf Club at Luss)

  • Wednesday January 27 2016 — Lachie Munro: The Many Lives of Robert Bontine Cunningham Graham — the Uncrowned King of Scotland
  • Wednesday February 24 — Sue Furness, Fiona Jackson: Hidden Heritage of a Landscape — Vengeful Vikings and Reckless Rustlers
  • Wednesday March 30 — Fiona Baker: Boutcher's Banks — the Genesis of Helensburgh?

Meetings are normally in the upstairs room at Helensburgh Tennis Club, Suffolk Street, at 7.30pm.

Charity Number

Scottish Charity