THE THREE TOWNS
They’re a different SAS, with a strictly non-military background. Saltcoats, Adrossan and Stevenson are three towns on the Ayrshire coast and each have proven to be regular stoppingoff places for holiday-makers going “doon the watter”. All three are so close together, they could practically be one single town. Saltcoats, in its earliest years, had few inhabitants and the name derives from their humble cottages they lived in and the work they laboured over, making salt in kettles. It was King James V who introduced this industry in the1500s. Nowadays, the Saltcoats Town Trail is a loop that reveals the town’s history with attractions such as the North Ayrshire Museum. The roots of Ardrossan (from the Gaelic Aird Rosain, “headland of the deer”) can be traced back to the 12th century and the contraction of its castle. Destroyed by Cromwell in 1648, little is left but the ruins of its north tower. An unusual claim for the town is the fact that it was the European site for the first successful reception of radio signals from North America in 1921. At present, its main role is as the ferry terminal for Calmac sailings to Brodick, Isle of Arran. Stevenston is named after Stephan Lockhart, whose father obtained a charter of land from the Constable of Scotland in the late 12th century. The Stevenson Canal, built in 1772, was the first commercial canal in Scotland and gave the inland town a direct link with the sea through Saltcoats.