Mearns authors step back in time

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A new book chronicling photographs of old Newton Mearns is set to rake in cash for the Isobel Mair School.

The pictorial book, Newton Mearns Through Time, is a joint project by Mearns History Group members Graeme Smith and Anne Robertson, with help from Queen’s Park Camera Club members and Mearns residents Mike McCreery and Eddie Horn.

The writers have collected over 180 photos — half old, half new — and will be donating all royalties from the 1,000 print run to the local school for children with special needs.

Anne told The Extra: “Graeme had written a book on the Alhambra and another on the Theatre Royal, while I had done Old Newton Mearns in 2001, so I knew a bit about local history.

“If some good comes of it for the school then great, because Isobel Mair is a very special place.”

As well as then and now photos (courtesy of the photographers, who also donated their time without charge), Anne believes there are unknown nuggets of historical interest — “associations people won’t have made”.

The author’s favourites include Moors and Manoeuvres; an 1890s shot of the 3rd Renfrewshire Volunteer Battalion marching to a sham fight...past the very same spot where the Newton Mearns war memorial now stands.

Another highlight is a snap from 1900, showing a crowd gathered for the unveiling of the memorial to poet and historian Robert Pollok, which still stands by Eastwood Golf Course.

Produced by Amberley Publishing, Newton Mearns Through Time (£14.99) is available in Waterstones, at www.amazon.co.uk/Newton-Mearns-Through-Graeme-Smith/dp/1445636271, and at Isobel Mair’s Christmas Fair on November 29 (at a discounted price of £10 per copy).

Photographs pictured:

Top: Robert Pollok was born in 1798 and became a bestselling author in his day. The local memorial to the poet was unveiled to huge crowds in 1990, and still stands at Loganswell today.

Below: In the 1890s, the 3rd Renfrewshire Volunteer Battalion held sham fights on the moors with the public to spectate the day’s manoeuvres.

For more photos from Newton Mearns Through Time, pick up this week’s edition of The Extra (out on Thursday).