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Glimpses of Ayrshire (clip)

Amateur travelogue from Ayrshire in the late 1930s

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A tantalising summertime snapshot into Ayrshire ‘County of Romance’ and the town of Ayr from 1937. Notable images from this clip include: the ruins of Dunure castle with the sea in background; large smoking chimneys; ploughing with shire horses; fishing trawlers in harbour; Ayr’s 'Twa Brigs'; views of Ayr’s wide streets and fine beach; viaduct bridge over river, town in b/ground; 'Kirk Port Ayr Old Church 1654 A.D.'; the famous Tam O'Shanter Inn; various busy street scenes; Ayr’s packed beach; donkey rides; people in boats in boating pond; go-karts; trawlers in harbour, including the 'Margaret Netherly - Granton'; a large coastal; steamer comes with flying bunting; Burns Cottage; Alloway's Auld Haunted Kirk; and the Brigs o' Doon. This film was entered in the Scottish Amateur Film Festival of 1941.

Questions & Activities


  • How have Ayr and Ayrshire changed in 70 years?
  • What type of holiday activities can you spot?
  • What evidence is there to suggest that Ayr was a thriving seaside town in 1938?
  • Why are the bridges featured at the end of the film so famous??


English: Export an image and write a postcard back to the folks at home in Glasgow ('Up the Watter') from your resort hotel on the seafront explaining all the fun you are having. Mount an exhibition of the different postcards in your school.

History: List the places that you recognise in the film. How have they changed.

Music / Computer Studies: Create an appropriate soundscape and music to add to this film in Moviemaker or iMovie.

Media Studies / Tourism: Storyboard a film about your local town to showcase activities and sights of local interest for tourists. Then go out and film your storyboard.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-517-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Date 1937
Genre Documentary, Amateur, Travelogue
School Subject English, History, Business Studies, Media Studies
Subject Matter Tourism
Who Robert H. Paterson (filmmaker)
Where Alloway, Ayr, Brig o' Doon, Dunure Castle
Event Leisure
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 5:44
Film Length 13:55