Alloway and Southern Ayrshire FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY Robert Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayr
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Friday, 27 March 2009

19 Mar 2009 - "On the Street where You Lived"

We were delighted to welcome to our March meeting Mrs Irene Hopkins, Treasurer of Troon FHS and a former depute head of Galston School. Her subject was ‘On the Street where You Lived’ and her exploration of the reasons behind the choice of a street name both intrigued and entertained the good turn-out of members and visitors.

We learned that street names had many sources: they could be positional or directional e.g. High Street and Troon Road; a group of streets might be named for a group of battles; some were named after famous people born locally or after a Provost - or even after the names of the farmer's favourite cows! To the family historian, street names of today could indicate a building, park, station, farm or factory in existence earlier but no longer to be seen. Some could reveal who local landowners were before the roads were made, or even the occupations of a long lost past, e.g. Threadneedle Street was actually the centre of the Jewish rag-trade in the area, or Barassie, derived from the old French for a jousting field – nearby Dundonald Castle was a Royal household where jousting frequently took place on the nearest flat ground along the seashore where Barassie now is. The topic was fascinating and the speaker’s enthusiasm was contagious. We’ll all look more closely now at street names!

Sheila Dinwoodie,

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