I often revisit New Cumnock and have a wander around the old place, mainly for nostalgic reasons. Every time I do it I am usually left wondering why I bother as I leave feeling pretty glum. The town is crying out for investment after suffering years of neglect by various councils and its pain is etched on the buildings such as the historic Castle Hotel. If I had the money I would buy the hotel and restore it, turning it into a museum for the miners and maybe a wee tea room. Donald McIver has the ability to fill a museum on his own as he has collected and stored many items of interest over the years.
What of the co-op and Trotters buildings? They served the town in its heyday but are no longer required due to the decrease in population since the closure of the pits. Can they be saved? I fear not!
The swimming pool – built in the 60’s and deserving a roof ever since but I doubt if it will ever see one.
Still there is hope. Many new houses have been built in Mansfield Road, Connelpark and now in front of Loch Park which will attract new life into the village and maybe one of these people will kick the old place into the 21st century.
One day, I hope to return to live in NC and see the area thriving again.
These excellent photos were taken in 2007 by Stephen Kennedy. The scenes in many of the photos have altered, especially those of Farden Avenue and reflect the changes to New Cumnock over a short period of time.
The Site Manager