Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Laigh Kirk

This town centre church was built in 1802, enlarged in 1831 and then completely refurbished in 1996 by W I Munro Architects, who won a Civic Trust Award for part of the town's regeneration. In 2002 a new stained glass window was added.

There are Covenanters' graves, which are historically very interesting, to be seen in the adjacent churchyard.

This church is close to The Cross in the heart of the town, standing today in a pedestrianised cobble-stoned side street. It is one of the main landmarks of Kilmarnock and I find it a very attractive building.

Church services there are currently on Sundays at 11.00am and also at 9.30am from June to August.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I wouldn’t have found this place if it hadn’t been recommended to me by some of the staff in Marks and Spencer in Kilmarnock. They take clothes there for repairs and alterations and explained that, not only is the work always of the highest standard, but probably cheaper than anywhere else. What higher recommendation could you ever need?!! Almost needless to say, I took some clothes straight down to the shop (which you’ll find just round the corner from ‘Subway’ – through the door and up the stairs) and left them (along with a deposit) with a friendly lady there. A few days later I went back to pick up the clothes, which were beautifully repaired, and to pay the balance of a few pounds. Certainly cheap for such professional work and I shall definitely return when I need any more sewing done!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mamita's Cafe

This is a small pleasant cafe in Bank Street with several small round 'plastic wood' tables and black chairs; a high 'Italian style' counter and gorgeous cakes displayed under glass domes.

I had coffee here at the end of August and it was lovely - a frothy latte in a tall glass. The Mocha Italian blend is served here and they offer to grind beans for you to take home. Many nice varieties of tea as well, plus "luxury hot chocolate with marshmallows, cream and flake" (wow!), and iced coffee.

There are shelves on the left as you go inside selling various goodies, including dried pasta, biscuits, chilli jams, chutneys and other preserves.

In the cafe you can have panini, sandwiches, tortilla wraps, salads, homemade pate, homemade soup of the day, bagels with imaginative fillings (including smoked salmon or banana and cinnamon); you'll find extra meals or snacks on the blackboard at the back of the cafe. Apparently, all produce is locally sourced wherever possible. There are milk shakes available and other soft drinks.

There are shelves containing magazines and newspapers, which are free to read, on the left of the counter.

I think the tables could be a bit nicer or, if not, then tablecloths would improve them, and the wooden floor is in dire need of a coat of paint as the black paint has mostly worn off and looks very scruffy. These things slightly spoil what is, otherwise, a lovely little cafe.

Grange Church

This imposing red sandstone church dates from 1879. The architects were the brothers, William and Robert Ingram, the sons of James Ingram - the famous Kilmarnock architect who designed many of the well known buildings in the town, including the beautiful Palace Theatre and St Marnock’s Church.

William eventually became an architect in Glasgow but Robert stayed in Kilmarnock. He later designed the Burns Monument and the Dick Institute.

When Grange Church first opened it was described as a "handsome cruciform structure with a spire of 140ft. There are 860 sittings and a hall and classroom to the E has accommodation for 500 people."

A memorial stone can be found below the arch on the left side of the window above the entrance to the church.

There is a steel bell in the tower which is thought to be the largest in the country. Corrosion makes deciphering the date on the side difficult, but it is thought to read ‘1867’.

The stained glass window behind the pulpit was donated in 1896 by Miss M. Taylor in memory of her father, William Taylor.

In 1902, an organ was added and it continued in use until 2009.

I don’t know how long it has been since this church stopped being used for worship as I see that it is now closed up and there are signs outside which state that it is now for sale or to rent. It will be interesting to see what happens to it in future.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Global Market 2012

The Global Market came to Kilmarnock twice this year, in May and then at the end of August/beginning of September. I missed it in May but I enjoyed having a look round the second time, in August. The Cross and King Street were a mass of colourful stalls and the weather was good enough to bring out lots of people!

Below: Just a few of my photos: