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Dwight Eisenhower and James T. Gray.

Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, who later became President of America, spent holidays at Culzean with his family and friends and enjoyed a rest when he could shoot and golf and be free from the cares of his busy life. He was a frequent visitor to the town which he always considered, as he said, "his Scottish hometown", and on Saturday, 5th October, 1946, the Freedom of the Burgh was conferred on him by the townspeople. President Eisenhower, in his remarks after the ceremony, said he would "always consider himself a true Minnieboler, if not by birth, at least by adoption". James T. Gray  Photo: James T. Gray author of  Maybole, Carrick's Capital greets General Eisenhower.


Robert Burns "THERE is a purpose of marriage between William Burnes, Bachelor, residing at Alloway, in the Parish of Ayr, and Agnes Brown, Spinster, residing in Maybole, in the Parish of Maybole, of which proclamation is made .. ." When these banns were "cried" in the old church at the foot of the Kirkwynd in November, 1757, by the Rev. James McKnight none of the Minniebolers in the congregation that day could possibly know they were listening to the opening lines of a drama which would take its place in Scottish history. It was in Maybole that the parents of Robert Burns met, courted and married and therefore the old town can claim a connection with him. Much has been written about his birthplace at Alloway, his father, William Burnes, originally from Kircardineshire and his life from birth at Alloway to death in Dumfries but little has been mentioned about his connections with the old Capital of Carrick. Burns' mother lived in Maybole for most of her unmarried life and one of his greatest schoolboy friends, William Niven, lived in Maybole where Burns often visited him.  More about Robert Burns


 Norris D. McWhirter, founding editor of the Guinness Book of World Records was a descendant of the McWhirter's of Maybole. Much of his life was inextricably bound up with that of his twin brother, Ross, whose murder at the hands of an IRA assassin in 1975 pierced him to the heart. They were born in August 1925, at Winchmore Hill, London, the sons of William Allan McWhirter, managing director of Associated Newspapers and Northcliffe Newspapers Group, and even allowing for the intrinsic closeness of twins their careers, talents and interests mirrored each other to an almost uncanny degree. Both went to Marlborough College; both were at the same college - Trinity - at Oxford University; both were outstanding track athletes, representing their university and running together in the Achilles Club team that won the Amateur Athletic Association 4 x 110 yard relay championship; both served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in the war, where both saw minesweeping duty, and in addition to other publishing ventures both went on to found The Guinness Book of Records, which became the world's all-time best-selling copyright book. More about Norris McWhirter  See also www.norrismcwhirter.com


Tommy McQuater was born in Maybole on the 4th of Sept 1914 and died on January 20th 2008. ( Story in  telegraph.co.uk ) Although he received tuition in a brass band, he was largely self-taught. He began playing professionally with Louis Freeman, whose band performed on transatlantic liners, then worked with the bandleaders Jack Payne (1934) and Lew Stone (1934-5). He spent two years with Bert Ambrose (1936-8) before playing briefly with the Heralds of Swing (1939); he returned for a short time to Ambrose, then during and after the war played with the Squadronaires, making several recordings. After performing with a pit band called the Skyrockets (1952-3), he played mainly in radio and television, at first as a member of Cyril Stapleton's BBC Showband, then as a staff musician in television under Jack Parnell. He continued to work as a freelance player into the 1980s. Among the many leaders with whom McQuater recorded were Benny Carter (1936-7), Danny Polo (1937), George Chisholm (1938, 1944-5, 1961), John Dankworth (1955, 1961), and Benny Goodman (1969); his playing is well represented on Chisholm's Rosetta (1938, Decca F7015). Courtesy of The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, © Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988 Autographed photo contributed by Bill McCubbin. Click on the image for a full size photo or here for a very large image.


William Dobbie was born in 1878 in Maybole. Two years later, his parents, Francis Dobbie and Agnes McCreath died there leaving two young sons, William age 2 and his brother James age 6. James remained in Maybole with his maternal grandparents while William was raised in Glasgow by his aunt. William Dobbie later moved to York and became a council member in 1911. He fought and was wounded in WWI. After the war he became an alderman of York and in 1923 was elected Lord Mayor, the first Labour mayor ever. He was head of the National Union of Railwaymen from 1925-1927and 1931-1933. In 1933 he was elected M.P for Rotherham. He served a second term as Lord Mayor in 1947 and in the same year was made a C.B.E. ( it is said he refused a knighthood). He died in 1950.  Full size photos and more. Photos and text contributed by Glen Dobbie.


Muriel Dobbin is the daughter of the late Mr & Mrs George Dobbin who owned a retail drapery business and also ran a shoe shop in the High Street in Maybole. After obtaining her Highers at Carrick Academy in 1949 she joined the Ayrshire Post as a reporter, and during a visit to the United States she worked briefly for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle before returning to Ayr to pursue a career in journalism as a freelance reporter. In 1957 she was recruited by the Baltimore Sun as a feature writer and was then transferred in 1963 to the Sunís Washington bureau as the first woman in a staff of 15 men in time to cover the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. More about Muriel Dobbin.


 

Ronald K McRae was born in 1926, the son of a policeman, and grew up in Maybole attending Carrick Academy and gaining the Ramsay Medal. In 1944 he went to Glasgow University and qualified in Medicine in 1949. He signed up for a short service commission in the RAF and was posted to a hospital in Ely where he acquired extensive experience in treating a wide variety of orthopaedic problems affecting local and civilian personnel and cases transferred from the Middle East. On leaving the RAF he worked in all the principal Glasgow Hospitals and was appointed consultant at the Southern General Hospital. He also became lecturer in anatomy at the Glasgow School of Chiropody and developed a range of ground breaking teaching methods which were rewarded by his being made an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Chiropodists. While at the Southern General, the hospital was the first in Scotland to acquire the equipment which enabled them to carry out pioneering hip replacement surgery which is now in universal use. More about Ronald McRae


Professor Doctor Federico Kauffmann-Doig is the current Peruvian ambassador to Germany and a descendant of John Doig who was born in Maybole on June 24, 1792 and who emigrated to Peru in 1820. The ambassador has a doctorate in archaeology, as well as a second doctorate in history. He has lectured at several of Peruís universities and, as a visiting professor at the University of Bonn he taught Peruvian and American archaeology (by vaccaro webster). His prolific professional work has been honoured with the highest award given by Peru in the field of culture. He was the first Latin American to be awarded Sweden's Neubergh Medal. He has been decorated by the Peruvian government, as well as by the governments of Belgium, Austria and Sweden. He is a member of Peru's National Academy of History, an Honorary Member of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Switzerland, a Member of the Royal Academy of History in Madrid, and the founding director of the Institute of Amazonian Archaeology.  More about Professor Doctor Federico Kauffmann-Doig Happy New Year  2011


Alan Dent. Educated at Maybole's Carrick Academy, he went to Glasgow University aged only 16, in 1921 and, after making a false start in medicine, did well in English, French and Italian; but left for London in 1926 without securing a degree. He became a dramatic critic the hard way, apprenticing himself to a master of the craft, James Agate, for 15 years in all. He was London critic of The (Manchester) Guardian from 1935 till 1943, and dramatic critic of the News Chronicle from 1945 till its sudden demise in 1960. He worked in broadcasting and was the regular film critic of the Illustrated London News.

He was the text-editor and text-adviser of Sir Laurence Olivier's three Shakespeare films, Henry V, Hamlet, and Richard III, and he celebrated the quarter-centenary by publishing a quiz book called How Well Do You Know Your Shakespeare? He did a five month tour of America in 1953-4 and returned to America (1966-7) to lecture on "The Fine Art of Criticism" at Toronto, Harvard, Yale, and New York. Amongst other publications are Preludes and studies, Nocturnes & Rhapsodies, My Dear America, The Life of Mrs. Patrick Campbell.  More about Alan Dent (Photo courtesy of Ayr Advertiser)


Robert MacBryde. (1913-1966) Born in Maybole, he became a well known painter of the 'Modern' school of art and a theatre designer. He left school early and spent several years working in a factory. In 1933 he went, with Robert Colquhoun, who was to remain his close friend, to the Glasgow School of Art, where both students, after gaining diplomas in drawing and painting, were given travelling scholarships which took them to France and Italy. 

Eventually they lived and worked in London, taking a studio beside that of Jankel Adler, whose work was to be a strong influence on theirs. It is impossible to separate the names of MacBryde and Colquhoun for through their livers they lived and worked together. They became known as the Two Roberts.  More about Robert MacBryde

A sample of his paintings


Page One  |  Page Two  |  Page Three     (For more Notable Minniebolers see  Maybole, Carrick's Capital  the chapter "Famous Folks")


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