Loans and Community – a brief history
Loans has a long and proud history. Look around and you’ll see lots of reminders of the past. A small settlement called Lons is shown on Blaeu’s Atlas of Scotland, dated 1654 visit site. This map also shows Clolellan and Kraiksland, both still part of our wider community.
Loans village has changed and expanded significantly in the last 30 or so years, particularly since construction of the A78 by-pass. Many new houses have been built and new residents have come from further afield. But there are still a good number who were born and raised here.
Loans War memorial is 100 years old in 2022
It was just over 100 years ago that Loans War Memorial was erected in memory of the soldiers of Fullerton and Loans District who fell in the Great war of 2014-19. The memorial was unveiled by General Sir Charles Fergusson at a ceremony on 9 April 1922 watched by a large crowd of people from Loans and Troon together with a grand turn-out of Ex-service men, Girl guides, Boys Scouts and Boys Brigade who had marched from Troon to Loans Cross Road.
Sir Charles told the crowd that by coincidence at that very moment there would be a similar gathering in the town of Arras, France to unveil a memorial in memory of the 9th, 15th and 51st Scottish Divisions who had fallen there on 9th April 1918 at the first battle of Arras.
To end the Rev. J.H. Gillespie of Dundonald offered up a prayer of dedication followed by two minutes silence. The crowd stood with heads uncovered, the Ex-service men stood to attention while a distant pipe band played ‘Flowers of the Forest’ which grew fainter as they marched away.
It must have been a very moving ceremony.
Nancy McMahon of Loans, in her publication ‘LOANS – An Ayrshire Village in Peace and War’ gives an exceptionally detailed history of the village and it’s people.
The detailed list of names and background of those remembered on the War Memorial is exceptional.
The Smugglers Trail
The Smugglers’ Trail leads from South Beach, Troon, across Royal Troon Golf Club, past Crosbie Kirk and through Fullarton Woods. From the Main Street in Loans, the trail crosses ancient woodland and enjoys stunning views over the Firth of Clyde. This historic route has been in regular use from early times including use by smugglers.
The route is an easy to moderate woodland and coastal walk, however the incline rises to 1:6 in places. The walk takes about two hours to complete, it is advisable to wear sensible footwear.
Useful links below if you’re thinking about having a go.
Smugglers’ trail – South Ayrshire Council (south-ayrshire.gov.uk)
Walk 86 – Ayrshire Smugglers Trail: Dundonald to Troon – 6.3 miles – Gillian’s Walks (gillianswalks.com)