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Greasy Pole



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Greasy Pole

Post by Archivist » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:17 am

From: "Sam Bukka" <sambukka@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001

Anyone know anything about the "Greasy Pole" which is located on the North Shore, Ardrossan? It was there during the 1800s, was it a Maypole? or what.

Bukka


From: "Hugh McCallum" <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001

Hi Sam,
I recall playing around the pole as a kid and also in the nearby burn. I'd always thought it was a former navigation aid - its location on a line with the northern end of the Horse Island would suggest this. I imagine there would have been a corresponding navigation aid on the island so masters' of ships could line up the entrance to Ardrossan Harbour. Just a thought! Anyone else have other ideas?

Hugh McCallum


From: "eric abbott" <vikingeric@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001

Hi Hugh
The Greasy Pole regarding navigation, A map of 1900 says "POST" along side a BM 13.5 (Bench Mark) whether this relates to the post, the post has been renewed,
there was no need for anything to line up the harbour since the lighthouse and Breakwater was installed, going back before 1850.

bukka


From: "Alan&Elizabeth Scott" <alan@xx.co.uk>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001

Hi all,
as far as i am led to believe, the greasy pole was so named by the locals, it was erected for the use of the Coastguards, to exercise in the use of the Breeches Buoy,( breeches buoy was a method of using numerous ropes to evacuate survivors from stranded boats). The pole ceased to be used for this purpose approx' 8-9 years ago due to the lack of use of the equipment in real life situations, twice in the previous 15 years in mainland Britain, coupled with the high cost of maintenance after use in exercises and competitions (nothing else to do with it) .A ring was embedded at the top of the pole to secure the ropes. This info i am being told to pass came from hubby and me arm is being twisted up me back.
Bye the Noooo LizScott

Ps Hubby is station officer HM Coastguard Ardrossan.( i am the wee wifey who dis as she is telt).


From: "linda crawford" <lindaecrawford@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001

I was always told that the Greasy Pole was originally used for firing a line to vessels which had become grounded on the rocks at the North Shore.

I've only ever seen one vessel on rocks on the North Shore though, I think it was a Steel & Bennie tug from Greenock, and it never got off, but sat at the point of Horse Island for ages - that must have been around 1964 ish.
Linda



From: "Thomas Logan" <t.m.logan@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001

I have always been led to believe that the 'greasy pole' was a look-out point for the Coast-guard. There used to be steps bolted on to both sides to make it easy to climb, but the last time I saw it, a very long time ago, most were missing, though they were all there in the 1930's when I was a youngster. As there is no high ground near the shore, the post made sense if there was any problems along the shore or out to the Horse Island to give a much better viewpoint.

It is unlikely that it ever formed part of a leading mark for the harbour entrance. Apart from there being no front mark, leads usually indicate the centre of an approach channel which at Ardrossan is clearly marked between the lighthouse and the end of the break-water. And the pole is not very distinctive from the seaward as you approach the entrance, if it can be noticed at all. I ran the pilot-boat at the harbour for a time in the 1950's so am fairly familiar with the entrance!

Tom Logan.


From: "james james" <jamesbarr50@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001

I have enjoyed the letters about this subject when it was first brought up i decided to investigate its task in life i spoke to three different people and all gave the sane answer as to why it was there the answer seemed logical until i read the letter from the coastguard's wife which must obvisely be the right answer so i was not going to join the discussion but have decided to let you all know what i was told that being that it was there to mark a whirlpool when the water came up further then than it does now but i now know that must be wrong but will not be going back to the people i spoke to to tell them as they were quite confident that it was right.
jim barr (blakjak50)


From: "eric abbott" <vikingeric@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2001

I have been reliably informed that the Pole dates back to the days of the Eglinton Tournament, (circa 1839). A Bacon Joint was tied to the top, the pole was then greased, (Greasy Pole). People then payed to get a chance to retrieve the bacon joint. I am told that there is a similar pole event at Irvine Merrymas. see: "Landscape of the Knights", The Eglinton Story.

PS, Nice photo's Liz, (good try)

eric


From: "Hugh McCallum" <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2001

Thanks for that Eric, very interesting! The Greasy Pole I recall was
much bigger than the one in the photographs that Liz sent. As someone
else said it had wooden blocks attached to facilitate climbing to the
top. It was also painted white from my recollections.

Regards the Eglinton Tournament, the book I read some years ago was
"The Knight and the Umbrella". It gives a fair insight into the
tournament and the Eglinton's. Funnily enough I believe just about
where
the Greasy Pole is situated is where the 10th earl of Eglinton was
killed by Saltcoats poacher Mungo Campbell when Eglinton challenged him
about a hare and demanded his gun.

Hugh McCallum


From: "linda crawford" <lindaecrawford@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001

Hugh,
Did the killing of Mungo Campbell not take place on South Beach, Ardrossan, as opposed to the North Shore.

Linda


From: "Hugh McCallum" <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001

Hi Linda,
I've read that the earl was killed on the shore at Burnfoot which I believe is close to Seafield (Glasgow boys school?) or Witches Linn.

Hugh McCallum

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