Other Carters and Marymass characters

AND BELOW THIS: At the harbour:
The Carter & his Horse

This page highlights some of the many members of Irvine Carters Society who, though not Captains, have been stalwarts and contributors to the success of Marymass over the years.
Single click to bring up the full photo (and Back to return)

Charlie Arthur, of Greenwood farm, carried the mallet at Marymass for 56 years in succession. Another weel-kent Fiscal was Hugh Kerr, who served many years, and stood unsuccessfully for Captain in 1952 - shown on the right leading the procession down Kirkgate to the Towns House in 1956.

Johnny Johnston was 'Mr Marymass' - born in 1876, he was a principal player in the organisation of Marymass, and also acted as treasurer of the Society, dying in 1965 at age 89, 69 of them a Carter.

A large number of Carters are on duty during the Festival, such as the Chief Marshals of the Marymass Parade - past holders being George Douglas, Ray Preston and Danny Kerr, all three being ably assisted by Andrew Blackley. The unflappable George says - "It's a challenge I enjoy", says the unflappable George. "If something goes wrong then we try to eradicate it right away; it's part of the job! Being on time is very important, give or take two minutes here and there." Our picture shows him on the left, as Captain Muir's horse is held by Bro. Gordon McLean. Under the Chief Marshal's watchful eye, the volunteer Marshals make sure the parade runs on time. They ask no favours, but quietly get on with their job. These men are the unsung heroes of Marymass. No praise could be high enough for them.

One true Carter is Bro John Devaney - true in the sense that he builds his own carts and harness right through to the finished article, as you can see in this photo, with his daughter, of a cart representing the Tailor Craft. John's work was with Black & White Whisky. The other photo shows John's nieces on his 2001 cart.

Irvine Carters Society produced a special millennium booklet - "A Part History of Irvine Carters Society" in 2000, which provided much of the material for this web site two years later. The booklet was compiled by "Big Henry" - Henry Thompson - in his foreword, he thanks the many who assisted him, but his hard work (and that of his wife Jeanette), along with his wit and sense of humour, are well enjoyed in the committee. This photo shows Ex-Captain Tom Gorman on left and Henry Thompson on the right.

The parade is led by Carters representing Wallace and Bruce. The late George Brown, a Carter for over 50 years, and Bro. Alan Singleton, pictured here with horse 'Miracle', rode the parade as Wallace and Bruce for some years. Their sons George (junior) and Alan (junior) ride as Wallace and Bruce today - pictured here in 1994. George's grandson Neil was 'made' a Carter in 1999 at the age of 16.

The Fiscal is one of the most important positions in the Parade; they have included Norrie McQueen, Jock Rorison, and Hugh Kerr, ex-captain Bert Gibson, and Jim Affleck Jnr. The picture shows Hugh Kerr, one of the longest serving Fiscals.

Many others deserve their mention. In 1970 Bob Cousar retired after 36 years as secretary/treasurer. He and his good friend Bobby Bennett were responsible for keeping the Carters tradition going through the war years when committee members were far and few. Bro. Bennett had no peers at pleating a horse for show.

Bro. Willie Cousar (died 2008, aged 87) became a Carter at the age of 14 and served on numerous committees. He began his working life as a racehorse trainer for Major Watson at Ravenspark House and was an amateur jockey in his spare time. He then went on to work for Ayrshire Metal until he retired, but had a lifelong passion for saddling - making and mending bridles and saddles - a skill he has passed to his daughter Jan - and for dressing ponies and horses.

Davy Muir is known all over Britain for his Clydesdale horses.  Both Davy and Willie were best pals, with, between them, over 100 years as members of the Society.

Finally, this page ends with the photo of the 2000 Irvine Carters Society committee (click to enlarge).

Standing (left to right): Bro. J Rorison (Fiscal), Ex-Captain Alex Burns, Bro. L. Dewhurst, Bro. J McGuire, Ex-Captain Sam McEwan, Bro. Tommy Jeffers, Bro. J. Blakeley, Bro. G. Douglas (Chief Steward), Bro. T. Smith, Ex-Captain Tom Gorman, Bro. Danny Kerr (Secretary), Bro. R. Pennington
Seated (left to right): Bro. Henry Thompson, Ex-Captain Bert Gibson, Captain Andy Tremble, Ex-Captain Sandy Muir, Bro. G. McLean (Treasurer).
Missing from photograph: Bro. C. Craig, Bro. E. Ross, Bro. R. Preston



The Carter and his Horse

The statue by David Annand stands on Irvine Harbourside, where - in the years before the dredging of the Clyde led to the growth of Glasgow - carters plied their trade, transporting goods from sea-going ships for distribution throughout Ayrshire and the West of Scotland.

The above postcard, and many other views of Irvine, are for sale at the Cards Galore Shop on Bridgegate near Irvine Cross

At the unveiling of the statue in 1996 - Captain Sandy Muir & Maurice Crichton, Chairman of Irvine Development Corporation - click to enlarge

[above image
by Louise Dickson]