The Ardross-man


November 2015

Omen 5 – The SAS Omen

When I first arrived in Ardrossan to look at the church buildings, I bought a local newspaper – The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald – and I was surprised to see a reference to “SAS Explorer Scouts”.


It turns out that this is the name given to the local venture scouts which combines “The Three Towns” – Saltcoats, Ardrossan & Stevenston or SAS for short.

Surely this was another omen?

You see, in my dim and distant past, I served with the British Army and spent some time seconded to a Special Air Service (SAS) unit.


Additionally, my not-for-profit training business prior to forming The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety charity was “Security And Safety” – often abbreviated to SAS.logo01

The amount of omens pushing me towards buying this church was becoming overwhelming. 🙂

The parting of the waves

Went for a walk down to the church today with Ben and we almost got swept away.

The waves are coming right over the promenade and the beach is no-where to be seen.

Let’s hope the water doesn’t get any higher :-/

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An alternative view

As I was coming out of the church hall building the other day, I met a local man who asked what was happening with the buildings.

I explained that my charity, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety, had taken over the premises and we planned to covert the hall building into a Community Centre and the Church building into an Events Centre – he was amazed.

He told me he heard these iconic buildings were going to be demolished!

Can you imagine what the beautiful seafront  of Ardrossan would look like if these fantastic buildings were no longer there?

Maybe it would look a little like this –


The Wow Factor – this stunning iconic building


You have to admit, the former Barony St. John Church is a fantastic building – I would go so far as to say it is iconic. Instantly recognisable with its rocket-esque features and a visible landmark for miles around.

To many locals the only photo that represents Ardrossan is one with this coastal-type view….and the church is always there.

This wonderful photograph by Stuart McMahon has been taken from the beach between Ardrossan and Saltcoats and is at such an angle as to have the beautiful snow-capped mountains of the Isle of Arran in the background.

Wow factors don’t come much bigger than this 🙂

“In the beginning…”



Okay, so it’s not all wonderful views, stunning architecture and fantastic discoveries with these buildings – there’s a lot of devastation too!

Here are just some of the problems we face before we can even think of letting the public into the church building –

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And here are some of the problems faced in the hall building –

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Fingers crossed, we get the funding to help save these iconic buildings :-/

What a stunning view!

This has got to be the best viewpoint in all of Ardrossan!

Standing at the top of the parapet in the former Barony St. John Church, I can see the fantastic beach connecting Ardrossan and Saltcoats, parts of Ardrossan town with the Isle of Arran behind, the whole of Saltcoats and some of Stevenston and the wonderful ruin of Ardrossan Castle complete with scaffolding for the renovation work currently going on.

Wow – what a view!!

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Going up?


At the top of the gallery floor of the main church building there is a doorway leading to a double set of old wooden steps which take you up onto the church’s parapet …… exciting, eh?

I’ll show you the view from the top tomorrow 😀

Omen 4 – The Church Omen

After “The Ardross / Ardrossan Omen”, “The Instructor Omen” and, upon viewing the buildings, “The Star of David Omen”, I saw the size of the hall room and knew I wanted to put a bid into The Church of Scotland.


The hall room would be ideal for running personal safety and self defence courses in as well as our ‘Fighting Fit’ exercise classes.

But the buildings had been abandoned for some time (the church building for over 5 years, I believe) so although I wanted the hall building, I couldn’t think what I could use the church building for …. maybe a separate private training hall for Women’s Aid, Victim Support, Rape Crisis Scotland groups? Maybe a residential area for these groups?

But anyway, I had a major problem – I really couldn’t afford BOTH buildings!

So, I put in an offer for the hall building reckoning if fate wanted me to have it, I would get it.

Well, fate played it’s part well – when I was told my bid was successful and was getting shown around for the second time, I was taken along the corridor that connects the hall building to the church building. Naturally, I asked how this was going to be blocked off. The person showing me around looked puzzled – why would I want to block it off?

It turns out, I was now the owner of BOTH the church and the hall buildings.

If you are a religious person, you may say that “someone up there wanted me to have the former Barony St. John Church & Halls”. Maybe He (or She 🙂 ) has plans I don’t even know about yet – or maybe He just approved of the plans I already had.

Either way, I think it would have been a shame to split the buildings up – what do YOU think?



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