What a great little surprise today – I got a call from a blog reader and former Ardrossan resident, Mary Buswell who currently resides in Barlestone near Nuneaton in England.
Mary wondered if she, her husband and her friend could pop in and have a look around the former Barony St. John’s Church and Hall buildings – and not being one to shy away from showing someone around our buildings, I quickly agreed. 😀
Mary left Ardrossan in the 1950’s and although a lot has changed, her memory of the church buildings is as sharp as when she was a young lass.
Intriguingly, she thought the small hall room was much larger when she was a child. This would explain why the back wall is made of brick and the rest of the walls are stone. Maybe the room extended down along Princes Street and at some point in the past, the adjacent land was sold and the building “squared off” cutting it in half? If anyone knows of any photos, drawings or plans which show the original shape of the hall buildings, please do get in touch.
But it was when I took Mary up into the church gallery that we made a rather saucy discovery;
Mary lifted one of the “Welcome” cards which adorn each pew and found an inscription underneath. It says “Sexy by Lisa O.D. Robert XMX”
Noting that the pew contained other graffiti, I wet down other parts to take off the dust and revealed;
The first says “Lisa wants to marry Robert” (although “wants” is spelled “Whants” and marry is spelled “marrie”) with a matchstick figure of a boy and a girl and the words “Just Married“. So I’m wondering if this was Lisa who wrote this or a friend of Lisa?
The second is a love heart with the words “Lisa x Robert XMX” inside. I’m not sure if XMX means something in love-speak or if it means Lisa and Robert M.?
And finally, there was a second love heart and although the writing of the boy’s name is faint at the beginning I think it reads “Sarah + Tommy XBX” Does this mean Tommy B.?
The handwriting looks very similar in each piece of graffiti so I’m going to guess that they were all done by Sarah. They also all look reasonably fresh compared with some of the other graffiti I found so I wonder when this was scratched into the pew?
If anyone has any idea who Sarah and Tommy B were or Lisa and Robert M, please get in touch. I’d love to find out when this was carved and if they ever went out with their childhood sweethearts (and I won’t be disappointed if I find out it was carved in the 1990’s by a couple of 65 year olds LOL). 😉