The Ardross-man


May 2021

Surprise Find

As you may know from previous posts, we have had a lot of renovation work done in our Barony St John Centre in Ardrossan over the past 3 months and we had a surprising find under the floorboards of our corridor.

Part of the renovations at our Centre included work in our corridor to renew pipework for a new heating system and replace rotten floor joists. It was when the old floorboards were taken up that I noticed what I thought was an old piece of paper.

Upon further inspection, it turned out to be folded like an envelope and there was a handwritten name and address on it plus a stamp and Post Office stamp.

The name and address is McIlvean???, Laurel Bank, 19 South Beach Road, Ardrossan and the postage stamp, with a very young Queen Elizabeth II on it, is stamped 17th August 1958 – just five years after her coronation.

Do the McIvean’s??? still live at 19 South Beach Road? Is the house still called Laurel Bank? If anyone knows the answer or can shed some light on who the McIlvean’s??? What was their connection to the former Barony St John Church hall (or the Barony Church Hall as it would have been known then), please let me know by emailing

Coincidently, the following day on 18th August 1958, regional postage stamps were issued in the United Kingdom.

Previously, as can be seen on our letter, the stamp represented the whole of the UK. We have a rose in the top left to represent England, a thistle in the top right to represent Scotland, the Welsh daffodil in the bottom right and Ireland’s clover in the bottom right.

As of the 18th August 1958, each country had its own stamp. Scotland had the Queen and two symbols on their stamp;

a saltire with a crown and a thistle with crown.

Wales opted for a dragon and leek on theirs.

Northern Ireland had four symbols on theirs; the Red Hand of Ulster, a six pointed crowned star, a field gate with Ulster pillars and the flax plant ;

the Channel Isles had the Crown of William the Conqueror and the Guernsey lily;

the Isel of Man had the tre cassyn (Three Legs) on a shield surrounded by a ring-chain pattern based on designs found on ancient Manx stone crosses.

The English stamp seems to have retained the original national emblems of the rose, thistle, daffodil and clover in a circle around the Queen’s head.

This is a fascinating glimpse back in history and if you would like to read more about our discoveries and the renovation work in the former Barony St. John’s church and hall buildings, check out my blog at or if you would like to know more about our charity, visit or search for ScotCPS on your social media pages.

Until next time, stay safe.

Our new bench

Our leather bench now completes our main hall renovation work. What do you think?


We have been lucky enough to receive funding from the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund, The Robertson Trust, The Foyle Foundation and North Ayrshire Council’s Community Benefit Fund.

This project was enormous and saw our main hall and corridor floor joists get replaced / repaired; our main hall walls and ceiling get repaired and repainted; our entire heating system get replaced; destratification fans and heating controls get installed; the arched windows in our main hall get replaced with double glazed versions; new LED lights in the main hall and light sensors in our corridor and toilets; old electrical wiring replaced; the windows of our Training Room get repainted with new galvanised grills installed on the outside; external stonework and roof repairs completed; and new flooring in our corridor and kitchen / reception area.

The difference before and after this funding is huge as I am sure you will agree from the photos, but aside from aesthetically, we have already noticed a huge difference in the warmth of the building and these energy saving renovations will enable The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety to massively reduce our heating bills and our local carbon emissions. In fact, Resource Efficient Scotland have estimated that we will now save 52,998kWh of energy and 10.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Now that’s impressive.  

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