Mirren's Shore

Parts of this article were first printed in the Greenock Telegraph and Advertiser written by John Donald in 1932.
Then as now it is reproduced here with no opinion or proof but for the simple amusment of it's readers.
"Old Port Glasgow" was the pen name given to one local resident who was happy to reminice about his childhood 60 years previously when this article was first printed in 1932 ." I pass them on practically as received. Their interest and value will, no doubt, at once be apparent to the intelligent reader. -John Donald"

Mirren's Shore

Many Port people do not know that present Mirren Shore was formerly a
large pond where as boys we went to sail our rafts and old skipper Watson brought in sea-worn gabbarts to broken up and sold to bakers for wood for their ovens. This place was called Fore Shore at one time and I shall tell you later how the name came to be changed to Mirren Shore
I remember in my young days when there would be six timber ships when the sugarhouse was in full swing there would have been two sugar ships discharging at the harbour. Then we had the Castle ground to enjoy ourselves in but Hamilton's Yard spoiled that.
The present wharf in the Long Quay was constructed so that two Admiralty vessels which had been built on the higher reaches of the Clyde might be finished here, the river not being deep enough to allow them to come down at their finished weight.

Some of the Port Glasgow people may be surprised to know how the Mirren Shore got its name. This was how it came about.
In the days of the Covenanters a man named Shore dwelt with his daughter Mirren in a little cottage by the side of the stream that flowed brokenly down Devol's Glen. In that remote spot, in the little hollow over the hill, they passed their peaceful lives, disturbing no one and by no one disturbed until one dreadful day when a long sinister line of redcoats moved slowly steadily, threateningly up the path which led to the home of the covenanters, for such both father and daughter were. Resolutely refusing to abjure their religious principles, the father was slaughtered and his corpse incinerated within the burning cottage while the girl was carried off a captive to the jail of Port-Glasgow to await her trial as a heretic.

Now Mirren, being a comely lass of spotless fame, had gained the love of James Ralston, the mate of a coasting vessel which plied between the Port and the- Western Islands. Returning after an absence of two months, James found the little town in a state of commotion. He was speeding gaily to his love in the glen when fragments of conversation led him to stop and make inquiries, which resulted in causing him the greatest uneasiness and misgiving. Oh, it was impossible - it could not be- his sweetheart who was on trial for her life. Yet fear clutched his heart as he ran to the tribunal. Forcing a way through the crowd, he came within sight of the prisoner's dock, and there to his horror he beheld his Mirren

She was condemned to death by drowning. The poor thing was taken in a half fainting condition to the river side at low water bound to a stake, and left there to endure the agonies of a thousand deaths until the inexorable rising tide should put an end to her sufferings.

But Ralston was not inactive in his grief. As one of the throng of spectators he carefully watched the proceedings, noted the disposition of the soldiers on guard, and prepared his plans accordingly.
He was determined that his sweetheart should not die. The necessary precautions taken and a boat procured. He under cover of night stealthily and by a circuitous route, approached the hapless maiden now almost unconscious. Swiftly removed her bonds drew her into the boat and pulled, pulled as he had never pulled before, into the darkness, and disappeared.

Happ y is the bride the sun shines on!
In a hollow on the hillside a young man and a bonnie lass knelt before a benevolent old pastor who pronounced the words that made them man and wife.
But the bride had left her maiden name in Port Glasgow at the scene of her suffering the Mirren Shore..............

How Mirren Shore got it's name - Tragedy and Romance

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This page last modified on Friday, March 11, 2011