Wednesday, 29 May 2013


In 1921 an American engineer called Paul F. Godley accompanied a member of the Marconi company to a site in Ardrossan on the North Ayrshire coast.  Once there the pair set up a receiver station which was to pave the way for the first transatlantic short wave radio transmission from the USA, from Greenwich, Connecticut.  The receiver, a Beverage class, was the first of its kind to be used in the United Kingdom, and the experiment was a complete success.  There is a plaque commemorating the event on the front wall of the Abbotsford Nursing Home, which stands near the chosen site.

Ardrossan is a historic port which grew in importance thanks to its shipbuilding activities during the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the export of coal and pig iron to Europe and America.  Today's maritime activity is focused on the Clyde Marina, while there is a ferry service linking Ardrossan to Brodick on the Isle of Arran and a new ferry service which started just a few days ago between Ardrossan and Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula.   Cannon Hill, or Castle Hill, is an elevated recreation area and is also the site of Ardrossan Castle, dating as far back as the 12th century.  The neighbouring community of Saltcoats, a former fishing village that was made a burgh in 1528, merges almost seamlessly with Ardrossan.  The name derives from the fact that salt used to be harvested from the sea here.  Shipbuilding also formed part of the local economy.  Recreational activities include golf courtesy of the Auchenharvie Golf Course.

Map of the area. 

File:Ardrossan North Beach.JPG
Ardrossan North Beach. Photo by Roger Griffith, via Wikimedia Commons

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