Every town and village along this stretch of coast seems to have at least one claim to fame. In the case of Fairlie, it is the fact that it was Scotland's first Fair Trade village. In order to qualify for this status a town or village needs to fulfil certain criteria regarding the availability of Fair Trade products in shops, or through the fare on offer in cafes and so on. The community's Fair Trade status is announced at the entrance to the village on a sign which was unveiled by a mango farmer from Burkina Faso. During World War II, Fairlie lent its name to a type of mortar, which was developed at an anti-submarine research establishment set up there. The Royal Navy ASDIC anti-submarine research establishment moved to Fairlie in 1940, taking over the yard of yacht-builder William Fife, and while there developed the Fairlie mortar. The five mortar tubes installed on the destroyer HMS Whitehall were given a rather saucy nickname: the "Five Wide Virgins". The mortar was not very successful, however, and evolved into the much more successful Squid. Nowadays, Fairlie is a quiet village on the Firth of Clyde with lovely views across to Arran and Great Cumbrae. Leisure facilities in the village include a Yacht Club dating from the 1960s.
Map of the area.
©2009 David Cook, via Wikimedia Commons