Getting Alongside Communities – Blacklands, North Ayrshire
A bit about Blacklands
The area now known as Blacklands was previously called the Ironworks and was the site of the Eglinton Ironworks, which at one time was the town’s biggest employer. Many other people in the area were employed in coal mining or hauling of coal and timber to the foundries. These traditional industries have gradually declined over the years. The building where the old “Ironworks Institute” stood is now known as Nethermains Community Centre. The Institute housed a small school, a library and a social centre, but importantly it also was a bath house and workers were encouraged to go there for a bath at least once a month. Later, a separate school was built for the ironworker’s children and this subsequently was called Blacklands Primary School. Sadly, it was destroyed by a fire in the early 1970s. The site where it stood is directly opposite the Ironworks Institute. Robert Service Court, the sheltered housing complex was later built on this site.
Where the iron foundries and worker’s cottages once stood is directly behind the Nethermains Community Centre. This site is now mostly woodland leading down to the river.
What’s been happening?
We’ve been in Blacklands since late November 2016. We’ve worked with Blacklands Early Years Centre, the Parent Council for Blacklands Primary, Kilwinning Community Events and a few other groups and individuals to organise community-based activities. We’ve been going on walkabouts to get to know local people, attending local meetings, and doing desk-based research too. There is also a Blacklands Timeline if you’d like to learn more about what’s been happening in the area.
How can you get involved?
You can find contact details for the Blacklands Community Co-ordinator on this page. Please get in touch, as we’re keen to get to know the wider community. You might like to tell us about changes you’d like to bring about, or if you represent a group or organisation, how we could work together.
We asked Louise what one of her favourite things about Blacklands is so far, and she said…
Getting to know the people and the history. She’s met incredibly nice and interesting people who live and work in the area so far.
You can find out a bit more about Louise here