Halfway > Montgomery Street

Only the south side is pictured - most of the north side is modern. Only publicly-available information will be included.

Watch the YouTube 'short' on James Montgomery featuring members of Fullarton Youth Project.

This street, originally called "the Lang Calsay" [= causeway, i.e. street], was for long named the 'Halfway', the "way to the sea" (Scots 'haaf' = the open sea) - it was laid out in about 1677 to link the town to its new harbour. The Council renamed it Montgomery Street in 1882 to commemorate the birth, at no.26, of James Montgomery, the 'Christian poet', journalist and social reformer. The section east of the railway was cleared in 1972 for the new shopping centre. This page features the existing section, from the railway station (of 1839) to the start of Harbour Street, described separately.

Scroll the street and click any photo to reach the info. Please tell us more about the history of the buildings (see contact page) and we'll add it to the notes below.

"Beyond the railway, engineers and chemical workers predominated." (Murchland, 'Irvine Post Office Directory', 1908)

Source for 1935: 'North Ayrshire Directory, 1935-37', published by the Ayr Advertiser, 1935


The service road and a modern block #78 replace the houses of times past:

#78: Residents, 1935: Joseph Brown, labourer, John Gemmell, labourer. James Graham, labourer, and Margaret Milligan, widow


#80-84: Owned, in 1930, by Robert Paterson, Dredgerman, and Mrs Eliz Paterson



#80: Vanilla Joe's ice-cream parlour - the Best Gelateria in the 2015 Scottish Italian Awards

Visit them on FB




#84: Grassroots Fine Flowers offering guaranteed quality, style and value

Visit their website



#80: Resident, 1930 & 1935: Mrs Elizabeth Paterson
To 2013: The Harbour Side Store
From 2014: Vanilla Joe's.
#82: Tenants, 1930: Dan. Paterson, captain, George McKee, labourer, and James Clydesdale, labourer.
Residents, 1935: Daniel Paterson, fisherman, George McKie, labourer, and James Clydesdale, labourer.
#84: Tenant, 1930: Stephen G Knight, newsagent.
Resident, 1935: James A Livingstone, newsagent.
Today: Grassroots Fine Flowers


#86: owned, in 1930, by Mrs Margaret Millar's heirs



Harbourside Hotel offering straightforward rooms and studio flat with en suite bathrooms and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Also a TV room, free WiFi and free airport shuttle available for Ryanair passengers staying 2 nights or more.

Find them on TripAdvisor


Built in 1890, it served as the offices of The Fleeting Organisation before being converted into a hotel in about 1997.

Tenants, 1930: Sam. Elliot, labourer, John Grubb, porter, John Gibb, machineman, Robert Alexander, joiner, Robert B Montgomery, engineer, and Alex. Smith, stamp forger
Residents, 1935: Robert Alexander, joiner, Alexander Burns, hammerman, Donald Campbell, joiner, John Gibb, machineman, Robert B Montgomery, engineer, Alexander Smith, forger


'Heritage Court', a modern block of (11?) apartments.


The previous building, nos. 88-90, was owned in 1930 by Francis Conville's heirs, with the #88 tenant listed as James Elliot, labourer, and the #90 tenants as the same James Elliot, along with George Irvine, labourer and David R C Hay, surfaceman. In 1935 James Elliot continues, but George Irvine has gone, with Samual Elliot, labourer, listed in his place.

#92, 94: & #96:

In 1930, the shop #92 and house #94 were owned by Miss J M S Stevenson of Bardowie and the tenant was Joseph Howe, labourer, and #96 was owned by Laird's Blockworks.


#96/98 - Blockworks and House

Owned (1935 details:) by Laird & Son Ltd, engineers ('Tel. 4'), Archibald Green, timekeeper

#100 & #102:

In 1930, the house at #100 and shop at #102 were owned by James Allan Paterson, manager.



Crystal Garden Take-away



Resident, 1930 & 1935: James A Paterson, manager

#102: The Crystal Garden Take-away

Resident, 1930 & 1935: Mrs Jane Shedden, baker

#104 & 106:

In 1930, the owners were the trustees of A M Lindsay.



The Niche Restaurant
Small family run chilled out restaurant, coffee shop and fully licensed. Serving freshly made continental cuisine using the best of locally sourced produce. Vegan and Vegetarian options available. Food served all day every day. Open 9am-10pm. Bookings and walk-ins welcome.

Visit their website


#104: Resident, 1930 & 1935: F W Oebel, shoemaker

#106: Residents, 1930: Donald McPherson, hairdresser, and James Greig, machinist.
Residents, 1935: Donald McPherson, hairdresser, and John Doole, miner.


In 1930, #108-114 were owned by the Trustees of the late William Breckenridge.

The 1950s factory of the Iona Hosiery Manufacturing Co., sole partner Andrew Malcolm, was converted into 11 workshop units. The earlier cottage(s) would have been demolished for the factory entrance.
#108: Resident, 1935: Hugh Brown, labourer, William McGuire, riveter, Mrs S Simpson, widow
#110: Resident, 1935: Mrs Mary McAllister, widow



Nancy's Kitchen at #112
Visit them on FB


Resident, 1930 & 1935: John McMinn, joiner




The Roll Shop
Rolls, soft drinks, slush puppies, ice creams, nachos, pancakes, crepes, and much else, including steal pies - open 7 days - eat it and beat it!


Residents, 1935: Mrs M Abercrombie, widow; James Cairney, miner, Joseph Houston, labourer, and James Rocks, engineer.
Residents, 1935: Mrs M Abercrombie, widow, James Cairney, miner, and William Laidlaw, gardener


In 1930, #116 was owned by John Fairgrieve, London.

Residents, 1935: Henry Bennet, labourer; Bernard Duffy, labourer; Hugh Elliot, labourer, A K McDougall, pattern maker, James McKie, hosiery worker, James McDougall, engineer.
Residents, 1935: same, except that James McDougall has gone, and Theo Whiteside is in his place.


In 1930, #118-124 were owned by the Trustees of the late William Breckenridge.

Resident, 1930 & 1935: Robert King, contractor


This block was built in 1907 by William Breckenridge, to provide small flats, some 2-roomed, some 1-roomed, primarily for workers in his sawmills.

In the 1930s, each of these three numbers housed six tenants, so each would have a two-roomed flat.




The 1920's shipyard worker's flat (#122)- step back in time into a typical 'room and kitchen' shipyard worker's tenement flat, restored to its 1920s appearance - it is part of the Scottish Maritime Museum (see website)


#120 Residents:
1930: Neil Bryden, sawyer; William Cairns, gardener, Robert Gibb, machinist, John Tonner, John T McCulloch, riveter, and James Thomson, saw doctor.
1935: Neil Bryden, sawyer; William Cairns, gardener, Robert Gibb, machinist, James F Lancaster, glass worker, Robert Neil, clerk.
1960s: included Hugh & Nan Drennan, and David & Marnie Cousar.
#122 Residents:
1930: Duncan McPhee, timekeeper, Matthew Barr, clerk, Frank McLaughlan, butcher, John Wallace, baker, John Hendry, jr., labourer, and Mrs Mary Leslie.
1935: Matthew Barr, clerk; Thomas Cameron, seaman; David Cooper, miner, William Gooding, engineer, Frank McLaughlin, butcher, Robert McLaren, driver
#124 Residents:
1930: John Brash, smith, Alexander Gray, driver, Alexander McKelvie, plumber, Andrew Mills, joiner, Joseph Dickson, sawyer, and Sam Agnew, painter.
1935: John Brash, smith; Hugh Finnegan, motor driver, Alexander Gray, driver, John T McCulloch, riveter, Alexander McKelvie, plumber, Jeanie Munro, widow


In 1930 & 1935, this was a timber yard, owned by Matthew Wright & Nephew, with a Welfare Club used by the "1st Ayr Troop Boy Scouts, per M W Breckenridge".

A modern building.

Opposite side of street:

Much is modern, but we may add a few details of items of interest:


The older block on the north side.


The detached house on the north side, opposite the entry to Montgomery Place.



Puffers Cafe - with fine views over the harbour - the Maritime Museum cafe - named after puffers such as the 'Spartan' which carried goods in and out of the small harbours of the West of Scotland
Visit them on FB



Return to People and Places


Proceed along the street to The Harbour Street Story


Click to return to: 78 :: 80-84 :: 86 :: 88 :: 94 :: 96 :: 100 :: 102 :: 106 :: 108-110 :: 112 :: 114 :: 116 :: 118 :: 120-124 :: 126


The photo shows the upper part of Montgomery Street, now under car parking, looking harbour-wards, from near the bridge down to the railway station.