A VERY welcome visitor to the Chronicle’s weekly reporter surgery at Cumnock Town Hall was Barbara Alexander, Bill Shankly’s niece.

Barbara, who lives in Cumnock, is working with the dedicated group of former Glenbuck residents who are fighting to keep its heritage— and in particular name — alive.

She revealed that a major sports company has manufactured a pair of trainers, which sell at £98, which are branded with the very name campaigners have rallied together to preserve...Glenbuck.

“There is a number inscribed inside every shoe which is my uncle’s date of birth with an extra digit, the number 1, added.

“We have contacted the company, Adidas, but their office is in Poland while the factory that makes the trainers is in Holland.

“It is difficult to prove that they have used Bll Shankly’s date of birth but we feel that it is quite a coincidence.

“What we are hoping will happen is that they will recognise the connection and donate to our campaign.”

Meanwhile, as the group continues to grow, support is coming from all over the UK.

Ian Bone has contacted the last surviving Glenbuck resident, 81-year-old Sam Purdie.

He sent him the photograph, above left, and said: “It was a photo of my grandad with an unknown friend, who Sam has identified as Matt Park.

“Sam has gleaned so much more from the simple photo, which he confirmed as being taken at Lots Park.”

In his reply to Ian he said: “Behind these two ‘dangerous’ looking individuals in the middle distance you can see the one and only ‘phone booth in Glenbuck, at the corner of the Post Office run by Big Jock Mair and his wife. Jock was the last winding-engineman at Grasshill Pit.

“Immediately behind them is the sole water pump which served the whole of Grasshill Row, which consisted of 26 houses.”