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advantage of the Lindsay Act, and received constitution as a police burgh. Probably no village in Scotland has been so greatly benefited by the operation of this act. The streets and general appearance of the town have been vastly improved. The outlay has been considerable, but the advantage, has been more than commensurate. The town council consists of the provost or chief magistrate, two bailies, and six commissioners. Since the adoption of the Act, the following gentlemen have been the provosts in succession:—William Whyte, John Glen (twice), David Frew, William Dobbie, Smith Anderson, and Robert Hamilton. William Stevenson was the first town-clerk. He resigned in November, 1881, when he was succeeded by R. M. Lennox. In addition to their ordinary duties they have charge of the water and gas works. At a very early period, and for many years, the water supply was drawn from wells, but it was of so precarious a character that the people elected two water-bailies to see that the springs were kept in proper order. The parish returns three representatives having seats in the county council, and the Parochial Board one to the district committee. Sir Archibald Edmonstone represents the landward, Robert Hamilton and David Frew the burgh, and William M'Kinlay the Parochial Board. The management of the poor is in the hands of the Parochial Boards Till the formation of this board, this duty was discharged by the Parish Kirk Session. In 17 21, the session collected for the poor ^28 8s. 4d., and expended ^25 6s. 8di In 1784, they received ^56, and expended ^55. In 1795, ^70 was received and ^65 paid. Dr. Rennie lamented that after the Relief secession the Seceders wholly stopped contributing for the upkeep of the poor. He also spoke bitterly of the indifference of the heritors. Since the institution of the board, the voluntary contributions have not wholly ceased. The Parish Church and the Free Church give every winter small sums to the poor, and a committee of the Parochial Board distribute coals amongst the necessitous. The reception of parochial relief was, at one time, keenly felt in the parish as carrying with it something of a stigma. This estimable Scottish feeling seems now nearly to have passed away. David Brown is chairman of the Parochial Board, and A. Chalmers cleric and treasurer.
The parish has four public schools. In the landward district there are two, Chapel Green and Banton. In the burgh, the Academy and the Roman Catholic School. Chapel Green was erected in 1723. Mr. Patrick, a merchant in London, left to the kirk session a bequest of ;£6o, the interest to go towards the payment of the fees of any poor children connected with the district. Through careful management the kirk session increased the fund to ^500. This sum and the Wallace bursary bequest are now under the management of the Parish Educational Endowment's Board, which is formed of one representative from the Parish Kirk Session, one from the Free Church, one from the United Presbyterian Church, two from the Burgh School Board, and two from the Landward School Board. John Kennedy was teacher of Chapel Green School for the last thirteen years of his life. He was a native of Kilmarnock, and died in 1833. He possessed considerable literary culture, and was the author of two books, "Fancy's Tour with the Genius of Cruelty, and Other Poems," and " Geordie Chalmers, or the Law in Glen Buckie." The latter is a tale giving account of the lights and shadows of a village schoolmaster's life, and is of some value as a picture of a phase of Scottish life which has now passed away. The present teacher is Mr. Haig, and the average attendance is 62. Mr. Armstrong is the teacher of Banton School, the average attendance of which is 107. The Academy in the burgh is a large school with over 1000 children on the roll. The head teachers are, Messrs. Allison, M.A., and Campbell. The Burngreen section of the Academy was the old parochial school, and was acquired from the Landward Board at a cost of ^475. The Roman Catholic School in the burgh is attended by about 300 children, and Mr. Stone is the teacher. There are two school boards in the parish, the landward with five, and the burgh with seven members.
The labour in the parish is abundant and well paid. Two hundred years ago a thatcher was paid sd. a day; a dyke-builder, 6d.; a collier, iod.; a labourer, 6d.; a tradesman, 8d.; a leg of beef cost 5s.; a cow's tongue, 4d.; stabling and corn for a horse a night in Glasgow, od. In 1795 the wages and prices had greatly risen. A thatcher's pay was now is. 8d. per day; a dyke-builder's, 1s. 8d. j a collier's, 3s. 6d.; a labourer's, is. 6d.; a tradesman's, 2s.; a leg of beef cost £1; a cow's tongue, is.; stabling and corn for a horse in Glasgow, is. 8d. With the exception of the last all the other prices, speaking roughly, may be held as doubled.
The parish affords, through the agencies of various societies, every encouragement for the cultivation of thrift. The Weavers' Benefit Society was instituted in 1760, and is one of the oldest of these associations. The Kilsyth Benefit Union, which has a membership of 350, a capital fund of ^3077, and an annual income of ^250, and is in vigorous life, was not established till 1828. The Neilston Annual Society, the Free Gardeners, the Order of Shepherds, the Barrwood Permanent Benefit Society, the Dovecot and Balmalloch Collieries Friendly Society, are agencies with similar objects, but of much more recent institution. There are also several associations for the fostering of temperance and total abstinence principles. Probably the most important of all is the Savings Bank. It took its rise in a meeting held in the parish church vestry on the nth August, 1829, and attended by James M'Laren, factor on the estate; Rev. W. Burns; Rev. J. Anderson; Ebenezer Storrie, father of the late minister of Carmunnock, Alexander Salmon, parish schoolmaster, but who afterwards entered the Church, and three others. The result of the conference was the formation of the bank at a public meeting held fifteen days after. The first annual meeting was held on the 1o.th August, 1830, when the amount of deposits was found to be ^128 14s. 1od. In 1837 the amount was ^645 1s. 5d. The number of depositors at the 20th February, 1891, was 563 ; the deposits at the same date, ^9270 2s. 8d. The capital of the bank amounted , to ^9472 ns. 6d. Messrs. Yuill, Henderson, Walker, > and M'Gilchrist have been the successive cashiers. The Post Office Savings Bank now attracts a large number of depositors. In addition, the Royal and National Banks have agencies in the town. The Free Masons are represented by two lodges. The Charter was granted to the Lodge "St. John," No. 39,17th November, 1739; the present number of members is 350. The "Stewart" Lodge Charter is dated 24th February, 1874, and its membership is 140.
It is a good feature in the character of the people that they are devoted to all kinds of active recreations. The Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch Curling Clubs are, with the exception of Kinross, the oldest in the world. They were both established in the year 1716. In the 175 years of its existence, the Kilsyth Club.has gained 2.1 medals, and come off victorious in many important contests. Iii Banton there are two curling clubs, both of which furnish excellent rinks. The senior club was instituted in 1855, and they have won nine Caledonian medals and two Provincial medals. The junior club was formed in 1875, and they have won in the short period of their existence no less than six Caledonian and three Provincial medals. Banton Loch, being exceedingly dangerous for the practice of this recreation, excepting in the severest frosts, a considerable number of Kilsyth curlers have become members of the recently formed Croy Club. There is also a Bowling Club containing some players of more than merely local reputation. The green is commodious, suitably situated, and well kept, the turf of which it was formed having been found on the Barr Farm in the parish. It was constructed at the comparatively moderate cost of two hundred pounds. The Quoiting Club has a large membership, and is now in possession of a first-class ground. An Angling Club also flourishes, and it is probably characteristic of those who follow this quiet recreation that the enthusiasm of its votaries has gone on increasing as the opportunities of fishing have diminished. What with the pollution of the streams, and the unsportsmanlike methods so frequently adopted, the numbers of trout have been largely reduced, and in some cases wholly extirpated. Football is the most popular recreation, and all the important matches are witnessed by large crowds. The "Association" rules alone are played, and the "Rugby" game is wholly unknown. The most important clubs are the Wanderers, the Standard, the Smithston Hibs., and the Emmet.