Frank Beattie has recently had a new book about Kilmarnock published. Entitled "Kilmarnock Through Time", it costs £14.99 and can be obtained from Kev's Kards, Marco Sinforiani in the Railway Cafe and W H Smith's. "Kilmarnock Through Time" takes an affectionate and nostalgic look at the people and events which have made the town what it is today. It contains loads of previously unpublished photographs of the town.
For centuries Kilmarnock was little more than a large village, a market town for
a large rural area. It was an area rich in resources and the enterprising people
of the town made the best of what they had. Stone for building was quarried
locally as was coal and ironstone. Coal mining led to engineering works and
those engineers established businesses like Barclays, which went on to sell
locomotives all over the world, and Glenfield & Kennedy, which exported
hydraulic products. Cottage craft woollen industries evolved into carpet making
and BMK carpets; leather crafts and shoe making led to the formation of Saxone.
Whisky became important with one firm eventually dominating world sales. Johnnie
Walker was founded in Kilmarnock in 1820, but was spirited away in 2012.