A RAILWAY man from Skelmorlie was on the right track for a charity challenge to mark 50 years since he started his career at Wemyss Bay Station.

It was way back in 1967 that Jimmy Law started as a parcels clerk and during his 40-year career he was based in various stations around the west coast, sometimes cycling to his work.

To mark the big anniversary, the pensioner has embarked on a special walking challenge taking in the old railway route from Paisley to Wemyss Bay.

Jimmy was joined by his friend Hugh Tomlinson, and they both walked 27 miles from Gilmour Street to Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm via the old line which is now a cycle track.

They ambled past the Gryffe Reservoir and round Loch Thom to Cornalees, then along the Kelly Cut and down the Kelly Glen before coming to the end of the line at Wemyss Bay Station.

Jimmy is even offering a special prize for the public to guess how long the walk took, with a £1 donation for each guess and all proceeds going to Ardgowan Hospice and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Jimmy said: "The time taken is locked away in a local lawyer's safe and will be revealed at Skelmorlie Bowling Club quiz on August 18.

"Rail tickets have been donated to anywhere in Scotland for the nearest guess, and a tour of Glasgow Central."

Walking along the former railway track Jimmy said that there were only a few brick bothy buildings at various points which served as reminders of its past.

He said: "These bothys were where the guys who repaired the track went in for a cuppa or a brew, but going back along Houston way and travelling back to Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm reminded me of my days as a relief clerk at these stations during holidays.

"The trains would be full of passengers coming down from Glasgow for Rothesay and Millport for their holidays, and most of the luggage came down a day before, and back then it was the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and not CalMac who ran the vessels.

"Any luggage which was sent down was then sent onwards to the final destination.

"It was five shillings to deliver to a the guest house, and it was 7/6- both ways.

"There were even pier dues which had to be paid by holiday visitors which amounted to 2p, and for dogs, bikes and prams, it was 3p.

"The last steam train on the Wemyss Bay line was in 1966, so when I started in 1967 it was diesel trains before electrification arrived in the 1980s."

It was ten years ago that Jimmy hung up his railway clerk jacket for the last time, but retirement has kept him busy.

He is heavily involved in the Burns Club scene and Skelmorlie Bowling Club.

You can sponsor Jimmy online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesLaw7