A SENIOR citizen who was evacuated to Largs in wartime 1940 has made a poignant pilgrimage to the town almost 80 years later to say thanks.

When the bombs started to fall on London during WW2, Dr Andrew Salisbury was evacuated to a home in Gogoside Road with his parents and younger brother.

He fondly remembers his time in Largs and says it helped build a strong foundation for the incredible career he went on to build.

Returning to the town for the first time last week with his own family, the 88-year-old paid a visit to all of his old stomping grounds, including his old house and the old cinema.

Having gone on to forge a successful career as a maths teacher, he also stopped off at the school to express his gratitude for what they helped him achieve.

Andrew said: "Obviously what happened in Largs school must have been a good foundation for me and my brother, as we both went on to become teachers.

"I went to the grammar school in Essex and then went on to get three degrees and a PHD and I also taught classes in Turkey and Singapore.

"It was nice to go and see the new school and my son organised it so that I could teach a maths class.

"It was kind of my way of saying thanks to the town.

"I always remember the school I went to, which at the time was Largs upper grade school, of course it is no longer there.

"It was a brilliant place - it had two floors and outdoor bathrooms and I remember the science block was in the playground.

"I have fond memories of the school and the head teacher, Mr Harry Melville, although I do remember I also had the most fearsome history teacher.

"I didn't realise that the school had burnt down but it was great to be able to go and see the new building."

Andrew also returned to the house he stayed in on Gogoside Road from the age of 10 to 14.

Sharing his wartime memories of Largs, Andrew said: "My son wrote to the lady who now lives in the house I stayed in and she said we were welcome to come and have a look round, which was great.

"We lived with a woman called Miss Barr and the house was split in two, so that my family had half and Miss Barr had the other.

"There was a room for me and my brother, one for my mum and dad and then we shared the kitchen.

"My mother didn't like it much because it meant she wasn't in charge of the house, but we did get used to it.

"It was all a big change from living in Essex, we still knew the war was going on but it was obviously very different than London.

"We weren't as worried when the sirens came on and we had to batten down the hatches because it seemed safer compared to what we were used to.

"We had left London on a train in the middle of an air raid with no idea where we were going and next thing we knew we were in Largs, which was obviously much quieter.

"My father worked in the London docks and when they started bombing there they moved the docking system up to the Clyde, so we were here for four years.

"Quite a lot of dockers sons and daughters also went to the school with me.

"People could tell right away we were the evacuees just from our voices.

"There wasn't an awful lot to do, it was still batten down the hatches for war, so there were no festivals or anything like that.

"We made our own entertainment and me and my brother would go to the Viking cinema at least twice a week or to the cinema in Waterside Street to watch the cowboy movies.

"We have great memories there, we went round to the see the old cinema but of course it is an antiques shop now.

"We also used to play cowboys and Indians in Douglas Park and I remember going to Millport once.

"A lot of the town has changed from the way I remember it.

"The Esplanade was just one big open space after Nardini's and the man who ran the mill made me a wee boat and I would drag it along the shore right up to the pencil, I loved it.

"The town is definitely different than how I remember it, but I am so glad I got to come back and see it now."