• The small village of Fairlie has many big attributes including the fact that Mary Queen of Scots once stayed at Southannan, and that the famous Fife boats originated in the Bay Street boatyard.

Now there are hopes of putting the village on the map by setting up a twin town link - while calls for improved signage were also made at a meeting held in the village last night, August 7.

Community councillor David Nairn initially questioned why signs in the village do not have any Gaelic translations, similar to other towns in North Ayrshire.Largs and Millport Weekly News: David Nairn - Twin planDavid Nairn - Twin plan (Image: David Nairn)

Ailsa Henderson said: "We used to have signs up saying that we were Fairlie's First Fairtrade Village. Unfortunately they have now changed the signs."

The signs at the entrance to Largs point out that it is twinned with Andernos Les Bains in South France.

This prompted David to ask if Fairlie had its own twin town.

David Telford said he was unaware but pointed out that Fairlie has a lot of international connections through the Fife ships, which now sail all over the world's seas.

David Nairn said he thought it would be good if Fairlie was twinned with another town to increase cultural links and connections.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

David asked Fairlie Community Council to put their thinking hats on and consider possible towns that the village could twin with.

He said: "Can we have a think about it and put it on the agenda for next month?"

Ailsa pointed out that there are other Fairlies all around the world which could be appropriate candidates, including in Australia and New Zealand.

The Fairlie Fife Boatyard, spanning three generations of the Fife family, resulted in racing yachts known for being 'fast and bonnie' competing in the America's Cup at the turn of the 20th cenutry.

Sir Winston Churchill hailed the work done at Fairlie’s Fife boatyard during the Second World War as playing a major part in turning the tide against the Germans.

The British Prime Minister praised the work done at the Fairlie Anti-Submarine experimental establishment, which had taken over the village boatyard, between 1940-1946, referenced in a recent book written by Clyde historian John Riddell.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Charles Miller, and Dugald SempleCharles Miller, and Dugald Semple (Image: Newsquest)

Other notable historical links include Charles William Miller who was one of the pioneers who helped set up football in Brazil, whose family hailed from the village, while environment and food guru Dugald Semple also lived in the village. 

Dugald (1884-1964) was an advocate of simple living and animal welfare, naturalist, prolific author, and fruitarian, who met Ghandi, and travelled the world promoting his green methods which were very much ahead of their time, and ironically, the venue were last night's meeting was held in the Semple Centre, named after the great man.

Television train journey presenter Michael Portillo visited the village last year for his popular BBC TV show, while CNN covered one of the Fife Regatta events, broadcasting the strong boatbuilding legacy of the town's history to a worldwide audience.