A CLYDEBANK organisation which can trace its history back almost 100 years is looking for new members.

Clydebank and District Highland Association was formed in 1921, three years after the end of the First World War, when men from the Highlands and islands and their families came south looking for work in the town’s shipyards and factories.

Among them was John Shaw from Islay, who found work as a plater in John Brown’s.

His grand-daughter Mairi Howieson continues today as the association’s secretary.

Mairi told the Post that while the association continued to be well supported, they were keen to attract new members.

She said: “My grandfather was one of the men who started the association all those years ago with others who had come to Clydebank to work in places like Singers and John Brown’s.

“I still have documents from the first meeting giving details of who were there as founding members.”

Mairi said John had three sons and six daughters and her mum, Catherine, was the youngest of the family.

She added: “It’s only myself at the age of 79 and a cousin who still survive from the family.”

Mairi, who has been secretary for 32 years, said the association was now “a bit diminished” but still attracted around 40 people on a good night to their meetings in the Napier Hall, Old Kilpatrick.

They hold “sit down ceilidhs” on the second Friday of the month from September to April when members are entertained by piper Robert Wood and by Scots and Gaelic singers, accompanied by Kirsteen Grant.

One major event of the year is a supper dance held in the spring.

Mairi said: “The final ceilidh of the session in April is in aid of Erskine Hospital, when we are privileged to have with us veterans from the hospital and carers. It is always a great night, greatly enjoyed by all.

“The artistes travel a great distance to entertain our friends from Erskine and over the years we have donated around £30,000.

“For an association such as ours, is a fantastic achievement.”

Mairi and others from the association - all members of the Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir - travelled to sing at the Mod in Dunoon last week.

She added: “Anyone is welcome to come along, even if they have no connection to the Highlands and islands.”