Places in My Postcard


Kilmarnock Cross, circa 1909

This postcard is an early 20th century depiction of The Cross, in Kilmarnock, a city 36 kilometers south of Glasgow in Scotland. The Cross used to be a junction between seven different streets that spread out like a “turned-up root of an old tree” right in the heart of the old downtown. (Adamson, 1875) Its centerpiece was the statue of Sir James Shaw, Kilmarnock’s most prominent citizen and first Scottish Lord Mayor of London. (Murray, 1884) Kilmarnock’s region is known for being the home of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, with the city even being visited by tourists looking to check out his first publisher or places mentioned in his works. (Ward and Lock's, 1883) Kilmarnock is also home of the famous Johnnie Walker whiskey company, which had a plant in the city until recently. (Johnnie Walker, 2009)


Kilmarnock Cross, 2012

Throughout the decades, the increasing traffic of vehicles has led to several developments on the Cross. In 1929, after 80 years overlooking the Cross, Shaw’s statue was removed to allow for a widening of the streets, and even though further improvements were tried in the 1950s and 1960s, it was finally closed off from cars in the 1970s.(Mackay, 1992) Nowadays the Cross is a pedestrian-only junction between four streets, and as you can see it has become a pleasant square in the revived old downtown of the city.

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