Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

“I Hae Min’ o Kirkcowan”


There were so many McKies in the village that they had to be identified by nicknames. Some of them were:

Greaser Bill

Mabel’s Jeck

Wee Tammy


Tuner Wullie

Coal Jeck

Blacksmith Jeck

Coal Wullie

Forester Wullie

Mirren’s Tam

These were further divided into two groups designated as the Singin’ McKies and the Fight in’ McKies.

Other nicknames in the village have been:

Honey Bum (kept bees)

Beetle Feet (had “wee feet”)

One—Eyed Gunner (a lady)

Teeny Dole

Coal and Oil (a Spanish or Maltese man who sold coal and oil in his shop)

“Teeny Dole’s son John served as the village’s bell—crier. He dressed in a long coat with a bowler hat and rang his bell down the street to announce the times of village events. He couldn’t speak properly, but was regarded with great affection and the villagers loved to hear him “crying.

There was a blind stick seller in the village known as a “great spinner of yarns

At the turn of the century William Dougan Brown, a competent joiner and carpenter in the village, took on the job of building farm carts in the slack time of winter. He built at least one gig which was always to be known as “Bell Hannah” because, before he sold it to a farmer, he used it to drive his girl friend and future wife, Isabella Hannah Erskine, to Glenluce.