Beith is the gateway to North Ayrshire, and has a rich and interesting history, among other things it was infamously known as a smuggling town. In recent years Beith was well known for its wood working and furniture making.
In the 1800s there were six furniture factories in or around the town, and a number of companies went on to succeed in worldwide markets including furniture that was fitted in the liners the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth II. The last of the furniture making companies closed in 1983, but we hope to keep the creative history of Beith alive in what we hope will become an annual event for the local area. Today’s Beith is an attractive and welcoming place in which many of the residents – many in new housing estates developed in recent decades – commute to work outside the town itself. Much has changed throughout the generations, but this is a town which, against the odds, has retained that most elusive of qualities: real character.
In March 2018 the organisers of Garnock Valley Carves unveiled a fantastic example of the artistry of chainsaw carving with the arrival of a sculpture of a 2.5m tall bear in the centre of the town. ‘Woody’ was immediately loved and adopted as a mascot for the residents of Beith and is becoming a local celebrity in his own right, the memorial plaque is now in place and an information board installed.
This has now been joined by a lovely carved memorial bench in memory of 2 children who died recently. The bench was carved by Damon Gorecki of Salt Lake City USA.