A NEW book comparing modern day Barrhead and Neilston with settlements from a century ago is being compiled.

Local historian Matthew Drennan is teaming up with Scottish Horizons author and photographer Keith Fergus to produce an account of how the area has changed over the past 100 years.

Through his work with the Neilston War Memorial Association, Matthew collected a number of postcards and old photographs which showed various Barrhead and Neilston scenes at around the time of the First World War.

After years of toying with the idea of collating his research and personal thoughts on the development of the local area into a book, he has now taken the plunge.

Matthew said: “I came up with the idea for putting the book together and I knew I had the perfect man for the job in Keith.

“He is the man for checking all of my grammar and writing, as well as getting the modern day shots that we need for the book. He will be up at the crack of dawn getting photographs of sunrises and he’ll be out there until sunset to make sure we do this justice.

“We have already got all of the old pictures scanned in, so the bones of the book are already there.”

Keith, a prolific author and respected photographer, has lived in Neilston for almost a decade.

He has written 15 books and has been working as a full-time photographer since before moving to the village.

After spending nine-and-a-half years taking in the scenery through a camera lens, he knew this latest book was something he wanted to be a part of.

Keith said: “It was Matt who came up with the idea in the first place.

“We won’t just be photographing the landscape but also taking in the buildings and the streets, showing how they have changed.

“We still have lots of photographs to take but, with the volume of research that Matt has already carried out, I think we’ll be looking at a release around September.

“The book itself won’t be too text heavy, as we want to let the pictures do the talking.”

Many of the early 20th century postcards and photographs that the pair will use in the book show scenes that are wholly different from how the area looks today.

The help of local residents, especially those in their late seventies and older, has been integral to this identification process.

Matthew and Keith will also use a local publisher in an attempt to keep production of the book as close to home as possible.

Keith said: “With all of the comments and messages we have had already, we are thinking that this could prove to be a very popular little book.”