A FORMER Barrhead man with a passion for poetry has taken to verse to recall happy days growing up in the town.

John Newlands’ poems delve into the rich history of the town where he was born in 1947 and that played a key role in shaping his life.

His love for nostalgia also inspired him to write five ebooks on Amazon Kindle, with one of these claiming the number one spot in its genre three years ago.

Now he has penned another ode to Barrhead of yesteryear which he hopes will appeal to older residents, especially those born in the 1940s and 50s.

Called ‘Who Remembers?,’ the poem paints a vivid picture of days gone by and the firms and people that made the town tick back in the day.

John, 73, told the Barrhead News he has many happy memories of his childhood as he spent time exploring local beauty spots such as The Dams and The Glen and playing sports in the town’s Cowan Park.

“I was born in the Grahamston district in 1947 and grew up there,” said John, who also enjoyed fishing and camping trips as a youngster.

“I worked, briefly, with Shanks of Barrhead before joining the Scottish Daily Express as a copy boy in 1963, where I hoped to become a sports reporter but that never worked out.

“I then joined Hugh Leggat Ltd, the local builder, where I trained as a surveyor before going on to specialise in estimating, which was my main profession until I retired in 2008.”

John has also lived in Glasgow and East Kilbride but moved to Ashgill, in the Clyde Valley, 12 years ago when he retired – and that’s when he decided to develop his love of writing.

His first ebook, called ‘A Sprint Down Memory Lane,’ was followed by a sequel, dubbed ‘When I had more Hair than Elvis.’

Married to Rosemary for 53 years, the couple have two daughters and two grandchildren.

And John’s love of the written word is shared by their younger daughter, Elle Newlands, who moved to the USA and is now a singer/songwriter, based in Los Angeles.

John said: “I hope Barrhead News readers like Who Remembers? and it jogs some memories.”