A RETIRED Barrhead teacher has produced a historical guide to the town he has lived in all his life.

Tom Strang’s publication, which is available free of charge, tells its fascinating story, dating back more than 150 years.

He has identified 78 locations of historical interest which people can cover in around 90 minutes on foot.

Tom, who taught maths for 30 years, set out to reflect Barrhead’s rich industrial heritage, which he says many people might not be aware of.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the town was a major centre for manufacturing, particularly cotton.

At one time, local firm Shanks was one of the world’s biggest producers of porcelain toilet bowls.

The tour takes people to Barrhead’s former colliery, cinema and gasworks and visits the spot where a bomb fell during the Second World War as German planes headed towards Clydebank.

During his research, 72-year-old Tom was amazed to discover the number of famous people who have lived in Barrhead, ranging from Shetland star Dougie Henshall to Kate Cranston, who pioneered tearooms in Victorian Scotland.

Her famous Willow Tearoom still stands in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, and the tour takes people past her former home in Carlibar Road.

“I’ve always been interested in the history of Barrhead,” said Tom.

“My grandfather, who lived to 100, regaled me with stories of how he trudged to school through the mud in his bare feet and also spoke about all of the jobs he had in the town.

“At one time, there were about 10 cotton mills next to each other, making Barrhead one of the biggest producers of cotton in Scotland.

“A large number of the toilets on the Titanic were made by Shanks and the company was the last big manufacturer in the town.”

Tom’s 12-page guide is a revised version of the Barrhead Heritage Trail, by local woman Margaret Ferguson, with added colour pictures and a route map.

He hopes it will be of interest to a range of age groups, from “oldies” looking for a trip down memory lane to youngsters who want to find out more about Barrhead’s history.

Anyone who would like a copy should send an email to tomstrang67@icloud.com.