This article was sent to me by Margaret Steele (Ms Nelson) who is an x resident of the village and she discovered during her research into her family history that her relative's drowning was recorded in the local press. I hope any younger members of the community will take heed from this of the dangers of our river in spate.


5th January 1878


A sad case of drowning occurred in Catrine on Tuesday, whereby a respectable widow woman named Campbell, residing in Bridge Street, lost her life.  Mrs Campbell was in the act of washing sacks in the river at the foot of a flight of steps leading to the river a little above the bridge, when, as is supposed, she over-balanced herself and fell into the water.  Her cries for help attracted some neighbours, and as the river was literally raging from bauk to brae the greatest excitement prevailed.  Many men at once hurried to the Home and followed the course of the river down, on the side opposite to Ballochmyle braes, as far as “Howford” bridge.  At this point the body was seen floating but apparently lifeless, and all trace of it was lost till it reached the Dam-back above the village of the Haugh.  Just below this point one of the gentlemen in search of it caught hold of the clothes, but was unable to hold on, the current of water being so strong.  The body was next observed floating in the Barskimming mill-dam, but the water was so high that all efforts to recover it were fruitless.  Yesterday the Catrine and Mauchline police officers, accompanied by two brothers of deceased and others, went as far down the river as “Peggie’s Dub” a deep whirlpool below Barskimming House, but no trace of the body could be seen.  The water at the time of writing (Wednesday evening) is still very high, and in the event of the body being either in the Barskimming Dam, “Peggie’s Dub” or carried further down the river, there is no possibility of it being recovered for a day or two.  Deceased leaves four young children unprovided for.  Her body was found on 5th March on Prestwick shore.

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