As the ashes of the Troon station fire settle we can wonder what might become of it in the future, but we can also take some time to reflect on the station and its past and also previous staff.

The new Troon station opened in 1892, replacing the existing rail link in the town, just off Dundonald Road. The new station was designed by architect James Miller, whose work includes other west coast stations as well as Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Its first ever stationmaster was a Mr William Hunter Reid, who was born in 1848 in Newton on Ayr. He was the youngest child of James and Elizabeth Reid and their other children were Agnes, Jane, Mary, Elizabeth and Ann.

He was also the old station chief and served the people of Troon and the railway stations there for 41 years, from 1880 until his retirement in 1921. He began working for the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company as a boy, in their Ayr office before a period in Johnstone and then to Troon.

When the original Troon station closed in 1892 after 53 years, William Reid and his family moved to the Station House in St Meddan’s Street. He took charge of the new Troon station as the first stationmaster until his retirement in 1921.

An article in the Ayr Advertiser from 1921 tells of his resignation, it reads: “Mr Reid’s record of practically 58 years with the “Sou’-West” is a notable one, and one which will be scarcely excelled, even if equalled, in any of the railway systems in the country.”

Mr Reid died in 1925, four years after retiring and his obituary read: “He was one of the best-known men on the old Glasgow and South-Western Railway, serving with the Company for the long period of 58 years.

“For 48 years he acted as agent, and for 41 years he filled the position of stationmaster at Troon.

“Through his long association with the Railway Company’s service, Mr Reid had a particularly wide circle of friends, and when he was in reminiscent mood he spoke most interestingly of the days long ago on the “Sou’West,” his conversation always being touched with that pawky humour which was so characteristic of him.”

William Hunter Reid is survived by many descendants some of whom remain in Troon, with others in Glasgow, Canada and Australia.