A brand new exhibition is bringing back to life the stories and memories of one of Scotland’s most famous factories – the Nobel Explosives plant at Ardeer.

At its height, the site provided work for around 13,000 people and was known throughout the world before its ultimate demise.

But thanks to dedicated members of the community and Heritage staff, valuable pieces of history are being preserved for future generations, along with the tales of those who have such fond memories of the factory in its heyday.

Working alongside members of the Nobel Civic Engine group, North Ayrshire Heritage Centre in Saltcoats has opened the exhibition called ‘Nobel Times: A History of Ardeer’.

The display shows recounts the history of the explosives factory, featuring objects, interviews, photographs and historic publications.

Alex Jamieson and Douglas Orr of the group were the driving force behind saving many of the exhibits from the site, which may otherwise have been lost forever.

Alex said: “We canvassed local people, friends of friends, we went to the site and pulled up bricks and rubble and found tubes and bits still there.

“Some items have been gifted by people who used to work there, some things were found on the site, from the long grass I call it. We were told there is nothing out there but there are buildings out there that could be amazing assets.”

The Ardeer peninsula began its ascent after being chosen by famed chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel for the site of his British Dynamite Factory in 1871, ultimately becoming home to the largest explosives factory in the world.

The exhibition features a wide range of memorabilia including the actual bell tower which was rescued from the recently demolished Nobel House – ironically, it had ‘no bell’, echoing the name of the factory’s famous founder.

Provost Ian Clarkson officially opened the exhibition at a special event on Friday, recalling his own ill-fated attempt to get an apprenticeship at Ardeer as a young teenager.

The exhibition will run until May 1. Anyone with stories or memorabilia can call 01294 464174.