FROM Lochwinnoch to Greenock, there isn’t much ground John Anderson hasn’t covered.

The 69-year-old author and former history teacher has been writing about villages and towns in the Renfrewshire area for more than 30 years.

And he has recently been proud to see his latest book – Old Houston and Crosslee – published by Ayrshire-based Stenlake Publishing Limited.

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The Bishopton man has previously covered the yesteryears of his home village, along with Renfrew, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilmacolm and Greenock, which, despite being in Inverclyde now, was once Renfrewshire land.

Mr Anderson’s latest venture explores the life and times of Houston and Crosslee from its inception, thought to be as early as 1150, right through to the 1960s.

And he said it is always a thrill to examine how the local area has changed over the centuries.

“It all started when I came across a history book someone had done on another area,” said

Mr Anderson. “I started out with the history of Bishopton and Langbank about 30 years ago and I’ve just kept going.

“Looking into Houston and Crosslee has been interesting, mainly because of the massive changes. The decline in industry has been a huge thing, particularly in Crosslee. It was a completely different way of life there.”

Mr Anderson’s book covers many significant parts of the area’s past, including Houston’s history as a weaving village, through a series of photographs and accompanying words.

It includes some royal connections, such as when Queen Victoria stood in front of a curtain made in Houston and when velvet cushions embroidered there were used in the House of Lords.

The villages have since grown to have a combined population of around 8,000 and are somewhat different, now acting as places people often commute from to travel to work further afield.

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But, as the book shows, residents in both Houston and Crosslee can be proud of their heritage.

Mr Anderson added: “I think it is important to take an interest in the history of where you live and I find that, whenever I tell people I’m writing about a place, they are really interested.”