The first meeting of the club in February was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk, where the president called on secretary Ian Bell to speak .
His subject was Robert Burns and his Ayrshire Connection. Ian, giving a powerpoint presentation of his own digital images, started with Soutar Johnny’s Cottage at Kirkoswald, before moving to the Burns Centre at Alloway, a comparatively new building with all modern facilities. The centre is on one floor, with no steps, making it perfectly suited for wheelchair access.
The museum is full of displays, pictures, poems, examples of Burns handiwork, his writing desk, Masonic regalia and family history. Nearby Alloway Old Kirk, where Burns’ father and mother are buried, then the River Doon and the old Brig, where Tam o’ Shanter was reputed to have been pursued in the poem, his birthplace, his first married home at Mauchline, the site of Poosie Nancy’s pub and Nance Tinnock’s ale house were also visited. Further images were shown of Jean Armour’s statue in Mauchline, Gavin Hamilton’s house, where Burns was married, Tarbolton Bachelors’ Club and Lochlea Farm. A vote of thanks from Bill Sommerville was accorded to Ian for an excellent presentation.