OUR 3 MAIN AIMS
We take our aims very seriously at the Alloway Burns Club
To encourage the study of the Life and Works of Robert Burns and of Scottish Literature
To commemorate the significant dates associated with Robert Burns
To actively seek and encourage new members to join Alloway Burns Club
REMEMBERING BRUCE KENNEDY
On the 26th of February Alloway Burns Club lost one of its best loved members with the passing of Bruce Kennedy. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, Carol, daughter, Caroline and to the other members of his family. For many of us Bruce will always be remembered as the hugely talented lead singer in the folk group Luath who provided the majority of the musical entertainment at our Anniversary Dinners at the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel and at our Alloway 1759 concerts in Alloway Parish Church. However, his contribution to Alloway Burns Club goes well beyond that.
Bruce served as a member of Council for 7 years and for 5 of these was the Club’s Development Officer. In that role he made a lasting contribution to our Club. He worked closely with our webmaster, Bob Thomson, to develop our impressive new website. He played a vital role in devising our popular St Andrew’s Night events and then participated in these as Luath took on a range of challenging new pieces including memorable numbers from the Proclaimers. He led a Club outing to his home village of Tarbolton where he took great pleasure in guiding us around his childhood haunts in the footsteps of Burns. Even during his recent illness, Bruce organised the cataloguing and safe storage of an extensive collection of Burns related books which our Club had inherited. Perhaps most significantly of all, he brought his meticulous organisational skills to the development of our P7 Burns Suppers. These events have grown under Bruce’s guidance to involve every school in South Ayrshire.
As a Council member, Bruce was at every Club event quietly, but efficiently, doing any task that needed done. Burns often referred to an “honest man”. In every sense of these words, Bruce Kennedy fitted that description. He was hard working, scrupulously fair and, even when we all enjoyed his musical talent, he never sought the limelight. Alloway Burns Club has lost an incredibly able, talented and hard-working individual. Many of us have also lost a very dear friend.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Ae Fond KissBruce Kennedy & Luath
"What does Robert Burns mean to you?" ... Here is what some of our members said
He is a consistent feature in my consideration of Scots poetry and a reliable companion for judgement of old and and new poetry.
Burns is the best poet ever. He has had a remarkable impact on me both as a boy and as a man. I love his songs and poems. “Epistle To A Young Friend” particularly strikes a chord.
Reading his poetry and the story of his life fills me with emotion. What a man!
I feel richer knowing Burns. I have a wealth of friends with a like interest. I know I am better off having gained some knowledge of the bard.
Friendship ‐ on your Burns’ journey, you will meet many interesting people and see Burns through their enthusiasm.
I was brought up with Robert Burns. I went to Alloway School and we had his songs and poems. He has been in my life for a very long time.
Burns means a lot to me personally as I enjoy singing songs like “Red, Red Rose”, “Corn Rigs”, “Ae Fond Kiss” and “The Star O’ Rabbie Burns”. I was fortunate enough to hear someone singing “Tam O’ Shanter” at Ayr Town Hall recently in “Robert Burns the Musical”. At school, at the age of ten, I recited “A Man’s A Man” and that inspired me to go on to other things.
He was a great man of the people and I love his observation of human nature. I also like the fact he was a local man loved by all nations.
Burns’ works come alive when spoken with true understanding and passion. Join some of our members as they share some of their particular favourites.
Holy Willie's PrayerStuart McKinlay
Oh, Whistle And I'll Come To You, My LadSophie Craig
Last May A Braw WooerAngie Leitch
Willie WastleCalum Hannah
Glenriddell's FoxBill Duncan
Willie Brew'd A Peck O' MautLuath
THE BARD'S TOP 10 WORKS (According to our member poll in 2016)
A comparison of Burns’ works is an impossible task but, we're sure you'll agree, we all have our own particular favourites.
We asked our members to let us know their top 3 of Burns’ works in order of personal preference.
We awarded 3 points for their first choice, 2 points for their second and 1 point for their final choice. The results were collated and added together to produce our list.
ABOUT TAM O' SHANTER
It is really not surprising that “Tam O’ Shanter” was chosen as Alloway Burns Club’s favourite piece of the Bard’s writing as it is in many respects Alloway’s “own poem”. Most of the action, after Tam leaves the hostelry in Ayr is set in the village and many of the locations mentioned in the poem can still be visited particularly the Auld Kirk and the Brig O’ Doon.
“When glimering thro’ the groaning trees
Kirk-Alloway seem’d in a bleeze,”
A diligent investigator will also find the location of Mungo’s Well (marked with a sign erected by the Club on the cycle path to Doonfoot) and the Cairn.
“And thro’ the whins, and by the cairn,
Where hunters fand the murder’d bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Where Mungo’s mither hang’d hersel.”
Many street names in Alloway are taken from the poem and the wind vanes along the Poet’s Path depict the main events in the poem. However the influence of this poem goes further. Players in our local football team, Ayr United, are known as the “Honest Men” from the line;
“Auld Ayr, whom ne’er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonie lasses.”
So, for these reasons, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that “Tam O’ Shanter” was voted our number 1.
Let us know what your number 1 would have been, and why?
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