Alloway and Southern Ayrshire FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY Robert Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayr
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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

15 Jan 2009 - "Burns Connections"

There is a double cause for celebration in 2009, the year of Homecoming and the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. How fitting that our January speaker should be a Burns enthusiast and Vice President of the Maybole Burns Club! Mr Alistair Hastings treated us to a riveting presentation on Burns' connections with Maybole, Kirkoswald and the Maidens, telling us about his mother, Jean Brown, born in Maybole, about his friendship with Soutar Johnny from Glenfoot in the Maidens, Douglas Graham, Jean Kennedy and Willie Niven. The audience were enthralled to hear of Burns's spell in his mid-teens with relations in Kirkoswald, an area notorious for highly organised smuggling, and of his blossoming relationship with a local girl called Peggy Thomson - a youthful romance still remembered 11 years later by the poet who went out of his way to bid her farewell en route to his proposed embarkation for Jamaica. 

Mr Hastings kept us well entertained with tales of Burns' connection to local people and local places, connections which formed him into the man he later became.

Sheila Dinwoodie,

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