Wednesday Highlight Talks

Every Wednesday the team at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and volunteers hold a Highlight Talk exploring the life and works of Robert Burns!

Wednesday Highlight Talks

About Wednesday Highlight Talks

29th January 2020
5th February 2020
12th February 2020
plus 15 more date(s), see below for more info
3pm
Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
Murdochs Loan Alloway, Ayr KA7 4PQ
This is a free event
Call 01292443700

3pm start in the Robertson Room within the museum building.
These are free events and there is no need to book.

22nd January: Burns Cottage and the Suffragettes: Bicycles and Bombs
In this talk Melvyn Gibson, volunteer guide at the Museum, speaks on the attempt in 1914 by two determined suffragettes to blow up Burns Cottage, Alloway. The speaker considers the details of this audacious attempt, the outcome and consequences and the related history and circumstances of the campaign to win women the right to vote in elections for Parliament.

29th January: Burns On tour
Speaker for this talk is James Leslie, the Kilted Guide. Everybody knows about the links between Burns and Ayrshire. However he has links across Scotland. As a Blue Badge Guide Jim will talk about places he takes visitors to and the poems they inspired.

5th February: Textiles from the Home
In this talk the speaker John Rattenbury, guide at the Burrell Collection, discusses three fascinating textiles - a rare seventeenth century hand knotted pile carpet from Iran, eighteenth century Ayrshire Whitework and a nineteenth century hand embroidered Suzanis from Uzbekistan. This talk is inspired by craft work carried out and planned by volunteers at the Museum for presenting to visitors.

12th February: Voltaire
The speaker Denis Rattenbury maintains that Robert Burns was in sympathy with many ideas behind the French Revolution. The philosopher Voltaire was he argues a forerunner of the Revolution, contributing much to the ideas of the eighteenth century enlightenment that owed a debt to the evolution and influence of the Scottish Enlightenment of the same century.

19th February: A Bouquet of Poems in Scots and English
Ayrshire poet, Irene Howat, reads a selection of poems in Scots and English in a talk entitled A Bouquet of Poems in Scots and English. Scots language poetry featured will also be read in English translation to, if required, assist understanding and appreciation of the content.

26th February: The Founders of the National Trust for Scotland
Caroline Borwick, former National Trust for Scotland trustee and daughter of a director of NTS Sir Jamie Stormonth Darling, delivers a talk on The Founders of the National Trust for Scotland Pre and Post the Second World War. The NTS is Scotland's foremost charity caring for our unique Natural and Built Heritage. Who were the visionary, philanthropic and determined men who established and ensured the survival of the treasures of the Nation we all hold dear?

4th March: The Poetry of Robert Burns and Ithers
In The Poetry of Robert Burns and Ithers Hugh Farrell recites poems by Burns, Robert Service and W. D. Cocker and the World's Best Poet, Anon. With a wee bit of background to the pieces featured and information about the writers too.

11th March: The Sound World of Tam O Shanter
In The Sound World of Tam O Shanter Professor Jeremy J Smith of Glasgow University delivers a talk on the use of Scots and English in Burns's verse, with special reference to rhyme, metre and the various accents available to Burns in eighteenth century Scotland. Although we don't have recordings of Burns we can work out, more or less, what he sounded like and that understanding can inform our interpretation of his verse.

18th March: When An Honest Man Became A Doonhamer
No. It's not about football. Myra McLanaghan's talk entitled When An Honest Man Became A Doonhamer is about Robert Burns's travels, poetry and the people he met between Mauchline and Ellisland in the late 1780s.

25th March: Burns Of Note
In his talk on Burns Of Note Marc Sherland details an examination of the history of Burns and Banknotes. He relates the fascinating story of paper money and its relationship to Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns. Marc Sherland is Senior Vice President of The Robert Burns World Federation.

1st April: Sangs and Clatter: Aspects of Burns
In Sangs and Clatter: Aspects of Burns Ken O'Hara entertains and challenges us through performance of a selection of writings and compositions by Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns. Ken O Hara is uniquely placed to bring this to our attention. He is well versed in the work of Burns with experience as a volunteer guide at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. He is too a self-employed actor, musician, singer and artist.

8th April: Robert Burns: Man of the West, Man of the East
In Man of the West, Man of the East Moira Gemmell, volunteer guide at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, considers the extent to which Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns was influenced by his links to both the East and West of Scotland.

22nd April: Classy Lassies and Sassy Lassies
In his talk on Classy Lassies and Sassy Lassies Andy Hughes considers some of the women who featured prominently in the life of Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns, their encounters with the Bard, their effect on Burns and the consequences for them of their contact with Robert Burns.

29th April: The Power of Pee
In his talk on The Power of Pee John Rattenbury, guide at the Burrell Collection, discusses the different uses found for urine throughout the centuries. From dyeing to bleaching and other matters that might surprise you the versatility and the possibilities of urine are revealed.

6th May: The Goat Fell Murder
In his talk on The Goat Fell Murder Bill Boyd deals with the circumstances, controversy, scandal and mysteries involved in a real murder case. The murder case in question related to incidents on the island of Arran in the late nineteenth century.

13th May: Robert Burns And The Oswalds Of Auchincruive
In his talk on Robert Burns and the Oswalds of Auchincruive Gordon Brown considers the life of Richard Oswald and the connections between the Oswald family and Robert Burns. Richard Oswald(1705-1784) was a Merchant and Slave Trader. He advised the British Government on the conduct of the American War of Independence, and led the British team negotiating the Peace treaty with the Americans after the war.

20th May: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Many regard Robert Burns as a Pre-Romantic poet. He could read French and was influenced by Rousseau, musician, lover of nature, and figurehead of the Age of Sensibility, often labelled as the Father of Romanticism. Rousseau's ideas still affect us today. Denis Rattenbury explains the significance of Rousseau.

17th June: Origins of Expression
How often do you hear or use an expression, or idiom, and think 'I wonder where that came from?' In our daily conversations we say things like 'back to square one then' or 'in a nutshell' or 'that cost an arm and a leg' with no idea what they once met. Bill Rogers illustrates and explains a good number of these in this talk on The Origins Of Expressions.

24th June: Scotch On the Rocks: Literary Fiction In The Scottish Enlightenment
Dr Mark McLean of the National Trust for Scotland in Scotch On The Rocks talks about a time when Scots punched above their weight in the international arena of ideas. But it was also an era of acute anxiety (and antagonism between) Scottish scholars as they struggled to conform to the strict norms of standard English, without betraying their own unique literary character. Dr Mclean explores some of the heat as well as the light that was generated by this Enlightenment effort.

Additional Dates: 05 February 2020, 12 February 2020, 19 February 2020, 26 February 2020, 04 March 2020, 11 March 2020, 18 March 2020, 25 March 2020, 01 April 2020, 08 April 2020, 22 April 2020, 29 April 2020, 06 May 2020, 13 May 2020, 20 May 2020, 17 June 2020, 24 June 2020

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Wednesday Highlight Talks are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

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