Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Kilmarnock & District History Group extends Season's Greetings to all our members and web-site visitors.
Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2013 !

Monday, 10 December 2012

Guide to Kilmarnock 1893

Guide to Kilmarnock and the Burnsiana of the Town and District, 1893

This excellent little guide was printed in 1893 by D. Brown & Co. of King Street, Kilmarnock. It is a wonderful snapshot of the area c1890s, including its advertisements for the likes of the George Hotel and Ossington Coffee Tavern (“Ossington Reading Room – Strangers, One Penny Per Visit”).
It serves as a tourist guide, rejoicing in the town’s literary heritage while celebrating it’s contemporary achievements in industry and trade. It ends with the bold and confident statement that “Kilmarnock is the most convenient centre for pilgrims to the Land of Burns who wish to get over the ground in an expeditious and systematic manner.”
This and further digitised pamphlets etc will be added to the Collections pages of this site.

You can access the Guide by clicking on here.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Kilmarnock Periodicals

Kilmarnock Periodicals (1815 – 1900) is one of the Burns Monument Centre’s Special Collections.

This is an almost complete collection of the periodicals printed in Kilmarnock from 1816 to 1900 (it also includes The Ayrshire Magazine and West Country Monthly Repository, which was printed in Irvine in 1815).

The early periodicals in particular provide an interesting view of the town’s literary scene at the time. Most of them contain original poems, stories, essays and reviews by writers with some connection to the area. For example, the Kilmarnock Annual and Western Literary Annual (1835) contains two songs by John Galt.
Some of the main printers of the town ventured into periodical printing at some stage. For example, H. Crawford (who was the town’s next printer after John Wilson left for Ayr), printed The Ayrshire Miscellany from 1817. A little later, James McKie printed a few titles including The Ayrshire Inspirer (1839). D. Brown and Company, who printed lots of Burns books from the 1880s until the 1900s, produced the Burns-inspired Auld Killie (1893 – 1898).

Monday, 3 December 2012

Battle of Largs

BBC2 Scotland devotes a special programme to the Battle of Largs in an hour long documentary to be broadcast on Friday 14 December from 9pm. 

The Battle of Largs in 1263 was the last time a Norse army fought on British soil. The battle might have ended in bloody stalemate but it marked the beginning of the end of Norse power in Scotland.

This documentary 'The Last Battle of the Vikings' presented by underwater archaeologist Dr Jon Henderson, who grew up near the battle ground in Largs, examines how a few Viking war bands from the Norwegian fjords managed to establish the longest lasting Norse power base in the British isles - and how that Viking influence reverberated through the centuries.

Change of Speaker December 11 2012

Please note that there will be a change of programme for our meeting on Tuesday 11 December 2012.  The speaker will no longer be Mr. Richardson from Beith.  Instead it will be Norman Deeley, who will be speaking to us about the Goatfell Murder.
Consequently, we do not yet have a speaker for our final meeting on Tuesday 19 March 2013, since Mr Deeley was supposed to be our speaker on that night.  Watch this space for more information about that evening's speaker.
We are extremely grateful to Norman for agreeing to this change of schedule.

The Goatfell Murder

Our speaker on Tuesday 11 Dember is Norman Deeley, Deputy Head Teacher of Grange Academy.  His topic is the still contentious murder committed on the mountain of Goatfell, Arran in 1889.

 John Laurie, was convicted of killing Edwin Rose on the isle of Arran's Goatfell peak in July 1889.  But did  Rose fall or was he pushed?

Rose's decomposed body was found hidden in a howff, on the remote mountainside near Brodick, three weeks after he had left London for a week's summer holiday on Scotland's west-coast islands. His skull was shattered, his spine badly broken.
John Laurie, 25 years old, was subsequently arrested after two months on the run, having fled first from Arran then subsequently his Lanarkshire hometown of Coatbridge, where on his apprehension by police he attempted suicide with a cut-throat razor.
"I robbed the man," Laurie stated on his arrest and later in his defence, "but I did not murder him." Laurie would protest his innocence until his death more than 40 years later in 1930, age 69, in the lunatic division – as it was then known - of Perth Prison.

We look forward to listening to Mr Deeley's thoughts on the case.