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Highlight Talks

On selected days throughout the year the team at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and volunteers hold a Highlight Talk exploring the life and works of Robert Burns!

Highlight Talks

About Highlight Talks

11th September 2024
25th September 2024
9th October 2024
plus 15 more date(s), see below for more info
2.30pm - 3.30pm
Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
Murdochs Loan Alloway, Ayr KA7 4PQ
what3words location: backup.sleeps.until
Free but booking required
Call 01292443700
Visit the event website here

11th September: James Barke: Immortal Memory and Other Novels
Jean Swinley, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum Volunteer - in James Barke: Immortal Memory and Other Novels looks at the life and literary output of the writer James Barke with particular emphasis on his books about Robert Burns and his role as an editor of Burns' work.

25th September: Letters of a Lifetime: Thomas and Jane Carlyle
Ian Campbell, Emeritus Professor, Scottish and Victorian Literature, Edinburgh University - Letters of a Lifetime: Thomas and Jane Carlyle. Thomas, Scottish essayist, historian, and philosopher wrote a Life of Robert Burns and his birthplace in Ecclefechan is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. The author Virginia Wolff called Jane one of the 'great letter writers'.

9th October: Scots Language Theatre
Martin Travers, leading Scots language playwright and co-founder of Braw Clan, the Scots language theatre company in Scots Language Theatre - will discuss with Clare Yuille, the Creative Director of Braw Clan, why he writes Scots language theatre, his creative process, and his forthcoming play Robert Burns Talks To God At The Dawn Of His Death.

23rd October: The Duchess of Gordon
Rosemary Murdoch, Irvine Lassies Burns Club and Guide at Wellwood Burns Centre and Museum in Irvine, addresses The Duchess of Gordon: Highlighting Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon, who was an influential woman of her time. Includes a 'talking picture' and introduction to her dinner party guests in her salon in Edinburgh.

13th November: Are We There Yet?
L Bruce Keith, author - Are We There Yet? is about Scottish milestones. Distance markers, early measurement systems in Scotland, early maps, great journeys throughout the country over the centuries and Scottish sportsmen and women who've gone the extra mile in terms of speed and endurance to set new world records for the 'fastest' and the 'farthest'.

27th November: The Joy of being an Italian Scot
Anne Pia, poet, essayist, translator, member of the Guild of Food Writers, writer in English, French, Italian and Scots brings us The Joy of being an Italian Scot: Identities, Possibilities and The Journey of Self by talking about her new book Magnaccioni: My Food My Italy which, in the context of her previous two books, presents a tale of self discovery in three parts.

11th December: Witch Hunts and Trials in South Ayrshire
Laurna Cron, Secretary of R.A.W. S(Remembering The Accused Witches Of Scotland) - Witch Hunts and Trials in South Ayrshire: focussing on Ayr In the 1640s and 50s, looking at how the Church, Cromwell and the Covenanters had an impact on those accused of witchcraft at that time.

8th January: Auld Lang Syne: A Song and its Culture
Musicologist Dr Morag Grant, University of Edinburgh, in Auld Lang Syne: A Song and its Culture (based on her book of the same title), explores the history, evolution, significance, enduring popularity and resonance with individuals and communities around the World of this iconic Burns' song.

22nd January: The Return Of The Broadway Cinema, Prestwick
Kyle MacFarlane, Cinema Charity Director in The Return Of The Broadway Cinema, Prestwick - History, Restoration And The Preservation Of The Scottish Cinema Project discusses proposals to open The Broadway Cinema after it has been silent and empty for many years.

5th February: Why Robert Burns, believer in the rights of man, had plans to manage slaves in the sugar plantations of Jamica
Kate Phillips, retired international rights specialist and author of 'Bought and Sold, Scotland, Jamaica and Slavery' - considers Why Robert Burns, believer in the rights of man, had plans to manage slaves in the sugar plantations of Jamaica?, explains why so many young Scots sailed from Clyde ports to jobs whipping slaves in Jamaica and looks at the reasons, the risks and hardships involved, as well as the fortunes made and the children left behind as a result.

19th February: Ayrshire Churches And The Burns Connection
Professor Adam Cumming, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Chair of Scotland's Churches - Ayrshire Churches And The Burns Connection: Church development in Ayrshire with special mention of both the Auld Kirk of Ayr and its predecessor as well as the changing nature of worship with reference to Robert Burns and his World.

5th March: A Road Well Travelled
Jack Rigg, artist and teacher, in 'A Road Well Travelled' traces in his paintings and words the paths and trails that Robert Burns travelled between his farms at Mossgiel near Mauchline and Ellisland in Dumfriesshire.

19th March: Experiences Of A Modern Day Farmer Poet
Jim Carruth, Poet, Glasgow Makar, Farmer 'Experiences Of A Modern Day Farmer Poet' Poems And Talk About The Challenges And Changes Facing Farmer's Today. Robert Burns was also some time Farmer Poet.

2nd April: The French Connection
Bill Rogers, Guide and Public Speaker - The French Connection: Ayr's Twin Town Saint Germain En Laye And Where Robert Burns Comes In To The Story. Not the film starring Gene Hackman but something altogether different and of local and international importance.

23rd April: Collier Laddie
Rab Wilson, Poet and Former Screever at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum - Collier Laddie; A memoir and anthology of mining poetry relating to the 84/85 Miners Strike drawing on the speaker's own experience of the period.

7th May: Ayrshire In Rhyme
John Hodgart, Poet, Writer, Teacher, Scots Language Champion - Ayrshire In Rhyme: A Collection Of Poems In Scots Covering Every Town And Village In Ayrshire. Call out for your own town or village to be included in this interactive event.

21st May: The Sound of a Rhinoceros: On Translating Robert Burns Into Spanish
Carlos Llazza Corrales, writer, translator, tutor at Glasgow University, in The Sound of a Rhinoceros: On Translating Robert Burns Into Spanish, talks about his translations of Burns, and discusses the role of literary translation in creating a Scoto-Hispanic literary space.

4th June: The Estates of Rozelle, Belleisle And Cambusdoon
Fiona and Richard Williamson, amateur genealogists from North Ayrshire Family History Society, The Estates of Rozelle, Belleisle And Cambusdoon: A circular walk around Alloway with the main focus on family history and the families who owned the large mansions in Alloway.


Seats for these event can be booked in advance and for free on Eventbrite or by contacting the Museum. Any unreserved seats will be allocated on the day on a first come first served basis.

Additional Dates: 25 September 2024, 09 October 2024, 23 October 2024, 13 November 2024, 27 November 2024, 11 December 2024, 08 January 2025, 22 January 2025, 05 February 2025, 19 February 2025, 05 March 2025, 19 March 2025, 02 April 2025, 23 April 2025, 07 May 2025, 21 May 2025, 04 June 2025

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Renfrewshire Council

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