RT Burns Club

*Federation No. 2085*


                                     NEWS ARTICLES                                               



Here is an article in the Robert Burns World Federation September 2013 Newsletter about our member Del Hanlon and his campaign, with a nice mention of the RT Burns Club, which is most appreciated.


'A Facebook campaign is bringing the plight of a memorial fountain to Robert Burns back into focus in Dalkeith and prompting local action.

Funded by public subscription initiated by a local Burns Club, the fountain was erected in the High Street, Dalkeith to commemorate the centenary of the Bard’s death. Old photographs (left) show the fountain as a central landmark in the historic market town. By the mid-1960s, the fountain was considered a traffic hazard and its cast iron canopy was moved to the King’s Park, Dalkeith. Once there it was out of sight to most for almost 40 years. In 2003, it was re-sited in Komarom Court, Dalkeith. In this relatively quiet part of town, it remains largely unnoticed....

In May 2013, Del Hanlon began a campaign on Facebook arguing that the fountain ought be relocated to a more central position again and restored to its original state. Since then, a local Councillor has become involved and the restoration and repositioning has become part of a bid to the Scottish Government to improve Dalkeith’s Town Centre. The sharing of old photographs over the Facebook page and other research has contributed to understanding of the fountain’s history and features over the years which will be helpful in restoration work. Del has also used the page to promote Burns’ connections locally. He and some of the Facebook page followers are planning a sponsored walk re-tracing the steps of Burns and the artist, Alexander Nasmyth from Edinburgh to Roslin, through Dalkeith and back to Edinburgh. Del has planned the walk for 14 June 2014 in aid of Older Adults in Dalkeith.

The page has benefitted from the steady support of RT Burns Club’s Rose Marie and Reg Tait. '

For details of the campaign, here is the link


RT Burns Club CEO Reg Tait laying a wreath on behalf of the Club at Burns Cottage on the anniversary of Robert Burns death, 21st July 1796. Wreath by June Dunlop Flowers.      




    Here is a nice message from Vitaliy, our RT Burns Club Ambassador in Russia. Vitaliy is competing for the title of the High King of Ireland at Co Meath’s historic hill on Sunday, Sept 14th. He is a worthy winner indeed and we wish him great success.

    More about the festival and also a nice article in 'The Irish Examiner' about Vitaliy and his quest, can be read here.


           'Dear Members of the RT Burns Club, a charaidean,

I would like you to know that it were Rose Marie, the President of the Club and Reg Tait, the CEO of the Club, who sent a recommendation to the organizers of the Tara High Kings Festival in my support (along with recommendations from beloved Sir Fergus Macdowall of Garthland, the Chief of Clan MacDowall and from my friend and mentor in the Art of Highland Broadsword Christopher Scott Thompson, the President of the Cateran Society).

I am very grateful to Rose and Reg for their kind support.
What a pleasure and honour to be a member of the RT Burns Club!''

                              Vitaliy Negoda MacDhùghaill






'A Brilliant and Hilarious Play' starring our Honorary Member Donald Kay as Robert Burns and his wife Margaret as Jean Armour, with Euan Rudic and Denis Reid.

A Future of the Past Historic Production, written by Black Raven Living History. Filmed and edited by Jim Muldoon. Video excerts here.

You can obtain a DVD of the play by contacting Donald Kay.







              Torchbearer Suzanne Otterson with the RBBM Team



                             FETCHES £40,000 AT AUCTION

The Kilmarnock Edition was bought by a business organisation at an auction in Edinburgh on Wednesday. It is one of only 12 copies still owned by private collectors and will be staying in the Edinburgh offices of the company which has bought it. They will go public at a later date and will allow members of the public to view the book.

Other Burns items were also sold at the Lyon & Turnbull auction on Wednesday, including a signed letter from his lover Agnes M’Lehose which sold for £7500. More


                                 INVASION OF THE BARD

How the rest of the world was influenced by Robert Burns More.


A collection of Michael Jackson songs based on the works of Robert Burns is to be heard by the public for the first time, according to one of the late pop superstar’s closest friends. More. 









                           ROBERT BURNS 'DIED BROKE'

Businessman Clark McGinn has been researching Burns's life and has turned up new evidence about his last days.

He told BBC Scotland's Newsweek, the final days were spent in penury and despair at the mess in which he had left his family. More at BBC News. 


New Burns Castle Tour in honour of Scotland’s best loved bard.  Rabbie’s connections with Stirling run deep and he was greatly influenced by the personalities, events and issues associated with the castle. More.

                  Robert Burns Birthplace Museum


                                 BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM

Scotland's new Makar, or national poet, has officially opened the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

Liz Lochhead joined First Minister Alex Salmond for the ceremony at the £21m facility in Alloway, Ayrshire.

The museum, which has been open to the public since 1 December, features more than 5,000 artefacts, including original manuscripts written by Burns.

The opening coincides with a Burns weekend in Alloway which comes to an end on Tuesday - Burns' birthday.

The museum replaces what was formerly the Burns National Heritage Park and brings together all of the Alloway sites, including the Burns Monument, Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns Cottage, an education pavilion and Auld Brig O'Doon.

More at BBC News









                        Duke of Roxburghe









An unpublished letter written by Robert Burns more than 220 years ago has been found at Floors Castle in the Borders.

Experts have called it a "remarkable discovery" at the home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe.

The letter was found in a 19th Century autograph album containing a variety of historical documents.

The duke described it as a "delightful surprise" and said the correspondence would go on display when the castle opened to the public in the spring.

The Burns letter is addressed to James Gregory, then Professor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and head of the city's famed Medical School.

More at BBC News










                                           Robert Burns


A Scottish university has been given £1m to produce the first complete scholarly edition of the works of Robert Burns.

Glasgow University's Centre for Robert Burns Studies will publish six volumes over the next eight years, with another six to follow in the next decade.

They will include The Oxford Handbook to Robert Burns and The Collected Prose of Robert Burns.

The work will be funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The £1m award follows an Oxford University Press (OUP) contract which the university secured two years ago to produce the work.

More at BBC News     





Scotland depends on approximately $300 million each year as a result of the country's beloved poet Robert Burns.

Last Sunday marked the 250th birthday of renowned Scottish poet Robert Burns. Think you would never know some musty old poet? Oh, but you do! He wrote such classics as "Auld Lang Syne" and "A Red, Red Rose."

David Stenhouse, a radio producer for the BBC produced a Burns documentary in 2004.  He explains why Scotland is counting on Burns to bring in millions of dollars to the Scottish economy in 2009.

"The thing about Burns is that he is celebrated every year in a little formula called the Burns Supper.  At each stage of the Burns Supper money is spent.  You need to hire a kilt, because not all Scotsmen have kilts.  You need to buy bottles of whisky, which is pretty pricey.  You need to buy your haggis, if you can buy haggis, if you are in a coutrny that allows haggis.

Due his death at age 37, he has become the Scottish James Dean of Poetry.  "He is the man every Scottish man wants to be, and every Scottish woman wants to be with.  Not only was he an intellectual, he was a working man."

"He wrote during his life an extraordinary range of poetry:  there were the comic poems, there were the political poems, there were the love poems, and so, Scots have got a ready vocabulary available to them at all times."

"This year, Burns is even bigger.  2009 is the year of homecoming in Scotland, and Robert Burns is being used to head that up because aside from Sean Connery, he is probably the most famous Scotsman."

"The Takeaway" is PRI's new national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

More at thetakeaway.org





 Singer says conservation charity is 'keeping Burns alive' for future generations
One of Scotland’s best known Burns enthusiasts has praised the National Trust for Scotland’s leading role in preserving the legacy of Robert Burns for future generations.

Eddi Reader is a long time Burns enthusiast and in 2003 released her first Burns album – ‘Eddi Reader Sings the Songs of Robert Burns’ – to critical acclaim. The album spurred a renewed international interest in the bard and in 2009, Eddi released ‘The Songs of Robert Burns: Deluxe Edition’ to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Now, on the bard’s 251st birthday, she has agreed to act as the first celebrity ‘Burns Ambassador’ for the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, due to open in Alloway in autumn 2010.

As a Burns Ambassador, Eddi will assist the National Trust for Scotland in promoting the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum around the globe and to kick things off, Eddi was the headline act at South Ayrshire Council’s 1759 event last night (Sunday 24 January 2010) which was hosted at the Tam o’Shanter Experience in the Burns National Heritage Park. The Trust will be working with Eddi over the coming months in the lead up to the opening of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in autumn 2010, as the push to raise the final £1.1m for the project continues. Donations can be made at: www.nts.org.uk/Burns/CelebrateBurns.

Eddi said: “It’s well known that I’m a passionate fan of Burns’ work and I’m thrilled to become the National Trust for Scotland’s first Burns Ambassador. It is great news for Scotland and for the memory of Burns that the Trust are so determined to create a world-class museum in his honour, keeping him alive for future generations to enjoy. Scotland needs a fitting legacy for Burns and the Trust’s new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will be a place where generations of children can learn about the man and his work in a fun and interactive way.”

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum Director Nat Edwards said: “Like the Trust, Eddi understands the need to bring Burns to life for a modern audience. Her interpretation of Burns’ music certainly does, and so will the museum. It is fantastic to have her support, which we hope will inspire Burns fans from all walks of life to follow the progress of our project and get involved in supporting us through visits and donations.”

Ms Reader is not the only high-profile Burns fan to support the project, in 2009, renowned Scottish artist Peter Howson donated a never before seen 6x4ft painting of Burns to the National Trust for Scotland to help raise funds for the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The painting has been photographed and is now being hosted online at http://www.howsonburns.com/ where visitors to the site can purchase a block of pixels for £10 which will go towards the completion of the museum. For every block of pixels purchased, a small piece of the painting will be revealed. When all of the pixels have been sold, the painting will be revealed in its entirety and one lucky person will win the piece which is thought to be worth £50k. 

                   About The Robert Burns Birthplace  Museum

2009 marks the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’s birth and for the National Trust for Scotland, 2009 also marks the start of the major redevelopment of Burns National Heritage Park. This will involve the redevelopment of the whole site in Alloway and the building of a brand new world-class museum - the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum - to house the most important Burns collection in the world.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will bring Burns to life for the 21st century, celebrating his life, work and contribution to Scottish culture and inspiring every visitor - a fitting tribute to the immense talent of Scotland’s greatest writer.

Without the birthplace and the priceless museum collection in the Trust’s care, we would know a very different Burns and our link with them would be broken. The Robert Burns collection in the Trust’s care is considered Scotland’s “literary crown jewels”.

The new Museum will safeguard the collection and transform his legacy, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience when this innovative and inspiring new Museum opens in summer 2010.


               Creating The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

    A special celebration of an internationally loved Scottish writer

The National Trust for Scotland was first approached to take the lead on delivering this project in 2004.  This project is the largest and most ambitious project the charity has even undertaken.

We will create a new world class Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, due to open in Autumn 2010. We’ve already carried out a major re-interpretation of the cottage where Burns was born and built exciting new education facilities.  Improvements will also be seen at the Burns Monument, Brig o’ Doon and Auld Kirk.

Burns is central to the life and culture of the nation and he is widely regarded as a Scottish icon. The Trust will safeguard the place of his birth and create a new museum that will preserve the Burns legacy for future generations.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum project will cost £21m this is made up of:
£5.8 m Heritage Lottery Fund
£7.6m contribution from the Scottish Government
£250,000 from Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire
Land in Alloway worth an estimates worth of £2.885m from South Ayrshire Council
The Trust has £1.1 million to raise
















                               The Burns 250 Collection

  Director of the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Nat Edwards said: "The Burns 250 Collection is a great way for Burns enthusiasts to directly contribute to the care and conservation of some of his most treasured items and we are grateful to Ian for his support. We are in the final stages of the fundraising push for the museum and would encourage Burns fans around the world to support the Burns 250 collection, whether individually or as a group, to contribute towards the creation of what will be a magical museum dedicated to the life and works of the bard."

South Ayrshire - Local News Ayrshire Museum Receives   Support From Scottish Writer - 8th February 2010









 Ian Pattison, the Scottish writer of one of Britain's best loved comedies, Rab C Nesbitt, has shown his support for the National Trust for Scotland's new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum by sponsoring a guinea note that belonged to the bard as part of the Burns 250 Collection fundraising initiative.

The Burns 250 Collection is a unique sponsorship scheme which allows fans and followers of Robert Burns, from the UK and overseas, to help preserve rare items belonging to and relating to the bard himself. The items will be going on display at the National Trust for Scotland's new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire, which is scheduled to open in autumn 2010.

Ian's sponsorship will contribute towards the conservation, care and exhibition of the guinea note at the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The National Trust for Scotland is currently fundraising for the final £1.1m needed for the project.

Speaking on his sponsorship of the guinea note, Ian said: "Having decided some time ago to sponsor an item, I was looking for something that would have a contemporary relevance as well as an historic one. As the world was in the middle of an almighty economic crisis at the time, sponsoring a bank note seemed a magnificently futile thing to do - so I did it. The guinea note has a touchingly embittered twelve line poem on the back, written in Burns' own hand, about the trials of being without money."

The Burns 250 Collection includes some 5,000 items including priceless manuscripts, exquisite artefacts and rare memorabilia. Jean Armour's wedding ring, a manuscript of Tam o'Shanter and the Burns' family bible are just some of the items within the collection.

Individuals, companies and clubs are invited to sponsor an item from the collection - the sponsorship money will go towards the conservation, care and exhibition of that specific item. This important support will be recognized in the world-class displays at the new museum.

Ian added: "Every country needs its heroes. Burns embodies so many of the qualities by which we Scots, for better or worse, like to define ourselves. Some Scots are uneasy about the potency of the romantic myth that has grown up around Burns. It's right that the myth should be examined but never destroyed. To kill the myth would be to destroy a healthy part of ourselves. We would be depleted as a people. Burns had huge faults, this we know. But did his short life and work - those songs, those poems, that generosity of spirit - enhance Scotland or harm it? Supporting the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is the least we can do to thank him for his achievement."

Director of the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Nat Edwards said: "The Burns 250 Collection is a great way for Burns enthusiasts to directly contribute to the care and conservation of some of his most treasured items and we are grateful to Ian for his support. We are in the final stages of the fundraising push for the museum and would encourage Burns fans around the world to support the Burns 250 collection, whether individually or as a group, to contribute towards the creation of what will be a magical museum dedicated to the life and works of the bard."
There are varying levels of sponsorship for the conservation of each item, ranging from £250 for individual donors to over £50,000 for the most precious items in the collection. Those donating over £5,000 for items will receive a certificate, named recognition and, for gifts over £10,000, an invitation to the museum opening in 2010. The donation can also be made as a gift.

To make a donation for the conservation of a particular item in the collection please contact the Burns 250 team: Burns250@nts.org.uk or tel: UK 0844 493 2113, US: 617 227 7500, Other International: +44 (0)131 278 0424.

For more information on the Burns 250 collection visit: www.nts.org.uk/Burns/Burns250/


                                            THE GIRLS LOVE A BARD

THE nation will raise a glass to poet Robert Burns today. The Bard is almost as famous for his womanising ways as his poetry - Rabbie was an 18th century playboy, fathering 13 kids by five women. Hollywood star Gerard Butler, 40, is set to star in £5million movie about Burns' raunchy sexploits, directed by Vadim Jean. But how would the notorious lover of lassies have fared in search of ae fond kiss nowadays? The Scottish Sun challenged professional Robert Burns impersonator Chris Tait to go on the pull in Glasgow. GRAEME DONOHOE finds out what happened...












             New Scottish Tourism Drive Hopes To Bag Bloggers

Now a new campaign hopes to make "Bagging Scotland" the latest craze by encouraging people to travel to every corner of the country and post details of their adventures on the internet.

The online venture, which its creators predict will "save Scottish tourism", will urge people to go on holiday to collect visits to everything from islands, whisky distilleries, beaches and historic monuments to mountains, pubs and journeys.

They will then be urged to create their own travelogues to share with the world by posting pictures, film footage, audio tracks and personal blogs on Bagging Scotland's website.

The campaign will deploy the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Flickr to help promote what is billed as Scotland's newest tourism trail.

A Bagging Scotland campervan will be touring the country in March to coincide with the campaign's official launch, while it is hoped special vehicles may even be available to hire to prospective "Baggers."

The two entrepreneurs behind the venture, Glasgow-based Victor Brierley and Ramsay MacFarlane, say they want to offer an "unsanitised" alternative to the likes of VisitScotland and help highlight many of Scotland's undiscovered gems...



     People & Songs Of The Sea Project Wins International Acclaim    


After becoming famous locally across 2009 for her ‘People and Songs of the Sea’ project, there was an unexpected start to 2010 for Shona McMillan when she received a call from America on Hogmanay to say her compilation album had just scooped a top international award. The CD was just one part of Shona’s multi-media project which also saw her tour Scotland with an exhibition of photographs of the country’s close knit fishing communities.


               Habib Malik Wins The Burns Humanitarian Award

One of Scotland’s most respected aid workers, with experience of emergency zones from Darfur to Bangladesh, was last night named the latest recipient of the Burns Humanitarian Award.

Habib Malik, Scotland area manager of Islamic Relief and a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which coordinates the response by British charities to emergencies overseas, was honoured for his efforts to help people in some of the poorest parts of the world.











                         Gerard Butler Voted Scot Of The Year - 2009

Gerard Butler has been voted Scot of the Year 2009 in the annual poll conducted by ScotsCare, a London based charity for first and second generation Scots in need of help.



                                  The Language Of Burns Lives On

The Scots language still flows from the mouths of children and adults alike, kept alive in no small way by Burns, and many other Scottish media icons.

One of the ironies of Ayrshire education in the 1950’s was the fact that on one day a year you received a certificate from the Burns Federation for reciting the bard’s poetry, while the rest of the year you got the belt for speaking his language! Yet speak the rich Ayrshire dialect of Scots we did . . . it was aye yer hame not your home, brig for bridge, kirk for church, mither for mother . . . the weather was gey dreich rather than dull and miserable, and if you fancied someone at school she was a braw lassie rather than an attractive girl. Last year I made a radio documentary on Burns’ continuing influence and one wee lassie from Sanquhar on the Ayrshire/Dumfriesshire border summed up the survival of her Scots words succinctly when she said . . . “ye don’t actually ken ye’re sayin thaim, they jist come oot yer mooth so they dae, ye jist say thaim automatically” (. . . you don’t actually know you’re saying them, they just come out of your mouth, so they do, you just say them automatically”).



            Robert The Bruce Statue In Place After 130-Year Delay

A plinth was erected above the main entrance when the prominent building was constructed on Annan's High Street in the 19th Century. However, because of financial problems, the statue was never commissioned. A local committee started fundraising two years ago and a bronze image of Bruce, Lord of Annandale, has finally been put in place in the town.











                            Robert Burns Voted Greatest Scot

 STV's Homecoming search for The Greatest Scot culminates in   Robert Burns, in his 250th anniversary year.










              How Well Do We Know The Works Of Robert Burns?



              Some Famous Scots Read The Works Robert Burns



            Please Press Photos Below For Links To Full Articles


                  The Mitchell Library Robert Burns Collection

When the Mitchell Library opened in 1877, one of the earliest decisions of the library committee was to form a collection of all material relating to Robert Burns, as a memorial to the poet.  Through purchase and donation, the collection has grown to over 4,000 items and is reputed to be the world's largest. Among the many interesting and valuable items are more than 900 different editions of Burns' poetical works, including two copies of the Kilmarnock Edition (1786) and two printings of the Edinburgh and London Editions (1787).                 










   Robert Burns Becomes First Person To Feature On Coke Bottle

An image of Scotland's national poet will adorn about one million bottles across the UK in a programme of events designed to attract people north of the Border. The promotional bottle is the first by Coca Cola to be devoted to an individual.