History


Group Leader:        David Bowman 01292 474067
Location:            Newton Wallacetown Church Hall.
Day & Time:          Wednesday 10.00 am - 12.00 noon (fortnightly)

Although many of the Covid restrictions are no longer mandatory, we will continue to be mindful, and respectful, of the wishes and preferences of any members attending our meetings. Should Government advice change, we will clearly observe any advice given, whether mandatory or advisory.

David Bowman – Group Leader


OiR Ayr History Group Programme from September 2022 – Information coming Soon

Meetings will resume, in Newton Wallacetown Church Hall, on Wednesday 14th September 2022, at 10.00am.

8th June – Trip by bus to the Burrell


On Wednesday, 8th June 2022, OiR’s History Group enjoyed “a good day out” at the Burrell Museum in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow. The museum reopened on 29th March of this year, having been closed for refurbishment since 23rd October 2016. A ‘Bennett’s of Kilwinning’ coach with 48 OiR members on board arrived at the Burrell at 10.45 am.

The Burrell Collection is one of the greatest art collections ever amassed by one person, the shipping magnate, Sir William Burrell, and consists of more than 9000 objects, and spans 6000 years of history. John and Denis Rattenbury, fellow OiR members, well known to all of us in OiR, are museum guides at the Burrell. We are so fortunate, in that, divided into two groups of 24, then sub-divided into 4 groups of 12, John and Denis, individually guided 12 of us at a time through some of the galleries of the Burrell Collection. The first groups were guided at 11.30am and the second groups at 1.30pm.

There are 2000 exhibits on 3 floors exhibited on 24 galleries at present. I first visited the Burrell in the mid 1980s with my family. My first impression then was that the woodland with magnificent trees was so visible through the glass walls of the museum. I had never forgotten that first impression it gave. The Warwick Vase made a large impact on me, as did Lohan—a Buddhist Disciple—near the entance.

The restaurant and coffee bar were well supported by OiR members . We had actually taken packed lunches—-just in case! It gave us great pleasure in having a special OiR member accompany us on this outing—Harry Richardson, our centenarian—–now 104 years old—accompanied by his daughter, Penny.

When not on a tour with John or Denis, we were free to wander wherever the mood took us. Admission is free in this wonderful museum. Donations may be deposited in a box near the Grand Entrance. We left the museum at 4pm to return to Ayr, It had been a showery, dreich day–weatherwise, but a very full, interesting day for 48 fortunate OiR members.

Many thanks to David Bowman , Group Leader of OiR’s History Group for arranging this most enjoyable trip, and to John and Denis Rattenbury. In their usual , extremely competent fashion, they informed, educated and amused 48 OiR members . A happy, relaxed coach load of OiR members returned to Ayr that afternoon, having had their minds stimulated and informed by a really satisfactory, good day-out. Amy Kinnaird


22nd June – Trip by bus to Bannockburn

On Wednesday 22nd June 2022 a group of 40 OiR members, mainly from the History Group, travelled by coach to the Battle of Bannockburn Centre, close to the site of the 1314 battle.
By coincidence, the visit took place on the anniversary of the countdown to the battle.
Many took advantage of joining in the Bannockburn Experience, an illustrated talk through the prelude to the battle, the battle itself, and the aftermath of the battle.
This was well presented and set the historical scene, and context, in laymen’s terms.

The weather was also kind to us, allowing us to view the outdoor section of the Centre, and take in the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. The view towards nearby Stirling Castle, which has important connections with the Battle, was particularly breathtaking.
Everything, and everyone, contributed towards this being a memorable, and enjoyable, day out.


With an average attendance of 65 before covid-19 social distancing restrictions, this is one of the largest groups in the OiR. It meets every other Wednesday from 10am to 12noon including the vital coffee break.

The group has gone from strength to strength under the guiding hand of its leader, David Bowman. He has a small committee, which makes up the programme. Speakers include both members and guest speakers. The programme, which, under normal circumstances, is advertised on the group’s web page, is arranged months in advance so it is likely that David and his team are already thinking of topics for when they restart.

In addition to the fortnightly meetings, trips are organised to places near and far, e.g. Stirling Castle, Caerlaverock Castle, the underground museum at Glasgow central station.

Because of their common interests, members also arrange “side-shoot” meetings e.g. to events at the Irvine Harbour Arts Centre. All in all, it’s a very sociable group. Come and join us!


%d bloggers like this: