This morning I attended the launch of The Irvine Harbourside project and what a brilliant end to the week it was!  

The project is being led by Irvine Burns Club and is all about re-discovering and promoting the vibrant history and heritage of the area and celebrating it with all sections of the local community.  Town trails, interpretive signage and artworks, scots language links and events aim to heighten the profile and drive additional cultural tourism to the area.

“Kilmarnock Edition” Manuscripts can
be found in Irvine Burns Club

During Bill Nolan’s presentation we heard one of the areas claim to fame is the role that the Harbourside played in bringing together Captain Richard Brown, a local seafarer, and a young Ayrshire Farmer, Robert Burns, during his stay in the town between 1781 and 1782.  As Burns freely admitted some five years later in a letter to Brown, it was his advice on hearing some of Burns poems that encouraged Burns “to endeavor at the character of a Poet” and have them published.  

Project Manager, Marion Francis was keen to stress that the project was not just for experts on local history, that everyone had a part to play.

Local people are being urged to get involved. Leaflets will be put through each door in the area, meantime, more information about getting involve can be found at irvineharbourside.org 

Hugely inspiring to hear about and great to see such enthusiasm and drive to create something positive for the area.  I look forward to helping in any way I can in the lead up to project completion in May 2014.