Door opens on 2017 at Burns Cottage
Burns Cottage welcomed its first first-footers through its front door in over 100 years as 2017 arrived. Local children Carrie Cook, Sophie Steele, Efe Tural and Matthew McDowall (all aged 9, from Alloway Primary) were the first to enter the cottage through the door in a more than a century.Read more
The National Trust for Scotland, the charity that promotes and conserves Scotland’s heritage, has just re-opened the door as it prepares for its annual programme of events to celebrated Robert Burns’ birthday.
The announcement came on 1 January after people all over the world welcomed in the New Year by singing one of the bard’s most famous works, ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum includes an award-winning museum, the Brig o’Doon, where Tam and Meg escaped the clutches of a witch and the Auld Kirk, as well as the cottage where Burns was born in 1759.
The 2017 celebrations start on Friday 20 January with the Haggis Hooley – an informal and family-friendly take on the Burns supper, complete with ceilidh.
On 25 January, a special Burns Supper is planned – the only one in the world which takes place where the bard was born.
Alloway and its sights will be transformed with Burns Alicht on Saturday 28 January, a beautiful series of illuminations, music and performance which bring the story of Robert Burns and his works to life.
Then on Sunday 29 January, it’s the Big Birthday Bash, with live music, crafts and the now traditional Haggis Hurling World Championships.
For the full programme visit www.burnsmuseum.org.uk.
Cromarty’s local heroes celebrated in 2017
The work of Hugh Miller, the Cromarty-born writer and scientist, has inspired a programme of events led by the National Trust for Scotland’s Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage and Museum for 2017.Read more
The charity which conserves and promotes Scotland’s heritage has secured funding from the Royal Society’s local heroes fund for the programme which will engage local Cromarty Primary pupils in ‘citizen science’, following in the footsteps of the self-taught Miller.
There will be a special study of snails, an art exhibition exploring viewpoints and perspectives and a series of ‘walk and talk’ workshops.
Dr Alix Powers-Jones, Property Manager at Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage and Museum said:
“Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage & Museum is delighted to be one of the 15 recipients of the Royal Society Local Heroes grant. We look forward to working with our partners the Cromarty Courthouse Museum and the University of Aberdeen Lighthouse Research station to inspire others with the unique stories of our local citizen scientists.”
In association with the Cromarty Courthouse Museum, the work of George John Romanes will also be explored. The pioneering animal behaviouralist worked in Cromarty in the second half of the 19th century. His mother was from the area. The funding will also support new research on Romanes and his work which will culminate in an exhibition at the Courthouse.
Caroline Vawdrey of the Cromarty Courthouse Museum said:
“This grant is a wonderful opportunity to tell the stories of local men Hugh Miller and George Romanes and their work to elucidate the patterns in the natural world.”
This project was one of 15 from across the UK selected to take part in the Royal Society grant scheme which provides funding of up to £3,000 for exhibitions and events which reveal local stories of scientific brilliance.
Hugh Miller (1802-1856) was a self-taught Citizen Scientist (geologist), an observational polymath, born and raised in the remote fishing community of Cromarty. His fundamental interpretation of the Old Red Sandstone led to scientific papers, an international reputation and Presidency of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh. Miller was a renowned social justice campaigner and maintained a passionate belief in education, learning and public engagement stating that “Life itself is a school and Nature always a fresh study”. He encouraged the young to “learn to make a right use of your eyes”.
George John Romanes (1848 – 1894) was elected Fellow of the Royal Society for his work on medusae jellyfish carried out across the firth from Cromarty, where his mother Isabella was born. His systematic study of these and other animals led to Romanes being credited with providing a step change in animal behaviour studies, and being seen as a founder of modern ethology. Romanes and Charles Darwin became close friends and colleagues, corresponding and supporting one another over many years. Romanes is commemorated by a stained glass window in his Cambridge College, and a prestigious Romanes lecture is given in Oxford each year.