Mearns area marks Burns connection

Director of Mearns Heritage Services Dave Ramsay at the plaque commemorating Robert Burns
Director of Mearns Heritage Services Dave Ramsay at the plaque commemorating Robert Burns

An annual memorial service is to take place next month to commemorate the date Robert Burns visited the north-east area.

On September 22 at 2pm, the eight memorial service will take place at the Burns plaque, pictured above, in Rosemount Road, Hillside.

The event is held to commemorate the date on which Robert Burns stopped to water his horse on his Highland Tour of 1787 along with travelling companion Willie Nicol when Burns was visiting the ancestral graves of his forebears at Gelnbervie, and the various farms and relatives connected to the family of Robert Burns.

The national poet of Scotland’s father, William Burnes, was born in the parish of Dunnottar and a stone cairn was built at the side of the road to Stonehaven to commemorate this connection with the Bard.

The plaque was erected in 1930 telling the story.

This year’s event will feature a strong emphasis on the Mearns and Angus aspects of the story.

A short dedication will be given by Angus Councillor Paul Valentine to the memory of Rev John Anderson, who passed away this year.

A piper from the Lathallan School pipe band, Lucy Sanger, will welcome the guests with a musical selection on the Highland pipes.

An extended reading from the diary of Robert Burns will be performed by Aberdeenshire Councillor, Bill Howatson before being picked up Montrose burns Club president Duncan Salmon, who will read about the journey from Laurencekirk to Montrose by Burns.

And MSP for Angus North and Mearns Mairi Evans will lay five red roses at the plaque.

Dave Ramsay, director of Mearns Heritage Services, said: “It is important we all continue to promote this important piece of local heritage and legacy.”