The Rudolph Hess Mystery – 10 April 2018

Retired headmaster and Strathaven Rotarian, Ian Valentine, related to us, in humorous fashion, the strange tale of Rudolph Hess and his mystery visit to Scotland in 1941. Ian began by identifying three key characters in Hess’s wartime life: Hess himself was born in Egypt in 1894 and, in 1914, joined the German army in ... More

Irene Howat – The Crackit Cup – 20 April 2018

Irene Howat, an Ayr woman, is a prolific writer of many different Christian biographies as well as multiple children’s books and biographies. At our last meeting Irene entertained us with a series of verses from her latest poetry publication – ‘The Crackit Cup’. The poems are crafted around a fictitious central ... More

150 Years of Farm Machinery – 16 January 2018

Jimmy McGhee, accompanied by his wife Effie, gave the members the benefit of his long-held passion for the development of farm machinery. Originally an apprentice with the Mauchline-based, manufacturer, Pollock, Jimmy worked his way up to eventually owning the business and has been more than 50 years with the company which ... More

Alasdair Wham – Forgotten Railways Tuesday 21st November

Alasdair Wham, author and railway enthusiast was the guest speaker at Ayr Rotary Club on Tuesday evening. Using many old black and white photographs, he took us on a journey through tunnels and over viaducts, comparing the past glory days of railways with the disused relicts of today. Exceptions were the intact but ... More

Phil McAnespie – Beekeeping – 7 November 2017

The club was buzzing on Tuesday evening when our guest speaker was Phil McAnespie. Phil, a locally well-known and respected beekeeper had previously talked to the club some four years ago and had come to update us on how bee populations were faring in the present day environment. He considered that the greatest threat to ... More

Yolanda and Peter McCall – The Tower of St John the Baptist in Ayr – 31 October 2017

Yolanda and Peter McCall gave a thoroughly interesting, joint presentation to the club on the story of St John’s Tower (Ayr’s oldest building) and the efforts being made to promote interest in the heritage of the site. Yolanda began with a potted history, describing the origins of the original Ayr Parish Church, ... More

Bob Gibson – FPSOs in the Oil Industry – 17 October 2017

Bob Gibson, a master mariner and this week’s guest speaker, spent 15 years in the Merchant Navy before transferring to the North Sea at the height of the oil boom. The subject of Bob’s talk was his experiences on FPSOs which he explained was an acronym for Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading facilities. In ... More

Bill Rogers – History of Culzean Castle – 10 October 2017

Bill Rogers gave a hugely entertaining and amusing talk along with a virtual tour of Culzean Castle, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Culzean had been built by the Kennedy family in the late 1500's, and was already nearly 200 years old when Sir Thomas Kennedy succeeded to the title Earl of Cassilis in 1762. He ... More

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers – 26th September

The Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) are groups of up to twenty-four young people based across Scotland. Supported by adult volunteers and led by a police constable the PSYV volunteer at community and national events across Scotland. One of the first PSYV groups was set up in Cumnock four years ago and PC Tom ... More

Gillian’s Walks – 19 September 2017

Gillian Craig, creator of the “Gillian’s Walks” blog ( ) , and the Ayrshire Coastal Path’s very first female pathminder, was our guest speaker on a special pathminders’ evening. Three other pathminder guests (Bob Gibson, Peter Galloway and Bill Mullin) joined us to listen to Gillian’s ... More