Speakers Group

Speakers' Organiser Margaret Bowman

Venue:   Ayr Town Hall (unless otherwise stated)

Tuesday 1.30 pm - fortnightly

Programme:  August to September 2017     Posted 14.08.17
Meetings are normally held in the Main Hall at Ayr Town Hall, but may occasionally be held in Newton Wallacetown Church if the Town Hall is not available to us.

29th August  


Mick Roebuck - Thomas Telford. Mick will share with us his knowledge of Thomas Telford – the man, as opposed to his engineering achievements. Mick is used to sharing with his fellow OiR members his historical knowledge on a great number of topics, having provided the History Group with several excellent inputs. Today, he will share how the son of a poor shepherd became one of the world’s greatest civil engineers. Most of us are aware of Telford’s fame in relation to his bridge building, so it will be very interesting to learn something of the man himself. 


12th September 


David Bowman – The Lure of Iona. For most of us the mention of Iona evokes some special memory, whether it be feelings of peace and tranquility, or more special thoughts of its history, or of religious experiences of many different kinds. David will share with us, some of the island’s history and it’s place in a fledgling Scottish nation: the Iona Community and George MacLeod’s reawakening of the availability of faith through the restoration of the Abbey buildings: his father’s personal experience as both an early member of the Iona Community and as a close friend of George MacLeod: the lure of the island as a burial place including more recently that of the late John Smith. The Island is still one of Scotland’s prime and most visited places in 2017. 


26th September 


Denis Rattenbury - The Extraordinary Story of Volkswagen. Once more, we welcome Denis back to talk to our meeting. We are so lucky to have such interesting members in OIR who are willing to share their knowledge and interests with us. On this occasion Denis’s subject is ‘The Extraordinary Story of Volkswagen’. The biggest car manufacturer in Europe, second in the world after Toyota, had very strange beginnings. Whether you drive a car or not, you are likely to find this tale interesting, and probably, surprising.  


10th October 


Shiona Johnston – Health and Wellbeing. Shiona, Co-ordinator at Dumfries House, will share with us something of the work she is currently involved with. Dumfries House has courses focusing on health issues and also hosts residential conferences for medical personnel. Shiona herself runs a weekly course at Dumfries House but is happy to fit talking at our meeting into her busy schedule. A centre is to be built at Dumfries House to create a state of the art clinic which will offer ‘holistic’ care for patients referred by NHS doctors. A conference in the autumn will explore ‘integrated’ approaches to women’s health, homeopathy, reflexology, and acupuncture. 


24th October 


John Rattenbury - A Short History of Beer, Wine, and Spirits. Today we welcome the second of the talented Rattenbury brothers. OiR member John is a very busy man who always finds time to share his extensive knowledge, on a variety of subjects, with his fellow members. He willingly accepted an invitation to return, today, to give another talk, this time entitled ‘A Short History of Beer, Wine, and Spirits. Please welcome back this firm favourite with our OiR audiences. 


7th November


Bill Rogers -  Links with Ayr and St Germain-en-laye. Bill will talk on why the French Council contacted Ayr and why they chose Ayr as their desired town for twinning.


21st November


Dave Marshall - Yesterday Once More. Those of you heard Dave’s presentation earlier this year will not have forgotten how excellent his input was. Gosh, didn’t he recall many memories of our past in a lovable and fun way. How professionally he presented his reminiscences of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Many of you have requested his return. Dave fundraises for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Alzheimer’s Scotland, and, to date, has raised in excess of £24,000 for these charities. He is now retired, after 40 years on Radio Clyde, SAGA Radio, and Smooth Radio, and his professionalism shows through his excellent delivery. 


 5th December


Christmas Party - Christmas Party Time already!!! Santa is hoping to join us once more [although Mrs Santa is trying to keep a firm hold]. Musical entertainment will be provided by our very own, and ever popular, OiR Folk Group. Please tell me if you have any special requests and I will share them with Pat. 


The meetings for 12th September, 10th October, and 7th November are currently under negotiation.
I am hoping that David Borrowman, who spoke earlier this year on Legal Issues for the Older Generation, on behalf of Age Scotland, at a very successful meeting, is going to make a return visit to expand on some of the issues he discussed previously.

I am also in negotiation with Jess Smith; now a much published author. Jess was born into the Travelling Community, and raised and married within it. She has a wonderful history to share, of a life little known to most of us.

Margaret Bowman, Speakers’ Organiser

August 2017 


17th January  Ayrshire Pilgrims

31st January Culzean Castle

14th February Tuesday Photographic Group

28th February  More Stories and Songs of South Ayrshire 

14th March James Clerk Maxwell (1831 -1879)

28th March The Six Legal Musts for Older People

11th April  St Kilda

25th April AGM

9th May St Kilda

23rd May A Taste of Russia

6th June A Scenic Rail Journey to Stranraer 

20th June Anastasia

4th July  Yesterday Once More

18th July Nursery Rhymes Part IV


2nd August             The Lost Mining Villages of the Doon Valley  

16th August           Trump or Clinton for President 

30th August           The Victorians. 

13th September     Occupied Norway. 

27th September     Driving Before Internal Combustion: thrills and spills of Transport in Horse Drawn Times. 

11th October         Jacobites 

25th October         Scottish Review

8th November         Was advised.

22nd November     Life on board Concorde as Senior Cabin Crew. 

6th December         Christmas Party 


12th April       Annual General Meeting (AGM)

26th April       My Life in Air Traffic Control

10th May         The Wonderful Isle of Arran

24th May         The Hidden History behind our Favourite Nursery Rhymes

7th June           The Lost Mining Villages of the Doon Valley

21st June         Flora MacDonald

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