Speakers' Organiser Margaret Bowman

Venue:   Ayr Town Hall (unless otherwise stated)

Tuesday 1.30 pm - fortnightly

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.


Meg Steel – Training as a Nurse in the ‘60s.

Meg, one of our own members, has previously shared her knowledge of medical matters, and other interests, and has also introduced us to some excellent speakers from further afield. Today she is sharing her own life experiences as a young trainee nurse in the 1960s – “Although the nursing curriculum was planned and accredited nationally, nurse training in the 1960s was a ‘local’ apprenticeship system. The impact of hospital administration, medical procedures and the social attitudes of the time shaped each student nurse’s individual experience. This is a very personal experience of my training in the Western Infirmary, Glasgow”.


13th February             

Louise Bustard – Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Louise who previously gave an excellent input at one of our meetings makes a return visit to update us on Glasgow Botanic Gardens. She has expressed her pleasure at having an opportunity to remember a much loved OIR member, Sam McNair, who was well known to her, and some of whose personal collection of cacti are now part of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens 'collection. Louise is a Londoner who did her initial horticultural training in London’s Royal Parks. Having taken the 3 year Kew Diploma Course, she was invited to take over the care and maintenance of Kew’s cactus and succulent collection, during which time Kew sent her on research tours to Scandinavia, Europe and America. She left Kew to take a full-time degree course at the University of London culminating in an MA in Social Anthropology. She is now the Education Officer at Glasgow Botanic Gardens where tours, lectures, the education programme, the tropical glasshouses and the library are among her responsibilities.


27th February             

Jess Smith – “ATraveller’s Journey”.

Jess is the author of several books reflecting on her life as a member of the Scottish Travellers Community, and has also had published,a historical overview of the Scottish Traveller Community entitled “The Way of the Wanderers, the story of Travellers in Scotland”. I, personally, have certainly learned some very interesting aspects of Traveller life in Scotland through reading her books. The history Jess has uncovered reveals centuries of prejudice and shocking violence by the settled community against Travellers, including the enforced break-up of families and separate schooling. Drawing on her own and her family’s experience as they wandered the glens and braes of Scotland she also captures the magic and rich traditions of a life lived outside conventional boundaries. We are delighted that Jess is able to join us today to share with us, first hand, some of her amazing experiences.



To be Confirmed.


27th March                 

David Borrowman – Legal Issues for the Older Generation.

David Borrowman, who spoke earlier last year on, Legal Issues for the Older Generation, on behalf of Age Scotland, at a very successful meeting, makes a return visit to expand on some of the issues he discussed previously – issues which we might wish to consider but to which we do not have easy access to answers. Many of us have our own ‘lawyer’ with whom we do business, but like to know what is available to us and how to access this, as older citizens in sometimes difficult situations. David Barrowman was one of the first lawyers to link with Age Scotland to provide older people access to information on such topics as care and costs, trusts, equity release, Powers of Attorney, etc. He will also bring excellent booklets.


10th April                    

Ian McAnulla – Subject to be confirmed.

Although Ian has not spoken at our Town Hall meetings before, he is a very familiar face at the OIR History Group where he has given several interesting inputs. The group members are always extremely enthusiastic about the return visits of this excellent speaker. Although new to public speaking, his often humorous and very informative inputs are always very well received.


24th April                    



Margaret Bowman, Speakers’ Organiser

January 2018

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