The Friends of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum have been awarded the massive sum of £1,884.59 by the CO-OP Community Fund for a Spinning Wheel Project. This brings some joy on the very day the museum must close again for three weeks during the current pandemic.
The amount given has been generated from the 1% earned by members buying selected CO-OP branded goods and services locally in Doonfoot and Ayr. The Project was chosen as one of this year’s causes and the Friends of RBBM gratefully appreciate for this generous support.
With spinning wheels purchased by the scheme, volunteers will now be able to learn the skills of using them. Then they’ll demonstrate the techniques to visitors to Burns Cottage and the museum nearby in Alloway. Imagine them sitting in Burns Cottage showing what Robert Burns’ mother Agnes used to do on a daily basis in that very house. After this, the group aim to roll out workshops with spinning and weaving activities to involve children and families and, later, local community and disability groups.
During the next few months volunteers will work away at home practising a heritage craft familiar to nearly every woman at the time of Robert Burns. A contemporary described Burns wearing a coat spun by his mother “aye, and dyed by her too, l se‘ll warrant.”
Last year, an interpretation programme at the Cottage included dyeing with locally growing plants, rag-rug making, weaving and rope-making. Not to forget the popular oat bannock making! So spinning will be an extension to the drive to make Burns Cottage a lively place to come to.
We have been able to donate a total of £16,726 to support various projects at RBBM. These include:
- Burns Monument Restoration: £6,000
- Costumes to bring the visitor’s experience alive: £226
- Burns cottage refurbishment fund: £10,500
The Monument Garden Plant Shop continues to do well, as do the wreath and Christmas tree sales, supported by a dedicated and talented team of volunteers.
The unique experience of the Burns Supper, held in the cottage where Robert Burns was born, is growing in importance, with participants from home and abroad.
Our other yearly events including, volunteers and staff Ceilidh with the Musical Friends band, our tombola, quiz night, dance evening with the Swing Sensations and Summer picnic continue to be popular and successful events.
We were delighted to achieve our first goal and we have donated £30,000 towards the major refurbishment of the Alloway Burns Monument.
We have also extended our support to other projects. We have donated £336 for the purchase of two wheelchair friendly raised beds for the New Garden Project next to the Cottage. This was possible through and with thanks to the CS Green Network Trust Funding linked to Greggs.