It's some weeks now since I visited my sister just outside Ayr and since then the world has warmed up considerably. I may have been a bit on the negligent side in not posting this blog some time ago but at least now it has landed at a rather appropriate time of the year, Burns Night being only two days ago. Burns was born and brought up just outside Ayr and it's no surprise that on a wee walk about the town, while I was waiting for my train, that I spotted a few things relating to the bard.
Here is a statue of the great man commissioned from sculptor George Anderson Lawson and unveiled in 1891 which can be seen near the station.
Below is one of the two plaques on the base of the statue also produced by Mr Lawson. This one features a scene from Tam O' Shanter, the other one, not pictured here shows a scene from the Cotters Saturday Night. For completeness there is also a plaque with a scene from the Jolly Beggars by David McGill and a plaque featuring Burns and Highland Mary by George E Bissell gifted by some citizens of the United States.
Now here's a thing. Shortly after I'd been to Ayr, I received an e-mail from Mrs Wright showing me some pictures she had taken in Melbourne, Australia. Amongst them was a picture of the Burns statue you see below. Not so much similar as identical - apart from the fact old Bob has his head in a tree.
Seen this plaque from the Melbourne statue somewhere before?
Melbourne is not alone. It seems the Ayr statue is a very popular model for statues of Burns from around the world. Melbourne's copy was unveiled in 1904, but there's also one in Detroit from 1928, Montreal in 1930, Winnipeg in 1936 and a smaller version in the Sorbonne in Paris. That's not to say that there aren't a few that I didn't find on my wee surf.