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Irvine Burns Club

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Irvine Lasses Burns Club meets at 'Wellwood' (the home of Irvine Burns Club), to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns, to enjoy evenings of Scottish music and literature, and to enjoy the company of like-minded people. Contact us or drop into one of the meetings on the syllabus.

Irvine Lasses President    
& committee 2019 —>    

Irvine Lasses Burns Club adopted the flax flower to commemorate Burns' time in Irvine, July 1781 - March 1782, when he learned to prepare (heckle) flax in the Heckling Shed, Glasgow Vennel, to make into linen. His time in Irvine is important because it was here he decided to "endeavour at the character of a poet".

Irvine Lasses (photo on left) hosted the 18th Robert Burns World Federation Annual Lasses Lunch on 14th May 2017. The event attracted Lasses from across Scotland and from Preston and Yorkshire. The speaker was Sheriff Ruth Anderson QC, and entertainment was provided by Susan Chown and Janet Gibson.


(left above:) Irvine Lasses once again led Harbourside Heritage Walks at the Harbour Festival on Saturday 15th August 2015. (right above:) President Cynthia and President of Irvine Burns Club Derek Murdoch presented gifts to the Marymass Queen Elect and her Marys when they visited Wellwood during the Marymass Festivities.


(above:) At the Club's September musical evening, the entertainers were Stephen and Pernille Quigg. Special guests were some of the Directors of Irvine Burns Club as a 'thank you' for the Friendship Cup which they presented to the Lasses earlier in the year. Photographs: President of Irvine Burns Club Derek Murdoch and Lasses President Cynthia Leitch with the Cup. Some Lasses and their guests. Derek and Cynthia with the Quiggs.

The Provost's Civic Pride Awards - spring 2015
Irvine Lasses Burns Club, in partnership with the Irvine Burns Club, not only topped the Arts and Culture category, but was also awarded the Provost's prize as overall winners. Each year North Ayrshire Council recognises individuals and organisations who contribute significantly to the community.
On left: Burns Club President Derek Murdoch holding the Civic Pride awards which recognise the contribution made to community life and heritage by the Irvine Burns Club and the Irvine Lasses Burns Club. On right: The Friendship Cup - "Presented by Irvine Burns Club to Annie Small President of Irvine Lasses Burns Club to mark its 40th Anniversary, February 2015."

Committee Member Julie Holden entered this year's Lapraik competition held at Muirkirk on 30th May. Unfortunately Julie did not win but President Cynthia, Interim Secretary Barbara and Julie all enjoyed the trip to Muirkirk. Well done, Julie.

Congratulations to Irvine Burns Club for their work on the Irvine Harbourside Project which is nearing completion. On 12th June, Irvine Lasses were delighted to attend the presentation of the 1861 Irvine Lifeboat Station Barometer to Irvine Burns Club by Ian Dickson, a Past President of the Club. More information on the barometer on

The Club celebrated its 40th anniversary on 5th February. Those present included Founder Member & Past President Anne Gaw, President of Irvine Burns Club, Derek Murdoch, and President of the Robert Burns World Federation, Jim Thomson, who presented The Lasses with a certificate from the Federation.

Bill McGregor, Past President of Irvine Burns Club, proposed the Toast to the Club.

Vice President Cynthia Leitch read 'The Irvine Lasses Prayer' written for the Club by Mae McEwan. Past President Margaret Cook recited for us including her favourite Burns' poem 'Tam O'Shanter'.

Here's to the next 40 years!

The 2015 Burns Supper - President Annie Small and her top table guests


(click either photo to enlarge)

Ellen Hunter and Moira Ewing were awarded Honorary Membership - shown here with President Annie, Vice President Cynthia Leitch and Secretary Margaret Greenlees

Provost Joan Sturgeon, Peter Hughes, Senior Vice President of the Robert Burns World Federation, and Irvine Burns Club President Robert Travers were amongst the guests at the Irvine Lasses Burns Club St Andrew's Night held in Wellwood on 4th December 2014.

Irvine Lasses assisted at the Robert Burns World Federation Conference, held in the Menzies Hotel, Irvine from 12 - 14 September. They organised an exhibition in the hotel foyer and led Harbourside Heritage Walks. They also enjoyed the events which were organised during the Conference weekend, met up with some old friends and made some new ones. At the Quiz evening, one of the Lasses' Teams - The Badges - won bottles of Burns Ale. The final event was wreath laying at the Burns Statue on Irvine Moor on the Sunday when President Annie laid a wreath on behalf of the Club.
(these 4 photos can be clicked to enlarge)

John Lapraik Poetry Competition

'Guess the Weight of the Haggis' competition

Committee Member Julie Holden took part in the Competition in Muirkirk in May 2014. Julie was the first female to enter the annual competition. Although Julie did not win, she got positive feedback. Well done, Julie! Good luck for next time.

The Lasses ran a 'Guess the Weight of the Haggis' competition at the Harbourside Festival. It was wet, wet, wet, wet but we thoroughly enjoyed the day. (click to enlarge)


The Annual RBWF Lasses Lunch in May 2014

President Annie Small met up with Robert Burns World Federation President Jane Brown and Chief Executive Alison Tait at the annual RBWF Lasses Lunch in Dumfries. Rosemary Duncan, Nan Drennan and Vilma Fowlie were amongst some of the Lasses who enjoyed the event.
(click to enlarge)

The 39th Annual Dinner on 1st February 2014

Brian Keenan, President of Kilmarnock Howff, with his wife and two Past Presidents of Irvine Lasses, Anne Gaw and Ellen Hunter.

President Annie Small and her top tables guests. Tim Swan, Past President of Irvine Burns Club, proposed the Immortal Memory. (click to enlarge)

Willie Boyd, the Reader for the evening, with Julie Holden, and Vice President Cynthia Leitch who said Grace.

The Toast to the Laddies was proposed by Pat McPhee with Father Willie Boyd responding on behalf of the Laddies. The Club welcome members of other Burns Clubs to the evening including the Eglinton Burns Club, Irvine Burns Club and Kilmarnock Howff.

Past President Joanne Wilson with Secretary Margaret Cook and Treasurer Moira Ewing who both gave up their positions after many years' service on the Committee.

The incoming President, Annie Small,
pictured in Wellwood

At the Irvine Lasses AGM on Thursday 7th March 2013, Annie Small became President, with Joanne Wilson remaining on the committee as Past President. Margaret Cook, after 10 years as Secretary, stepped down. Moira Ewing, who was the Treasurer, also stepped down. Anne Kennedy was voted in as the new treasurer and Margaret Greenlees as the Secretary. (Full current committee list on another page.)

Founder Member and First President, Anne Gaw

President Joanne Wilson and Michael Diamond

President Joanne Wilson and her Top Table

On Saturday 2nd February 2013, Irvine Lasses Burns Club celebrated their Burns Supper at the Menzies Hotel in Irvine. President Joanne Wilson welcomed Michael Diamond, Past President of Irvine Burns Club, who proposed the Immortal Memory. Rosemary Murdoch proposed the Toast to the Laddies and her husband, Derek, replied on behalf of the Laddies. The Reader was Debbie White who recited "To a Mouse" and one of her own tributes to Burns. Alistair Smith, accompanied by his wife Maureen, entertained us with Sangs o' Burns.

Wreath-laying: On Sunday 27th January 2013, members of Irvine Lasses Burns Club joined with other Irvine clubs, the Provost of North Ayrshire Council, representatives of civic organisations and schools representatives to commemorate the Bard at a wreath laying service at the Robert Burns statue on Irvine Moor.

This annual service is organised by Irvine Burns Club who invited those present to join them afterwards for refreshments at Wellwood, the home of Irvine Burns Club, where the Lasses meet each month.

World Burns Federation # 936