Sponsored Walk

The 2013 AMBA Charity Walk 14 July 2013

The Annual Sponsored Walk was from Failford to The Tap o' the Brae, Annbank and was to raise funds for "Support the Gurkhas"Charity. Eight AMBA members participated Ronnie Conway (President), Sammy Duffy, Jim Scott, Gavin Barrie, Billy Niven, Inay Gourlay, Cochrane Gourlay and Jimmy Gourlay. Ian Kerr, a former Annbank boy, now resident in Australia also took part. The route followed the River Ayr Walk from Failford to Stair and then from Stair past Enterkine House to Gadgirth Bridge and from there to Tap o' The Brae Pub, Annbank.

It was a beautiful sunny day with a refreshing breeze; in fact an ideal day for walking. The route followed paths where Burns and David Sillar might go on their walks and run off ideas for poetry and song. In his Epistle to Davie Burns was referring to this area around The river Ayr at Stair. The 4th verse sums what the day meant and the pleasure it gave to Burns and Sillar in the past and to the participants today :

What tho', like commoners of air,
We wander out we know not where,
But either house or hal'?
Yet nature's charms , the hills and woods,
The sweeping vales and foaming floods,
Are free alike to all.
In days when daisies deck the ground,
And Blackbirds whistle clear,
With honest joy our hearts will bound,
To see the coming year:
On braes when we please, then,
We'll sit and sowth a tune;
Syne rhyme till't, we'll time till't,
And sing't when we hae done.

Yes you could just imagine on such a day Burns and Sillar out walking Sillar SOWTH''ing or whistling a tune and Burns providing Lyrics and poetry to accompany the tune. Some of the charms of nature on this day were the fields in various shades of green beside the river. There  were also Highland Coos and we also came across a SLOW WORM , which you don't often see.  A small snake which is actually a lizard and is a protected species in the UK. After the walk a few pints were downed in convivial company at The Tap O The Brae.

The proceeds of the recent sponsored walk were presented to MS Ayrshire at their meeting in Dobbie's Garden Centre in Ayr. Chairman Jack Rogers presented the cheque to Frank Brodie of the MS Association along with club members Sam Wales and Ronnie Convery. The association were delighted to receive this gift and the members of AMBA have pledged their support in any way the can in future to this or any worthy cause which may need support.

The Charity sponsored walk for 2012 was held on 8 July and was in aid of Multiple Sclerosis Research. The sky was dull but the day was dry and in fact a perfect day for walking. The group of AMBA members left the car park at Ayr College at 10am and proceeded along The River Ayr to Dalmilling Golf Course across the Ayr By-Pass along "Tomato Lane " and on to Oswald's Bridge at Auchincruive.
A welcome respite was then taken at Oswald's Bridge where cool liquid refreshment was supplied by kind efforts of Bro David Rae, PM 135.
Some members visited The Cairn, in Leglen Wood, at Oswald's Bridge, dedicated to Wallace and Burns. The Cairn also held many poignant and fond memories of AMBA'S first President Jim Elder who spent many happy hours sitting there and also walking in the area. AMBA's current mallet was made from a giant beech tree which grew in the adjacent  wood and had crashed into the Cairn in a storm a few years ago. Jim was instrumental in having the mallet commissioned.
The last stretch of the walk was through Auchincruive; past Oswald House and on to Annbank Bowling Club.
The group enjoyed, and greatly appreciated  the hospitality shown at Annbank Bowling Club and a superb day was had by all.

The lady in the picture below is Jim O'Lone's wife Heather. Jim is a member of AMBA and lives in Freemantle Western Australia. Unfortunately Jim could not be here so Heather joined the group briefly to represent Jim just before the boys started the sponsored walk

 
In keeping with the previous charity fund raising walks, our desire to walk in the area's we know that the Poet would have strolled, in July 2011 we decided to walk from Failford to Annbank. Failford was the place that the poet parted with Mary Campbell (Highland Mary) never to see her alive again after they had both betrothed themselves and pledged to meet at Greenock and sail for Jamaica to start a new life together. It was a lovely summers morning and with Inay Gourlay leading the way we stepped out on the path along the banks of Ayr. We were met in Annbank by the wives of two of the members with some nourishment and a spot of liquid gold which was most thankfully received. Sponsorship money raised was £1000. This was donated to the Beatson Oncology Unit in Glasgow. The pictures below show Cochrane Gourlay presenting a cheque for that amount to Janet Grove of the Beatson Cancer Unit.

 

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