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Ramble Round Kilmarnock
THE KILMARNOCK BURNS, MONUMENT AND KAY PARK
Part 2


THE INAUGURATION PROCEEDINGS.

The weather, which forms such an important factor in the success of a demonstration of this kind, had been the occasion of even more than the usual anxiety on account of the extreme uncertainty of the season, and when the morning dawned auspiciously the minds of all interested were greatly relieved. The sun broke out cheerily with assurance of a highly favourable day. The general congratulation on this matter was mingled, however, with feelings of deep regret arising from the melancholy tidings of the sudden and serious illness of the amiable wife of Mr James M’Kie, in consequence of which that gentleman (who had from the first been the life and soul of the movement) was prevented from taking part in the proceedings.

Busy hands were early at work getting ready the decorations, and by breakfast-time the principal thoroughfares presented a very gay and brilliant appearance. Numerous arches of banners were suspended across West George Street, Portland Street, King Street, Duke Street, &c., and many flags were displayed on public buildings. At the Railway Station (where the decorations were particularly effective), the scene speedily became one of extraordinary animation. Every train brought its quota of visitors from other towns, the influx gradually increasing until noon, by which time the streets were densely thronged with people in holiday attire, and the spirit-stirring strains of the instrumental bands proclaimed a joyous gala-day. It was difficult to form anything like an accurate estimate of the crowds who flocked to witness the ceremonial, but the number is certainly not exaggerated when stated at from 40,000 to 50,000. Not a town, village, or hamlet in Ayrshire was unrepresentative, while the adjoining counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and Dumfries contributed their thousands, and even Edinburgh, Leith, and other places in the east of Scotland furnished strong contingents of warm admirers of the poet. No better indication could perhaps be given of the extent of the gathering than the fact that although the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company had made what seemed ample arrangements to overtake the extra traffic, the crowds at some of the stations between  Glasgow and Dumfries were such that only parties who could show that they were actually going to walk in the procession were supplied with tickets for the ordinary morning trains. Nor were the advertised "specials" found at all adequate to convey the whole of the intending excursionists. On the Recreation Grounds, Dundonald Road, boards were erected with labels directing the various bodies where to take up their position, the arrangements being ably superintended by Captain Anderson, Galston, who acted as Grand Marshall, with the assistance of Dr M’Alister and Mr James Arbuckle.

In the Town Hall, where the Town Council, &c., assembled, a service of cake and wine was supplied by the Misses Tyson of the Royal Hotel. Among those present, beside the Provost, Magistrates, Town Council, Burns Monument, Committee and Burns Club: Messrs Alexander Kay, Thornhill Biggar; Charles Gairdner, Glasgow; John Spiers of Crossby Castle: Buchanan of Barskimming; Robert Gairdner of Thorntoun; A.C. Maclae, Law Agent of the Kay Trustees; Robert Burns Begg, grand-nephew of the poet; A.B. Begg, great-grand-nephew of the poet; W.H. Houldsworth, of Coodham; William Finnie of Newfield and party, including F. C. Burnard, the well-known contributor to Punch; Henry Leck of Hollybush; John Neilson Cuthbertson, the Conservative candidate for the Kilmarnock district of burghs; Alex. Grant and Douglas M. Hannah, Craufurdland Castle; Provost Steele, Ayr; Dr M’Knight, Dalraith; Alex. Longmuir, Roseholm; Alex. M’Knight, advocate, Edinburgh; William Henderson, Williamfield, Iriving; J. Thomson, F. G. S., Glasgow; Robert Guthrie, Crossburn; Bailie Brown, Stewarton; James Wilson, banker; W. Stewart of Gearholm; J. Dickie, Ralston House, Paisley; Capt. M. Wylie; Bailie Wilson, Glasgow; Rev. Dr Rogers; Rev. W.H. Wylie; Rev. Robert Kerr, Iowas, U. S.; Wm. Scott Douglas, Edinburgh; W.G. and D.W. Stevenson, sculptors, Edinburgh; Wm. Gregory Thomson, New York, a native of Kilmarnock; Robert Easton, C.A., Glasgow; Thos. Stewart; David Brown and J. M. M’Cosh, Dary; J. . Wallace, S. M. Morrison, and the Commissioner Galaghan, Alloa; J.B. Loudoun and T.B. Bimely, Coventry; Archibald M’Kay historian of Kilmarnock; Captain J.G.  Sturrock; Lieut. H.S. Dunn; &c., &c.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire was opened in the Grammar School, Dundonald Road--Br. R. W. Cochran-Patrick of Woodside, P. G. M., presiding, and Brs W. Kennedy, No. 11, S.W., and James M. M’Cosh, No. 290, J. W., in their respective chairs. The lodge having been formally opened the P.G.M. explained the object of their meeting, after which the lodge was adjourned to take its position in the procession.

THE PROCESSION.

One o’clock was the hour at which it was arranged the procession should start from the Recreation Grounds, but it did not leave till about twenty minutes to two account of some unavoidable delay.

By way of St. Marnock Street the vast body marched into King Street, and opposite the Town Hall was joined by the municipal authorities and others, the order of procession thereupon being as follows:--

Body of Police.
Carters and others on Horseback.
Carriage with Colonel Alexander, M.P., Provost Sturrock, and Kay Trustees.
Magistrates, Town Council, &c.--the Rifle Volunteers forming a Guard of Honour.
Burns Monument Committee and Burns Club.
Free Gardeners.
Foresters.
Oddfellows.
Wood-Workers.
Football Players.

Freemasons:

THE PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF ARYSHIRE AND MOTHER KILWINNING.

Hamilton, Kilwinning,………………………….No. 7
Journeymen, Edinburgh,. …………………………..8
St. John, Maybole,……………………………........ 11
St. John, Lanark………………………………........21
St. John (Kilwinning), Kilmarnock………………..22
Wishaw, Coltness……………………………….....31
Loudoun, (Kilwinning), Newmilns………………..51
Thistle, Dumfries……………………………….....62
Navigation, Troon………………………………....86
St. Marnock, Kilmarnock…………………………109
Kilwinning, Ayr,…………………………….........124
St. James, Newton-Ayr……………………………125
St. Andrew, Kilmarnock………………………….126
Thistle, St. John’s, Stewarton,……………………127
St. David, Tarbolton,……………………………...133
St. James (Kilwinning), Tarbolton,………………..135
Operative, Ayr,…………………………….............138
Trinity, Elgin,……………………………...............148
St. Andre, Irving……………………………….......149
St. John (Kilwinning), Beith,………………………157
Royal Arch, Ayr,……………………………...........165
Thistle and Rose, Stevenson,……………………….169
Greenock St. John’s………………………………...175
St. Mungo, Mauchline,……………………………..179
Royal Arch, Maybole……………………………….198
St. Clement‘s, Riccarton, Kilmarnock……………..202
St. John, Airdrie………………………………........203
St. Paul, Ayr,…………………………….................204
Star, Glasgow……………………………….............219
St. Barnabas, Old Cumnock,………………………..230
St. John, Girvan,……………………………............237
Houston, St. Johnstone, Johnstone,…………………242
Blair, Dalry………………………………................290
Royal Arch, West Kilbride,…………………………314
St. John, R.A. Saltcoats and Ardrossan………..……320
St. Peter, Galston………………………………........331
St. John, New Cumnock,…………………………….334
Royal Blue, Kilbirnie,……………………………......399
Neptune (Kilwinning), Ardrossan,………………..…442
St. John, Catrine,…………………………….............497
Burns St. Mary, Hurlford,……………………………505
Thornliebank,……………………………..................512
St. Matthew (Kilwinning), Dreghorn,………………..549
Clydesdale,…………………………….......................555
Bonnie Doon, Patna………………………………......565

Iron Trades.
Operative Masons.
Chimney Sweeps.
Shoemakers.
Tailors.
Letterpress Printers.
Employees of Messrs Scott & Best, Contractors, Leith.

Thousand of spectators congregated all along the route of the procession, and the unbroken sea of faces in the principal streets presented a spectacle never to be forgotten. Most prominent, as usual, were the carters, of whom there was the largest turn-out ever seen in Kilmarnock. They were mounted on strong, well-built, and gaily decorated horses, each man wearing a Kilmarnock bonnet, bound with blue ribbon. Heading them was the Hurlford Brass Band accommodated on raised seats on a lorry, which was drawn by three powerful Clydesdales, and profusely decorated with evergreens, it front displaying the appropriate words, "We’ll a’ be proud of Robin;" and the rear the no less apropos quotation, "Old Kilmarnock, cock thy tail." Thomas Thomson, the oldest carter in the town, and "champion" for the nonce, led the way, followed by a trio with drawn swords, the  horsemen on the right of the next file bearing aloft an axe. The carters furthest forward in the procession were mounted on greys, and on the back of about the worst piece of horse-flesh in the leading score were large posters, announcing that the rider was

"Well mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
A better never lifted leg!"

Another noteworthy feature in the carter’s turn-out was a flag in blue and gold, which had been specially obtained for the occasion, announcing itself as the property of "The Kilmarnock Carter’s Association," and bearing various appropriate devices. Following the carters were a dozen fleshers, also mounted on gaily-bedizened horses, and wearing snow-white jackets, with the usual striped apron of the trade. In the front rank a couple of sheep’s heads were exhibited at the end of a pole. Friendly societies came next in order, the various lodges of the Ancient Order of Free Gardeners leading a van, followed by the Ancient Order of Foresters, and the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. The Free Gardeners were about 300 strong, and, besides the Kilmarnock lodge, included deputations from Glasgow, Greenock, Ayr, Irvine, Johnstone, Saltcoats, Kilwinning, Galston, Dreghorn, Auchinleck, Crosshouse, and Patna. They were proceeded by the Annbank Brass Band seated in a lorry drawn by six horses, and decorated with evergreens and flowers so as to five it the appearance of a flower garden. In addition to a varied assortment of banners in blue and silver, the Gardeners displayed floral crowns and Prince of Wales feathers; while about fifty of the members either carried in their hands or displayed at the end of wands tastefully arranged bouquets. By way, apparently, of reminding the spectators of Eve’s temptation, one of the Gardeners exhibited in a coil of evergreens the head of a serpent with an apple in its mouth. Another bore a design whose character is sufficiently indicated by its motto--"Next for Shaving." Lady Boswell’s Brass Band from Auchinleck, as also the Paisley Flute Band, accompanied the Gardeners. There were about 400 Foresters, comprising representatives of the lodges in Edinburgh, Leith, Glasgow, Paisley, Greenock, Ayr, Drumfries, Kilmarnock, Lockebie, Old Cumnock, Dalry, Irvine, Maybole, Coatbridge, Kilbarchan, Cambuslang, and Drumpellier. Apart from the huge green and crimson flags of the Order, bearing mottoes with illustration of the advantages of the society, the feature of the Foresters’ display was a group of mounted members decked out in the picturesque garb of Robin Hood. There were also, of course, a mounted "Maid Marion" in pea-green dress and loose-fitting scarlet jacket. The Kilmarnock Court had a very handsome flag bearing on one side the name and number of the Court, and the figures of a widow and children weeping, with the motto, "We succour the widow and orphan." They had besides two very fine small banners, one of which bore the words. "Honour to Kay" on one side, and on the other a design of the fountain and the words, "Thanks to the donor." The Foresters were evidently not a little elated at having amongst them "Archie Campbell," of the Greenock Caledonian Lodge, said to be the only nephew of Burns’s "Highland Mary." Accompanying this brave company were the Overton and Shettleston Brass Bands, as well as the Cumnock Flute Band, which made its first public appearance on the occasion. The Oddfellows were represented by the following lodges, which mustered to the number of between 200 and 300:--"City of Edinburgh," "St. Bernard’s," "Sir Ralph Abercromby," "Dunedin," and "Excelsior," Edinburgh; "City of Glasgow," "Greenock," "Lady Scott," Troon; "Logan," Cumnock; "Cunningham," Saltcoats: "St. Marnock’s," Kilmarnock; "Paisley," and ‘Johnstone." Like the Foresters, the Oddfellows had gorgeous banners illustrative of the objects of the Order, and the fantastic robes and head gear of the officials attracted no little notice. They were accompanied by the Fergushill, Kerse, and Greencok Thistle Brass Bands, and the Troon Flute Band. The Kilmarnock wood-workers, who came next, turned out to the number of 130 and made a very effective display. In front were the Darvel Brass Band, and a cart with an awning formed of curled shavings, under which a quartette of joiners were seen plying their craft. In addition to some fifty or sixty wands, decorated with similar curls, the carpenters exhibited numerous models, including a house with men at work on the roof, Burns at the plough, and a cradle containing a wax doll. They also displayed a monster saw, having on one side "Woodman spare the tree," and on the other "No toothache here." Then followed the Free-Masons to the number of 500 or 600, mostly in full Masonic costume. The turn-out of iron-workers was not commensurate with their importance, as a large number of the men took position among the friendly societies. They were preceded by the Galston brass band. Their large flag had on the one  side the figure of a passenger tank bogie engine, the bogie being shown at the rear of the locomotive according to the latest design, with the letters G. & S.-W.R. No. 1. On the other side was the drawing of anew passenger engine No. 157, not yet made, which will be fitted with all the most modern improvements. These were also exhibited the skeleton motion of a locomotive engine at work; a small horizontal and a beam engine both in motion; and all the tools used in the trade. The most striking article was the model of marine engine, with boiler and tank, made by Mr. James Watson, iron-turner. This model was moved by steam. A noticeable feature of the procession was a lorry bearing one of Mr. M’Kie’s had printing-presses, from which were issued to the crowd numerous copies of a handbill intimating the publication of the second edition of the Standard, while the printer’s "devil," dressed up in character, amused the crowd with appropriate grimaces. Operative masons, chimney sweepers, shoemakers, and tailors, did not make up a score amongst them; and neither the Good Templars nor Mauchline box-makers, both of which bodies had been balloted for, were anywhere recognizable. The rear was brought up by the workmen in the employment of Mr. Scott, contractor for the new docks at Leith. Numbering close upon 700, they had started at 8 o’clock by special from the new station of the Caledonian Railway Coy. and arrived at Kilmarnock about 11-20. Though last on the ballot list, they were first on the ground, and ready for starting before any other trade had put in an appearance. The Leith contingent was headed by the band of the 1st Midlothian Rifles, under Mr. Weierer, in the scarlet uniform of the corps, and accompanied by a couple of pipers in full Highland costume. In the shape of models they had, probably, the finest collection in the whole procession, embracing as it did dredgers of various sizes, travelling cranes as seen at work in the docks, vessels of different designs, several of the latter requiring several men to carry them. Altogether, Mr Scott’s workmen made a highly creditable appearance, and attracted quite as much, if not, indeed, more attention than any other body in  the procession. In all there were 19 or 20 bands, exclusive of pipers (two of whom created quite a sensation in a diminutive pony phaeton). The procession took about three-quarters of an hour to pass.

THE CEREMONY AT THE MONUMENT.

The first part of the ceremony at the Monument was the formal handing over of the Kay Park to the Permanent Trustees.

Mr. Charles Gairdner, speaking on behalf of the Kay Trustees, said: Provost Sturrock and Gentlemen,--We have met to-day for a very interesting and agreeable purpose. We are now to carry into complete effect a scheme conceived some fifteen years ago by a kind and generous man, now no longer with us. Through his munificence the people of Kilmarnock are to become possessed of this beautiful Park, and as one of the executors of this worthy native of your good town, I have been asked by my colleagues to act as their mouth-piece on this occasion, when the custody of the Park is to be formally transferred to a permanent body of trustees. Before I declare the Park to be so transferred it will be right that I shortly recount to you the proceedings of the executors in carrying out the wished of the testator. By his trust disposition and settlement, dated 5th February, 1864, the late Mr. Alexander Kay, insurance broker in Glasgow, directed his trustees to set aside £10,000 to be applied in the purchase of ground suitable for a Public Park in the immediate neighbourhood of his native town of Kilmarnock, in enclosing, laying out, and planting the Par, and in an endowment for its maintenance. Mr. Kay died on the 29th January, 1866. The trustees under the settlement were the late Mr. William Brown, jun., or Parkend; Mr. Alexander Kay, Mr. Robert Bennett Browne, Mr. John Spiers, Mr. William Wilkie, and myself. In 1866 and 1867 the trustees visited Kilmarnock on several occasions, and along with Provost Dickie and other gentlemen interested in the town, inspected several sites which had been suggested as suitable for their purpose. The Trustees, after consideration , were of opinion that Barbadoes Green, the property of the Duke of Portland, was the most suitable site then before them, and after obtaining reports from the late Mr. Clark, curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Glasgow, and the late Mr. Dickson of Saughton Mains, they made an offer for it to the Duke of Portland’s Commissioner. This offer was transmitted to the Duke of Prtland, but no reply was received until March, 1877, when Mr. Turner, the Duke’s factor, informed the trustees that his Grace was willing to give a site on his lands for the Park. In the meantime the Town Council had been in Parliament for a Municipal Extension Act, into which clauses were introduced for the purpose of facilitating the acquisition by Mr. Kay’s trustees of ground suitable for a Park, and of enabling them and the Town Council of Kilmarnock to make arrangements for its maintenance. In order, then, to reconsider the whole matter and obtain any fresh views on the subject, the Trustees again visited Kilmarnock, and having, along the Provost Sturrock and other leading gentlemen connected with the town, inspected a number of places in the immediate vicinity, the ultimately fixed on the present  site as being the most suitable. The whole ground acquired by the Trustees extends to 40 Ύ acres. Of this 3 ½ acres have been set apart for feuing, and the permanent Trustees have in addition power to feu one-eighth of the remainder. The Trustees have also granted power to the permanent Trustees to let 15 acres for farming purposes, but his will be available at any time for the extension of the Park, and in the meantime, including the farm steading of Parkhead, it produces a rental of £93. In virtue of the powers contained in the Act of 1871, the Town Council and the Trustees have entered into an agreement by which the former undertakes, if necessary, to pay the Permanent Trustees a sum not exceeding £100 per annum from the common good of the town or the rates towards the maintenance of the Park. The land forms past of the Duke of Portland’s entailed estate of Kilmarnock, and was sold by him at the price of £9000, the value as fixed by Mr Hugh Kirkwood and Mr Drennan. The Park has been laid out from designs by Mr. Duncan M’Lellan, curator of the Glasgow public parks. The Trustees have nominated as Permanent Trustees and Guardians of the Park, in virtue of the powers conferred on them by Mr Kay’s settlement, the Provost and Bailies of Kilmarnock, the Sheriff of Ayrshire, the Sheriff-Substitute at Kilmarnock, the Dean of the Faculty of Procurators in Kilmarnock, and three Councillors to be annually nominated by the Town Council. The accounts of the Park Funds have not been closed, but I may state approximately that after paying the price of the ground and expenses of acquiring it, £9354 17s 3d; compensation to tenants, £150; construction of Park, say £2500--in all, £12,004 17s 3d, the Trustees anticipate having a balance of over £1600, which they hope to hand over to the Permanent Trustees as an endowment towards the maintenance of the Park. It now only remains for me, on behalf of Mr Kay’s executors, formally to hand over to the Permanent Trustees the custody and possession of the "Kay Park," and I sincerely hope that the inhabitants of Kilmarnock will derive from it all the pleasure and advantage intended by the thoughtful and kind-hearted donor, and which I think you will agree with me it is so well adapted to confer. (Applause.)

MR THOMAS STEWART then said: Provost Sturrock, Magistrates. and Town Council of Kilmarnock, I have great pleasure in being commissioned by Mrs Crooks to hand over to your care and keeping, for the use of the inhabitants of her native town, this beautiful fountain. (Applause.) When the kind donor first expressed her with to bestow upon her native town some tangible token of her appreciation of the honours which the inhabitants had conferred on those who had been nearest and dearest to her, she signified her desire that this gift should be useful as well as ornamental. After consulting with yourself, Provost Sturrock, and several other gentlemen, who kindly advised with her, it was decided to ask the Council’s acceptance of a fountain for the Kay Park. Designs by the most eminent makers having been submitted to us, we unanimously fixed on the one now erected by the Coalbrookdale Coy., and which I have now the pleasure of handing over to your care, and that of your successors in office. I am only sorry that the state of Mrs Crooks’s health does not permit of her being with us to-day to witness the realization of her kind wishes; but she is with us in spirit, and she desires me to express her hope that the foundation may be useful to her fellow-townsmen and be a pleasure to generations yet unborn. (Applause.) I take this public opportunity of thanking the chairman and directors of the Water Company and the committee of the Town Council, who have so kindly worked with us in bringing all the arrangement to such a successful completion. (Applause.)

Mrs Robert Fleming, the sister of the donor, thereupon, at a give signal, turned on the water amidst loud cheering.

MR ANDREW TURNBULL, addressing Provost Sturrock, then said: As convener of the Burns Monument and Statue Committe, and representing through it the subscribers, the honour has devolved upon me to hand to you, sir, as Chief Magistrate of Kilmarnock, the deed of gift which conveys to the inhabitants of this town one of the finest, if not the finest, Monumental Building and Statue of Burns ever erected in Britain. (Applause.) Sir, one more qualified to discharge this duty might easily have been found, one more deserving or covetous of the honour might have been far to seek, but certainly no one could appreciate more highly than I do alike the duty and the honour. It is needless for me to enter at any length into the history of this Burns Monument movement or its details. Its history has been a short one, in an eminent degree a public one, and therefore a successful one. Its consummation is not far off, and when the hon. and gallant laird of Ballochmyle performs the duty he has so kindly undertaken, I venture to predict that this large assemblage will stamp with its unanimous approval the execution and completion of an undertaking which is destined to reflect lasting honour to the memory of him whose name it bears; to the subscribers, through whose munificence it has been erected; to the Corporation, to whose care and custody it will be entrusted; and to the inhabitants of Kilmarnock, for whose pleasure and use it is primarily intended. (Applause.) The building, sir, is from plans by Mr R.S. Ingram, architect, who has spared no pains to render it worthy of the reputation of the firm of which he is a member, and as it now stands before you in all its grandeur of design and beauty of detail, requires no eulogium for me. To the contractor, Mr Calderwood, the committee and subscribers are deeply indebted, not only for executing his contract in a thoroughly substantial and tradesman-like style, but also for the truly liberal way in which he at all times met the committee and the architect in their efforts to improve and perfect the plans. The statue of the poet is not yet visible, when it is, I use not the words of prophecy when I say that it will enhance in a high degree the already high reputation of the sculptor (Mr W.G. Stevenson, Edinburgh) by whose chisel it has been designed--I might almost say by whose genius it has been created. (Applause.) It will, I can assure you, require no printed label to proclaim that this is Burns, but prove a living, speaking likeness of our immortal bard. (Applause.) An dnow, sir, I have said enough, were words needed to convinve you that in asking your acceptance of this monument and statue we ask you to undertake a trust not unworthy of the Corporation over which you have the honour to preside, and I formally hand you this Deed of Gift, feeling perfectly assured that the trust will be fulfilled in the same honourable spirit which has dictated the gift. (Loud applause.)

Provost Sturrock, in replying, said--Misfortunes, they say, never come singly, and the converse of the proverb seems equally true, as to-day favours have been literally showered upon this community. In the first place the trustees of the late Mr Kay have handed over to us this magnificent Park in which we are now assembled, and which is very properly to bear his name, and so perpetuate his memory. On behalf of the Corporation, which I have the honour to represent, and the community of Kilmarnock, I have to return their most heartfelt thanks for this noble gift. For some thirteen years Mr Kay’s trustees have nursed and tended the handsome legacy left by that gentleman, and for long it seemed as if a suitable piece of ground could never be had on which too expend the money he so kindly left for the benefit of our inhabitants, but at last the trustees were enabled to acquire from the Duke of Portland this piece of land; and I am very glad to say that whatever difference of opinion there may have been when the matter was first broached, every one is now entirely satisfied that no finer site could have been selected for a park that upon which we are now assembled. (Applause.) The trustees in laying out the ground have admirably taken advantage of its fine position, and laid it out through Mr M’Lellan in an artistic and admirable manner, and I sincerely trust that the Corporation and my fellow-townsmen will conserve and carefully protect what has been gratuitously and in so kindly a way given to them. In carrying out their trust the trustees have been scrupulously anxious to fulfil the expressed wishes of Mr Kay, and at the same time they most courteously consulted from time to time with the magistrates or permanent trustees as to the most beneficial way of giving effect to these in the interest of the public. While, then, I have the pleasant duty of thanking Mr Gairdner and Mr Kay’s other trustees present and absent for this most handsome gift, which I am sure is most thoroughly appreciated by every one of our townsmen, I desire at the same time to thank Mr Maclae, their solicitor, who has throughout so well represented them, and Mr M’Lellan, by whom the grounds have been laid out, and who has, I think, succeeded most admirably in making the utmost of the subject committed to him. (Applause.) Then, in the second place, we have got from Mrs Crooks of Wallace Bank the magnificent fountain placed in the centre of the  Clerk’s Holm, and which has just been inaugurated by her sister, Mrs Fleming. Mrs Crooks, I need hardly remind you, is a daughter of my predecessor, Provost Strang, a most genial and kindly man, and the widow of the later Mr James Crooks, one of the Magistrates of the town, and very appropriately it is placed almost vis-s-vis to the work on the opposite bank of the river with which Mr Crooks’s name was so long associated. This most handsome gift, which, while it is highly ornamental, will also be most useful, has been made by the well known Coalbrookdale Iron Coy, will be a most attractive feature in the Park, and my duty is to thank the generous donor, Mrs Crooks, for her very handsome and valuable gift. (Applause.) Then, though last but not least, we have this gorgeous temple to the memory of our great national bard, which the committee representing the subscribers are desirous of handing over to the town for its preservation, and the noble statue in white marble, which the gallant Colonel who so worthily and so well represents the Southern Division of this County in Parliament, has done us the honour to come here from London to unveil to you. (Applause.) This gorgeous temple and the statue which it contains, with the grand demonstration you have seen to-day, speak more eloquently than words can do of the respect and admiration which is universally felt for the genius of the bard, for there is no doubt that the great gathering by which we are surrounded is due almost entirely to the magic of his name. (Applause.) The committee have been most anxious to make this monument of Burns--whose name is intimately associated with this locality, where many of his warmest friends resided, and where his poems were first ushered into light--worthy of his genius and cause. How far they have succeeded in their endeavour it is for you the public to judge, but their efforts have been generously seconded by liberal subscriptions from the many admirers of the poet all over the world, and by none have they been more generously met them by the gallant Colonel Alexander, who so appro-privately and so kindly is here to unveil the statue to your gaze. (Applause.) Architect, sculptor, and tradesmen have all alike vied with each other to make temple and statue worthy memorials of the poet, and the Magistrates and Council of the burgh, to whom you consign the monument for preservation, will, I am sure, accept it in the same kindly spirit in which it is presented, and do everything in their power to hand it down uninjured to posterity. (Applause.) In the monument, I may say, is a small room for a museum of relics connected with the bard, of which some few genuine and interesting specimens have already been secured, and it is hoped that by and bye these may be added to. On the part of the Corporation, I thank the committee and the numerous subscribers for this noble tribute to the memory of Robert Burns. (Loud Applause.)


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