Ayrshire likes to portray it's love for Robert Burns, a poor farmers son who has captured the World's attention with his spontaneous gift of verse. Burn's single handedly not only put Ayrshire, but put the whole awareness of a Scots language on the map. Everyone here is proud to say they come from Burns' Country. Everywhere you look there are references to him, statues, memorial, books, street names, shopping malls, the list could go on forever. Here in Ayrshire Robert Burns is King, number one, he's the Man that makes coming from Ayrshire mean something, a reason to hold your head high and be proud of this lush farming landscape.
.....But is it a blind pride perhaps?
The story of what happened here at Kay Park highlights serious flaws in the so called pride in Robert Burns. As incredible as it may seem this beautiful monument had been closed and boarded up since 1988. For 16 years this magnificent 80 foot Baronial style memorial stood empty, fenced off, dark and forgotton. Forgotton? One of the more beautiful of 19th Century memorials to Robert Burns was closed and fenced off to the public. Is it a surprise to you now that it was breached and burned to the ground by the mindless and uninitiated?
The pride in Robert Burns by those responsible for the Monument did not run very deep. For such an important piece of Ayrshire history to be left unoccupied and unused is an incredible insult to those who bought and paid for its construction. Surely there was a means to promote the monument within the tourism industry? It's not difficult to understand that running anything these days costs money, but did anyone really try? Perhaps we have all fallen into a pool of stagnant complacency content to live off the notoriety of Burns' past? Here is cold hard living proof why we need to keep these monuments open and alive.