Mauchline was a convenient stopping point where passengers could be refreshed
and the horses changed. The Loudoun Arms was a busy coaching inn and long
after the death of Robert Burns, passengers alighting at the inn were
entertained by James Humphry, a contemporary of the Bard. Beside the inn
is a 'spout' where residents have drawn water for generations. It is the
last accessible source of an abundant supply of water in the area, which
owes it presence to the geological formation of the district. The spout
has been a source of water on many occasions for the inhabitants of Mauchline
and further afield who swear by its properties, and at almost every hour
of the day someone can be seen drawing water. Next to the Loudoun Arms
is the remains of the gatehouse to netherplace. In the wall there can
still be seen the outline of doors and windows of estate workers' houses.
Poosie Nansie's. Within its ancient walls the original kitchen remains unchanged with the
18th century, furniture and crockery still in situ. It also contains a clock made by 'Clockie'
Brown, a well-known Mauchline Clockmaker and friend of Burns. Its host and hostess Nancy and
Geordie Gibson were made famous by the poet.
Behind the Inn, 'The Jolly Beggars Howff' held a motley crew of beggars, rogues and vagabonds -
a scene witnessed by burns and his companions, James Smith and John Richmond. It was from the
happening in this establishment that Burns drew his inspiration for the Jolly Beggars Cantata.
Beside Poosie Nansie's is the thoroughfare know as Cowgate, once a Cattle Market enjoying a busy
trade. This was the main road to Cumnock.
On the wall of the shop at the street corner, a plaque marks the place where Burns spent many
happy hours in the Whitefoord Arms. Its legendary host, John Dove, must have witnessed many a
meeting of the poet and his contemporaries. It was the scene of the 'Court of Equity' written
by Burns for private circulation among his friends, many of whom, like himself, incurred the wrath of the Kirk Session.
Opposite Poosie Nansie's once stood a row of house. Behind them in the Churchyard was the green
where the communion tent was erected. Burns attended the Holy Fair here he wrote another famous
satire which hastened the end of the event.
The Inn today still has character and a warm welcome is evident
when ever you enter the front door.
Mauchline and District
Kilmarnock Supporters Club
Nineteen sixty-five was a very good year for supporters of Kilmarnock Football
Club. Not only did "Killie" win the Scottish League in the most dramatic
circumstances with an away victory over title rivals Hearts on the last
day, but also a group of supporters were setting up what was to become one
of the finest clubs in Scotland. The group had been running a travel club
in the village of Mauchline, taking people to Kilmarnock games, while ironically
operating out of the Temperance Hall. They decided to raise the money to
build their own premises - where they could offer members a drink - but
were initially only offered a site on the edge of the village. They held
out for somewhere better and were eventually offered the old Co-op building
close to the crossroads in the centre of the village. "That's really what
has made the club," says Club Secretary Sam Stowe, the grandson of one of
the original founders Sam Young. "Because they had the foresight to see
that it had to be in the middle of the village and to hold on for what they
wanted, the club has never looked back." A plaque above the back of the
front door commemorated the official opening by William McIvor, then chairman
of Kilmarnock FC. Other plaques mark leading club members to have areas
of the club named after them, including Sam Young, Jimmy Scott and former
Treasurer Willie Murdoch, while the club's recent addition, the upstairs
function room has been named after Treasurer/Manager Harry Lyle. Big Harry,
as he is known to one and all, is answerable to the Committee but runs the
club between Committee meetings with "Young Sam" dealing with the administrative
work. As well as meaning that they know nearly everybody in the village
it has led to a club with nearly 2,500 members in a village of 8,500 people.
As well as being a contender for the longest name in the Union, the club
also has the longest hours, as it is open from 11 am to midnight every day.
For a while they closed in the afternoons in midweek but they found they
were driving members into the local pubs. The pubs themselves are not complaining,
however, as the club brings people into the village, particularly for live
music and after it closes at midnight the pubs are open till one o'clock.
As well as the concert room, downstairs the club consists of the recently
refurbished lounge and games room, which is popular for those playing pool,
snooker or dominoes. And the standard of fittings means the club is the
match of any pub for comfort. "It's the kind of place where women are comfortable
and that's half the battle," says Sam. The club even has disabled toilets,
which also allow the older members to keep their independence. The recently
opened Harry Lyle Suite upstairs is available for members booking functions
and offers meals and buffets. Occasionally the club runs special fun days
with entertainment such as Irish bingo laid on for the members. But the
biggest draw is the concert room, which seats 220 and is used for bingo
on Mondays and Thursdays with live bands on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Live Scottish and English Premier League football matches are also particularly
popular on Sundays. As well as its bedrock of Kilmarnock supporters the
club has a big contingent of Rangers followers, and Sir Alex Ferguson's
Scottish roots mean many also follow Manchester United. The area is one
of the hotbeds of British football with the legendary Bill Shankly and his
brothers hailing from the nearby mining village of Glenbuck Cherrypickers,
produced more than 40 Scottish internationals, but now the village has literally
been levelled. It's a fate that fortunately has escaped Mauchline. Although
in the middle of the former coalfield Mauchline was always essentially a
farming community and its most famous farmer, Robert Burns, who lived here
during his most productive period, continues to attract visitors from all
over the world.
For more photos involving the Bowling Club click
Photos of the Black Bull Pairs click