The meeting was held in Cumnock where Hardie lived for most of his life. We started with a business meeting in the Town Hall where there is a fine bust of the great man sculpted by Benno Schotz. It was well attended and there is plenty of interest in the project, not only in Scotland, but around the world. We then visited the Baird Institute with its Hardie Room full of memorabilia and a fine collection of photographs maintained by the staff of East Ayrshire Council.
A short walk from there is the Congregational Church where Hardie preached occasionally before falling out with the church deacons. Then along the road to Hardie's home, Lochnorris House. Now owned by a former Nalgo Branch Secretary I worked with when I first came to Scotland. Finally, the family graveside in the old cemetery.
The weather was kind to us and it was an enjoyable day. A range of activities are being planned to take the society forward over the next year. If you would like to join the Society the Acting Secretary is Richard Leonard at the GMB and the candidate for this seat in the May elections. The ideas and heritage of Keir Hardie couldn't be in safer hands.
Lochnorris House today.