Hillside ceremony marks Bard’s visit

20110911- Hillside Burns Plaque. 'Dave Ramsey, Aberdeenshire councillor Jean Dick and members of Montrose Burns Club, Glenbervie Burns Memorial Association, Aberdeen Burns Club and Stonehaven (Fatherland) Burns Club gathered at the Hillside Burns Plaque on Sunday for a commemorative service by Mr Ian Gray a Reader in the Angus Presbytery. The plaque in Hillside was laid 81 years ago to commemorate the spot where Robert Burns watered his horse on 13th September 1787. ''"Andy Thompson Photography", '"Copyright Andy Thompson Photography", '"No use without payment", '"www.atimages.com",
20110911- Hillside Burns Plaque. 'Dave Ramsey, Aberdeenshire councillor Jean Dick and members of Montrose Burns Club, Glenbervie Burns Memorial Association, Aberdeen Burns Club and Stonehaven (Fatherland) Burns Club gathered at the Hillside Burns Plaque on Sunday for a commemorative service by Mr Ian Gray a Reader in the Angus Presbytery. The plaque in Hillside was laid 81 years ago to commemorate the spot where Robert Burns watered his horse on 13th September 1787. ''"Andy Thompson Photography", '"Copyright Andy Thompson Photography", '"No use without payment", '"www.atimages.com",

THE ANNUAL commemorative service marking Hillside’s connection to the national Bard took place on Sunday, with the laying of five red roses.

A plaque in the village marks the site where, on September 13, 1787, Robert Burns stopped to water his horse during a journey to visit relatives in Kincardineshire.

Now in its third year, the simple ceremony was carried out by a group of Burns enthusiasts including members of the Stonehaven (Fatherland) Burns Club, Arbroath Burns Club and the Glenbervie Memorial Association which maintains memorials and plaques dedicated to Burns and his ancestors.

Montrose Burns Club was also represented by president Graeme Newton, who gave a speech to mark the occasion.

Light was shed on the sandstone plaque’s origins, which had been shrouded in mystery, more than two years ago after research by the Father of the Bard project. It bears the poet’s name, the date of his visit and the year 1930, when it was placed in the wall at Rosemount Estate.

Frustrated by the lack of documentary evidence, the research team placed an appeal in the Review which attracted the attention of 90-year-old Harry Harris, who claimed the stone had been carved by Adam Christie, a well-known former Sunnyside Hospital patient and artist. Mr Harris also said his father Joseph, a ward orderly at the hospital, helped set the plaque along with superintendent C.J. Shaw and colleague Willie Herd.

Jim Smith, of the Glenbervie Memorial Association, said: “This is an important part of the story of the Mearns and Robert Burns, and we intend to keep September 13 as a day to remember the four men who first commemorated Burns’ visit to Hillside.”