2009 – Weavers Cottage, Kilbarchan
Members of the Executive Committee enjoyed a wonderful visit to The Weavers Cottage in Kilbarchan. We had a very interesting tour of the gardens and out buildings, the history of which was explained in great detail and with great enthusiasm by Christine Macleod of Historic Scotland. Christine is also a member of Greenock Burns Club and demonstrated the art of making Rag Rugs.
Everyone had an opportunity to show their skills and had great fun in doing so – even the men joined in!
The rugs will be on display in Burns Cottage, so we all had a share in a little bit of history.
Burns Birthplace Tartan
Christine proudly displayed the wonderful tartan she designed and was weaving on a 4 shaft loom which is over 200 years old . Woven to a technique which would have been familiar to Burns, in a cottage built in 1723 – 36 years before his birth.
Based on shades that were readily available in 1759 each of the shades is symbolic:-
Barley: Represents Robert Burns Encompassing the Sett.
Earth: Corresponds to Robert’s father, William Burness, a gardener and builder of the cottage in which he was born in 1759.
Madder: Characterises Agnes Broun, the mother of Robert, her first child. Significantly warm and strong, the most important individual at this time, therefore, the principal shade of the sett.
Flax seed: Symbolic of the four children born in the cottage. William and Agnes Burness had 7 children together, 4 male and 3 female. The male children are represented by the flax Seed, the female, by the same madder shades as the mother.
Our President Joe Harkins and our immediate Past President Margaret Kane sat at the loom and weaved some of the cloth which will be used as a blanket on Robert Burns’ bed in Burns Cottage Alloway.
Joe and Margaret signed a book which will record all those who helped in weaving the blanket.
The book includes Mike Russell MSP, Minister of Culture, who performed the cutting off ceremony.