The Ayr Carnegie Library

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

The Ayr Carnegie Library

An old friend, who still lives in the Honest Town*, inquired at the local library about the availability of my recently published book, Medville Matters.
They checked it out, and soon had it on their shelves (note the library tag).

Copyright Margaret Muir

Copyright Margaret Muir

This is a matter of particular pleasure to me, as I frequented this splendid building in my teen years, when I was at the local Academy.
As this photo proves.

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

Ayr is a long-established town, having been granted a Royal Charter (a licence to charge tolls and such like) by William the Lion, King of Scots, over 800 years ago.
Yes, my North American friends, at the beginning of the 13th Century, although there is now some confusion as to whether the year was 1202 or 1205.
But, regardless, this was almost 300 years before Mr Columbus set off to accidentally ‘discover’ your part of the world!
Although Ayr had a Library Society as early as 1762, it was not until 1890 that the building of the current library was commissioned.
Its construction was made possible by a gift of £10,000** from Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish philanthropist, who made his fortune in the USA steel industry.

Copyright Margaret Muir

Copyright Margaret Muir

The large stained glass window is an original feature of the 1893 building, and can be seen in the library’s stairwell.
The Latin inscription encircling the shield in the central pane reads ‘Sigillum Regalis Burgi de Ayr 1202’, the Royal Seal of the Burgh of Ayr, 1202.
In the centre is the royal castle of Ayr, of which nothing now survives.
On the right is a platter holding the head of St John the Baptist – the patron saint of Ayr.
On the left is the holy lamb associated with St John.

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

I want to offer my special thanks to the staff of Carnegie Library Ayr (shown above!) for their kindness in allowing me to share the attached photographs, as well as for providing much of the above information.
Their responses to my questions have been prompt and detailed, with nothing being too much trouble for them.
The other photographs, as attributed, are provided by my friend Margaret Muir, former wife of Allan, now sadly gone, who was Best Man at my wedding.

For myself, the presence of my book here is a powerful link to those formative years.

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

With the kind permission of Carnegie Library Ayr

* Robert Burns’ (shown above in a bust in the library) says, in his magnificent poem Tam ‘o Shanter,
‘Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses, For honest men and bonnie lasses’

** The equivalent, according to my admittedly shaky calculations, of around £2.5 million pounds today

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
This entry was posted in Sound Bite Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Ayr Carnegie Library

  1. Dale says:

    What a huge thrill it must be to find your book in a library. Makes it all the more real, doesn’t it? Congrats to you, Monsieur Ayr! (Still waiting for my copy, ordered last week.)

    Like

  2. Dear C.E.

    You must be over the moon. I know I would be. Many congratulatory hugs coming your way from the Midwest US of A. 😀

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Definitely over the parrot with this, dear lady.
      As we say in Scotland, kulchir’s pure brill n that.
      Thank you for the congrats and, especially, the hugs.

      Like

  3. niasunset says:

    This is great and also proud of too. I love and I do appreciate libraries… You can leave me in one of them with some bread and water 🙂 And also congratulations dear Ceayr, your book travelling now… Thank you, love, nia

    Like

Leave your Sound Bite here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s