Thursday, 4 January 2018

All the best for 2018 !

Happy New Year from KDHG. We hope everyone has a prosperous 2018.

Our lectures resume on Tuesday 16th January when Andrew Dick will talk about Ayrshire Mining. This will be an interesting topic and will explore many of Ayrshire's lost mining villages and communities.

We hope to see you then.

Lecture Programme information

Friday, 17 November 2017

Book Week Scotland event - Monday 27th November

Book Week Scotland

Cal Flyn & Karl Geary - Two debut authors, two mesmerising stories – a fascinating evening not to be missed.

Mon 27 Nov 7pm Dick Institute, Kilmarnock

Cal Flyn is an award winning freelance writer and reporter from the Highlands of Scotland. Her work has featured in many leading publications and she is a previous winner of the Independent on Sunday/Bradt Prize for travel writing. Cal was very proud when she discovered that her ancestor, Angus McMillan, had been a pioneer of colonial Australia. However, when she dug deeper, she began to question her pride. McMillan had not only cut tracks through the bush, but played a dark role in Australia's bloody history. Driven to piece together his story and to confront her history, Cal decided to follow Angus's route from Skye to rural Australia. Delving into a dark period in Australian history with a novel’s immediate style, this book asks how whole societies can come to be overlooked, forgotten and shamed.

Thicker Than Water combines memoir, history, travelogue and lyrical nature writing.

Karl Geary is a novelist, actor and scriptwriter. He was born in Dublin and moved to America at sixteen. Unfolding in the sea-bright, rain-soaked Dublin of early spring, his first novel Montpelier Parade  is a beautiful, cinematic novel about desire, longing, grief, hope and the things that remain unspoken. It is about how deeply we can connect with one another, and the choices we must also make alone. The house is on Montpelier Parade: just across town, but it might as well be a different world. Working on the garden with his father one Saturday, Sonny is full of curiosity. Then the back door eases open and she comes down the path towards him. Vera.
Chance meetings become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. Casting off his lonely life of dreams and quiet violence for this new, intoxicating encounter, he longs to know Vera, even to save her. But what is it that Vera isn’t telling him?

 'Luminous and moving. A story that asks who you can love and how, and a novel that gets to the heart of things; it certainly got to the heart of me.' Sunjeev Sahota, author of The Year of the Runaways
Should this event interest you, please e-mail Liz-Anne Deans directly at and she will ensure your name is on the door. There is no cost for this event to KDHG members (or website visitors!)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Peter and Nora Poole- WWII evacuees - can you help?

Natalie Brownlie from Queensland Australia writes -

My father Peter N Poole was evacuated to Kilmarnock during World War 2 from Newcastle on Tyne as a small child, along with his sister Nora. They were fortunate to live during that time with his Uncle & Aunt - his Uncle at that time was Provost - his surname was Carney. They lived at 1 Howard Street.
My father returned to Newcastle on Tyne after the War & at the age of eighteen emigrated to Australia. Dad has lived an interesting life working as a stockman on Kangaroo Island for Sir William McBride before joining the Rodeo Circuit & becoming a professional Rodeo Cowboy & both an Australian & Queensland Champion Steer Wrestler. He is now the Official Historian of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
Dad speaks fondly of his time at Kilmarnock - I was wondering if you have any information on his Uncle & any images from around the time of World War 2 that I could show him?

If you can help Natalie please contact us at  or directly at  

Monday, 23 October 2017

Prof Sir Tom Devine at Irvine Burns Club

As part of an outreach programme by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Tom Devine will be giving a talk at Wellwood Burns Centre & Museum, 28 Eglinton Street, Irvine,  on 9th November. 

This is a ticketed event but is free.  If any members of the group are interested in attending the evening event at Wellwood they should contact Ashleigh Thow at the RSE as soon as possible.  

Ashleigh's address is:

The event will commence at 7 p.m. with an introduction by Professor Colin Suckling.  Tom Devine will then speak on the Scottish Enlightenment.  The evening will finish with tea & coffee at around 8.30 p.m..

Friday, 13 October 2017

Change of Venue - 17th October

Please note that Tuesday's lecture will take place at the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock. 7.30pm start.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Co-operative Hall - John Finnie Street

Hugh Watson reports - In July 2017 Andy Colvin East Ayrshire arranged a visit to the Cooperative Hall which is part of East Ayrshire Council North Civic Centre in John Dickie Street Kilmarnock. The inside of the Hall has been well maintained by the Council especially the rich varnished wood paneling and the fine Stainedglass Windows which show a variety of Cooperative activities such as Boot and Shoe Making,farming,building and textiles as well as serving the Public.
The attached pictures of the outside of the Hall which can be seen from the Strand and outside Johnnie Walker Bond and a shot of the frontage taken from John Finnie Street.
This is a grand old building designed by Gabriel Andrew and built in John Finnie Street in 1879/80.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Important notice for members

You should have received an e-mail advising of the opening lecture of the session being Tuesday 3rd October and including details of renewing your subscription.

However, if you haven't can you please forward your up-to-date e-mail address to us at  to enable us to update our records. We are aware that a number of e-mails have not arrived at their intended destination.

The lecture programme can be found HERE and the membership form HERE

Many thanks