Waxing lyrical about Robert Burns and east Antrim

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Lindsay Millar at the 'Hand To The Plough' exhibition with Tom Beckett, vice-''president Belfast Burns Association;  William McPherson, past president of BBA; Dr Frank Ferguson, Ulster University; Samantha McCombe, Linen Hall librarian and  Denis Currie, president of BBA.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Lindsay Millar at the 'Hand To The Plough' exhibition with Tom Beckett, vice-''president Belfast Burns Association; William McPherson, past president of BBA; Dr Frank Ferguson, Ulster University; Samantha McCombe, Linen Hall librarian and Denis Currie, president of BBA.

The East Antrim connections of poet Robert Burns are explored in a new exhibition just opened.

‘Hand to the Plough: The Impact and influence of Robert Burns in Mid-Antrim’ is now at The Braid in Ballymena and will be coming in turn to Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus and Larne.

It’s part of marking 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “The connection between Belfast and Burns is well known and has been a central focus of this story. This exhibition outlines the clear affinity this area also has with the poet, particularly Antrim, Ballymena, Ballyclare, Doagh, Larne and Ballycarry.

“Shaped by the migration of lowland Scots into Ulster during the plantation period, local rural communities shared deep cultural, religious and linguistic links with Scotland. This was voiced by a group of distinctive rural poets known collectively as the Rhyming Weavers, who are a central focus of ‘Hand to the Plough.’

“Culturally Ulster Scots is a living thing within our local communities and council would like to thank local groups and the Belfast Burns Association who have contributed to this exhibition. Special thanks also goes to our exhibition partners at Ulster University and the Linen Hall Library.”

The free exhibition has been developed through the Mid-Antrim Heritage Partnership between Mid and East Antrim and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Councils.

It will be at The Braid until August 25 and will then go on tour to the Museum at The Mill, Mossley Mill, September – October 2018; Carrickfergus Museum, January – February 2018 and Larne Museum, February- March 2018.