Charity registered in Scotland - SC012153.

Groups

OIR. AGM

OIR GROUP REPORTS

 

ART AND CHAT - Barry Morgan

The 2019 – 2020 season started well with 5 new members joining in September and 3 more in 2020. At present we have 40 members on the books but not everyone turns up each week which is just as well as there would not be enough room in the Brisbane Centre. Using the Centre from 10.30 to 16.00 each Thursday allows members to come and go through the day with plenty of room to do their art.  We usually have on average 20 members attending each week, some doing just the morning or some just the afternoon. Some members do the whole day popping out for lunch at a nearby café.

The OIR open day in September allowed us to put on a small display of our art along with the availability for visitors to purchase greeting card size copies of members’ art. The group had a full open day in November when members invited friends and family as well as members of the public to see examples of what had been produced over the year.  Some 90 pictures were displayed along with a selection of postcards and greeting cards, some with Christmas themes, which were available to purchase. 

December finished with us all enjoying a Christmas dinner at the Largs golf club. 

The new year started well with us all looking forward to a productive new year, including a trip for 10 members to Gartmore House for a week’s painting and relaxation. 

Another open day was planned for June and it was anticipated that some members’ paintings would be shown at planned exhibitions in Ayrshire. 

Unfortunately all plans have now been put on hold until we are allowed to get together again. Meanwhile weekly emails, a 30 day Sketching challenge and useful web site addresses are keeping us all in touch.


AYR CONCERT SERIES - Jean & David Wisdish

We are very pleased to report that we filled a 51-seat coach to go to the six concerts of the 2019 – 2020 Concert Series. As we have come to expect from the first-class Scottish Orchestra, each of the six concerts provided us with an evening of inspiring music.  Unfortunately, the seventh concert was cancelled due to the Covid 19 virus restrictions, this was a disappointment to us all.

Unfortunately, at present we are unable to publish the Programme for the  2020 – 2021 Concert Series.  As soon as we have the dates and programme, we will publish these details.

We welcome members to join us in an opportunity to experience six or seven evenings of wonderful music played in Ayr Town Hall.

We provide comfortable coaches with pick-up and drop-off points at Skelmorlie, Largs, Fairlie and West Kilbride.


BIRDWATCHING - Earl Spencer

We started our year on 9th September and whenever possible every two weeks from that date onwards.  Due to the terrible weather in February, holidays and leader’s trips overseas, we have had 10 outings nominally spaced out at this fortnight intervals.  Each session lasted about 2-3 hours dependent on sightings and prevalent weather conditions.  Our average turnout has been 5-6 individuals from a strong core of 9 with the occasional appearance of 2 or 3 others.  We were successful in sighting 65 species this year and hope to add to this total as we intend to carry on birdwatching throughout the rest of the year once the restriction, due to coronavirus, is no longer an issue.


BOOK CLUB - Margaret Sharp

This year we have had many and varied reads with some very high scoring books (we introduced a scoring system this year) with lively discussions ensuing.  We also have had some really abysmal reads but still managed to have lively discussions afterwards, mainly by going ‘off piste’ with some good humoured banter. (One man’s meat is another man’s poison as they say) but, good or bad, it makes for interesting debates.  It certainly takes one out of one's comfort zone.  We had a trip to a book reading this year which was very informative and hopefully we will be able to build on this for next year with other outings.  We also had our first ever Christmas lunch at the Green Shutters which went down a treat.  This is a nice group who ‘gel’ well and hopefully at this time we will be able to continue by keeping in touch through email.




BRIDGE - Jim Meldrum

Bridge has had a successful year!  Despite the many winter storms our Improvers class continued into its final year and was well attended with more than 20 regular participants.  Some of these folk have already started to play in the other clubs around the town and dare I say it are performing well against tough opposition!

Overall there was greater participation at the Monday and Friday Bridge Clubs with everyone enjoying the additional challenge of new players.  We introduced the ‘ArcScorer’ Electronic Scoring System (funded by OIR) which was seen as a great step forward as we dragged the clubs into the 21st century, got rid of paper scoring and introduced brightly coloured Kindles which allowed everyone to record and review their progress.

The new scoring system allowed everyone to see how they had performed against their ‘rivals’ before they left the hall at the end of the day.  It also had the benefit of letting players see how they played each board as they progressed through the day.  But perhaps the biggest benefit was that it meant we no longer needed to have individuals struggle to interpret the scrawling handwriting of the players present.  This led to a saving of a good few hours following each session and the scorers are only too delighted to have been replaced by technology.

It is fully anticipated that the clubs will be up and running again next session and the club leaders will be:


Monday (13.30 - 16.30) Jim Meldrum

Friday (09.30-12.30) Rowan Duggan

Friday (13.00-16.00) Jax Leck


CALLIGRAPHY - Edith MacKenzie

We have had another interesting session when we welcomed two new members from our waiting list.  Our projects this session were WORDS …… a word was picked and each person dealt with it as they wished. JOURNEY was very creative with illustrated capital.  PATIENCE was varied and amusing.  DAYS OF THE WEEK written in different styles of hand was challenging but again very creative.  All members are very helpful with ideas and always rise to any challenge with enthusiasm.  I hope to contact a couple of people from my waiting list for next session.


CARPET BOWLS - Brian McNeil

We meet twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm at Inverclyde Sports Centre.

We now have around 30 members split between the two days with some people playing once a week and others twice.  We were fortunate to get quite a few new members last session which always help to freshen things up.  We once again had our successful Christmas Lunch at the Sports Centre with everyone dressed in Christmas attire.  We were very pleased to have a visit from Eric Niven from the OIR committee and appreciated this.


CYCLING - Jean Williamson

The Largs OIR Cycling Group continued to cycle throughout 2019 finding interesting new routes and visiting many lovely tearooms and restaurants. We now have more riders who are competent in organising and leading rides and this takes the strain off the few people who regularly perform these duties. Generally we have about 10 – 15 riders and at present we have a waiting list.

After our excellent Christmas dinner and party at the Seamill House Hotel we were eager to get back in the saddle in 2020, well the hardier ones anyway.

We started  on 9th January with a run to one of our favourite destinations, Kilmaurs and the Rendezvous café, always worth a visit. That was followed by 2 further runs to Kilwinning and Bridge of Weir.  Then we had our first weather cancellation but we were hopeful of decent runs through February.

Sadly storms Ciara and Dennis had other ideas and we were restricted to 2 runs; firstly Bogend and then Dunlop but that was aborted as road surfaces were more suited to ice skating, so we diverted to Dalry.  Surely March would be better or so we thought. Well it got off to a good start with Langholm, a repeat to Kilmaurs and then along came the Coronavirus.  Primarily on the recommendation of Cycling UK to stop group cycling we decided our last run would be on 19th March to Fairlie Moor on the best day of the year so far, typical. Numbers for the runs varied between 5 and 10.

So that’s it, we’re now in lockdown and unlikely to get back together again until maybe late summer/ autumn.


DANCE - Bill Alexander & Archie Adams

Our dance group,with 53 members, have had a very successful year including a Christmas dinner dance held in the Willowbank Hotel. Unfortunately our  Easter dinner dance  had to be cancelled owing to the virus. Both dances were sold out with a waiting list but we are hoping to hold a summer ball in its place.  We also held theme dances at St.Andrews Day, Valentine day, St. Patricks Day, Halloween and Pancake Tuesday etc.

Our dancing consists of a mix of Sequence, Ballroom and old time dancing and it is held every Monday in the Clark Memorial Hall,  1.30 - 4 pm. and new members are always made welcome, with or without a partner, just turn up on the day.

We have been forced to end our dancing season early owing to the shut down.

We hope to restart on Monday 7th September and look forward to seeing you all then,  meantime,  “Keep on dancing”


DRAMA - Pauline McIntosh

Prior to the beginning of the 2019/20 session it looked as if our numbers were going to be down to 7. However, partly as a result of the OIR Open day, we now have 11 members, possibly the highest number we have ever had! We were absolutely delighted to include in that number two males who were welcomed with open arms!  The move to our new venue, the Choir Room, has proved to be a great success. We now have plenty of space to rehearse and a small area for storage. With a kitchen and toilet at hand, we are completely self contained and can rehearse without being disturbed.  The plans that I had made for the session had to be scrapped as numbers and genders were not as expected so as Director I had to come up with an alternative. I wanted to make everybody feel part of the group, not under pressure and most of all to have some fun! Something different was required, so it was decided to do our usual short sketch and then something that everybody could take part in. From there evolved ‘ The Play that Never Was’ aka ‘Twelve Angry Pigs’. We wanted to keep this under wraps so the whole group were sworn to secrecy and only a few key people outside the group knew what we were planning. A big thanks to those people who remained tight-lipped! I do hope that the audience enjoyed the performances. We certainly enjoyed the whole process. There were lots of laughs and we felt that we had all pulled together as a group including our 4 new members. Everybody made a special effort to turn up for rehearsals though sometimes we were beaten by terrible weather conditions, high tides and road closures.  All in all, it has been a successful session for the Drama Group with an average of 90% attendance at meetings. We are looking forward to continuing success over the coming year.


EASY EXERCISE - Eric Niven

Both Thursday morning sessions in Clark Memorial Church Hall continue to be well attended with several new members joining over the course of the year. Regrettably our coach Iain Burnside was obliged to give up due to a family commitment. However this was before he arranged a short video to illustrate our typical exercises. The film maker didn’t realise that the star of the video was also a weightlifter and way ahead of the rest of us in the routines she undertakes. We are fortunate in having a new highly qualified instructor from Inverkip, Gillian Adams.


ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD - Alistair Massey

(Report forwarded by Stewart Tindal - member of the class)

On average each Tuesday morning there were 7 people attending the class.  Whilst we are all at different levels good progress is made under the supervision of Alistair.

Unfortunately Alistair was unable to attend during the second term but it was the enthusiastic opinion of the class that we should continue each Tuesday in his absence.  However as we all know unfortunately due to Covid 19 the class had to stop.  We all look forward to the next session in September and hopefully Alistair will be there to give us his support and guidance.







ENJOY MUSIC - Ian McInnes

It is now 25 years since I took over the leadership of the Enjoy Music group from the late Jean Holms and I have never missed a meeting until now. Yes, in common with all other OIR activities, the group has had to cut its session short because of the need for “social distancing”. As befits the name of the group which I inherited from Jean, the past quarter of a century has been most enjoyable for me and, I hope, for the members of the group as we share our love of music of all types, but concentrating on the mainstream classics and the popular music of the 20th century. Membership numbers have fluctuated from 1994, when I joined the group, until the present day. They peaked in the late 1990s with 70 members and have now stabilised at around 30, with the average attendance this session being 13. Of our 30 members, we have a loyal core of about half the membership who never miss a meeting if they can help it, another 10 or so who come if they have nothing they deem better to do and a few who come to the odd meeting. The last two groups can do this as everyone is always made most welcome and each meeting is free-standing, meaning that there is no need to worry about having missed meetings. Sadly, poor health has meant that some of our most loyal members have not been able to attend as they would have liked and we have lost some long-standing and faithful members to the grim reaper.  Over the years I have endeavoured to present programmes of music on a particular theme and to provide a little background to the genre, composer and/or performers. This session, for example, we enjoyed a musical river cruise, celebrated musical heroes and greeted the “Roaring Twenties”. There has also been the opportunity for members to share their musical favourites and discoveries with the group. The acquisition of the laptop has greatly enlarged the opportunity to discover and compare different performances of a particular piece of music and to rediscover pieces to which members have not had access for many years. There is also the opportunity for an informal chat with old friends and new acquaintances over a cup of tea or coffee.  We must be doing something right, as when we had our annual visit from a member of the executive committee, he enjoyed the meeting so much that he decided to join the group. Why not copy his example and come along and meet a wonderful group of people?

We meet at 2 pm – 4 pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month (September – April); so do come along when we reconvene in Clark Memorial Church Hall Annexe, it is hoped, on 9th September. You are assured of a warm welcome and a great opportunity to “Enjoy Music”.


FRENCH 1 - Lorette Duddy

We have 19 members.  May Renwick has been forwarding work since the class has stopped due to Covid 19 and she is currently exploring a zoom class if members are interested.


FRENCH 2 -  Stan Petrie

Membership is currently 14 which is about the most we can sit round the table.  Technology is now playing a useful part in our classes in that contemporary recordings of social situations are played for us to translate and comprehend. This is useful idiomatic and every day language rather than the more formal approach.  It is also more challenging because of the speed of the spoken word.

We are all very grateful to our teacher May for continuing to make the class so interesting but most of all such fun . We all very much regretted the early curtailment of the class and look forward to its resumption .


FRENCH 3 - Agnes Kennedy

The afternoon group meets in  St Columba’s Episcopal Church Hall  and the accommodation and  parking are good.  We have 17 on the register but only around 10 or 11 in any class as a number of people have second homes abroad and some others travel quite a bit.  May Renwick the teacher is very accommodating and never turns people away even if joining part way through the year. The classes are interesting and up-to-date and cover grammar and conversation.  Topics are varied and during recent weeks May has sent out  work by email to keep us all going including material on the current crisis and how it is affecting France.  

The group is very sociable and supportive. 







GERMAN - Neil Barlow

German has been much better attended this year than last year, with an average of nine students per session. Perhaps we should drop the 'for beginners' as we are now halfway through Willkommen, and have tackled a number of tenses, as well as reading contemporary German magazine articles. At Christmas we had a meal at Guzzi, not without incident, but still very enjoyable. Since the coronavirus closed the group down, I am pleased to report that German is expected to continue online.  We would like to thank Katrin, who has been an inspirational teacher, for her care and consideration to us struggling students. 


GUITAR BEGINNERS - John Thomson

The beginners' guitar group started in October 2019 with many of the group returning from the previous year.  Over the period several guitarists at different levels of  competence joined the group and around Christmas it was agreed that those more proficient would split off and meet in an adjoining room led by Richard Topping.  At the end of the session the total group numbers stood at 18 members.  It is hoped that all being well the group will reconvene on 1st October 2020.


ITALIAN 1 - Marco Piva

Our attendance during this session has been between 5-10 people, most times closer to 10 and they remain enthusiastic.  Activities are varied, the tutor talks in Italian about life and culture in Italy.  Class members prepare passages in Italian and we use scripts where class members read out the different parts.  We particularly enjoy being read stories.Marco has been reading from a book of simple stories which he calls ‘The Book of Silly People’ as all the characters in it seem to be a little daft. The class is carrying on via skype, same time (Thursday 10.15), if anyone fancies joining or re-joining.  Please contact via email if you are interested.


ITALIAN 2 - Marco Cecchini

After many years meeting at Morris’s our Group moved briefly to the Largs bowling club but has now settled at Guzzi.  We were delighted to welcome Mary Valerio (not Italian) and she has fitted into the Group very well. We were  having quite a good time when everything came to a halt.  As I write this we are hoping to find something that could help us to keep in touch and  to do some kind of work until we can meet again.

The highlight of the season for the Group was winning the Town Twinning Quiz for the third time.

(Three out of three can`t be just luck....they are good )


JEWELLERY MAKING - Lorette Duddy

We currently have 6 members for this group.  We had planned to make faberge eggs for Easter but hopefully we can do this on our return.  We have been repurposing necklaces from the group’s own items.  Charity shops have also given us broken jewellery.


LEVEL WALKING - Lorette Duddy

We currently have 34 walkers on list but 24 regularly attend.  Since lockdown we zoom every Wednesday and we have a schedule planned for when we can resume.


PHILOSOPHY - Keith Hammond

The philosophy group has been focused on Socrates and now is working on Aristotle mediated through the internet.  We communicate online.  We have not stopped.  For me as tutor I have made new friends and new angles on old philosopher friends like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  The thinking in the group has been really interesting; more importantly it has been 'real' no intellectual dishonesty.  Sometimes we are all lost with some problems and that needs to be expressed.  But there is a confidence that I watched emerge in the group that is wonderful.  I take my Cocker Spaniel along to classes and he loves seeing everyone.  We love the whole experience of going over to Largs on the Ferry once a week and cannot wait for things to get back to normal whatever that is.




PILATES - Anne Hind

The Pilates group meet weekly on a Wednesday at St. Mary’s RC Church hall from 10 to 11am.  It is a very popular group and our numbers are now twenty two, with an average attendance of seventeen per week.  We continue to learn new moves and are improving every week and everyone enjoys the class.  The benefits of Pilates include improved posture, muscle tone, balance and flexibility.  Let’s hope we can all get back to classes soon.


PLAY & POETRY READING - Jean Stuart & Anne Brodie

We were very disappointed that our session came to an abrupt end right in the  middle of our reading of a comedy “Fools Rush In” by Kenneth Horne. It is unlikely that any of us will remember what it is about, after our much longer than anticipated summer break, so we will start at the beginning of it on our first day back.  All tastes are catered for in the plays which we read so there is something for everyone to enjoy.  After our welcome coffee break we turn our attention to Poetry.  Members bring in a poem of their choice to read aloud and we all share our thoughts on them. The poems cover a wide variety of topics ranging from the serious and thought provoking to humorous limericks.

This friendly group was delighted to welcome two new members this session.


SATURDAY WALKING - Agnes Kennedy & Billy Strang

We had a very active year until April.  There were a few strenuous walks including Arran’s 5 Bens,The West Highland Way (not all of it though) and a snowy climb up Feuside Hill at the back of Largs.  As usual the weather required that we re-schedule a few walks but the group is very flexible.

New walks have been introduced and new leaders have stepped forward which has brought further variety to our schedule.

Numbers attending vary greatly but 10-12 is the usual group size.  Terrible weather saw only 6 of us make it to Portencross whereas at Christmas we managed 29 including our very own orchestra.  We didn’t go far, just to Cumbrae but it was a beautiful day and the lunch/party afterwards was excellent.

We missed two weeks in March when the confinement period started then moved over to Zoom meetings.  The numbers in Zoom have been good with around 14-17 attending each week.  We discuss walks of course but mainly nonsense.  It’s a great way of keeping in touch and we should be able to use this forum to plan ahead.


SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING - Margaret Allen

Again we have had a very successful session.   There are 30 names on the roll and we welcomed two new members, Jaqueline and David Hamilton who have joined in with great enthusiasm.    We average about 22 each week.   This is for various reasons, illness, grandchildren, change of circumstances and SKIING (spending kids inheritance).  Good news, all the ill members have recovered and are rarin' to go. My thanks to all members for your unfailing support and hopefully we will be together again in September.  Proposed date is September 9th.   Put it in your diary now. Thanks also to members of the OIR committee who are always so helpful.

Notes from the Teacher


1. We are all Country Dancers,            4.    ‘We have forgotten how it starts’, I hear           

You can tell that by our feet,            Accompanied by a giggle,

Our toes point out at ten to two,        I laugh, I cry, through gritted teeth,

And both our heels should meet.        1s down and up the middle.


2. Posture is important,              5.  Just a ‘Senior Moment’,

So stand up nice and straight,            But it doesn’t really matter.

Smile across to your partner,            We are here for fun and friendship,

You're not going to the stake.            And the obligatory natter.


3. Next the name and type of dance,

A walk through, all looks steady,

But, dearie me, when the music starts

NO ONE IS READY.

SPANISH - Jim Stewart

At last year’s  O.I.R. open day we had about thirty enquiries from those showing an interest in the Spanish class, both for a Spanish Intermediate Class  and a Spanish Beginners Class .

At our first class at the beginning of September we had 21 attendees and this was considered by the Tutor to be too many for any proper tuition . Mary Turbot has been an excellent teacher throughout but she felt it would be better to have two classes to avoid any possible problems.  Both classes still took place on the same day but one in the morning and one in the afternoon so people could choose which suited . The attendees at the beginner level dropped out as there was too great a difference in the level of understanding.  The two class tuition continued till the end of December with an approximate split of 60/40   morning /afternoon attendance.  We all breathed a sigh of relief when we had a Christmas Dinner together to celebrate our hard work ! Eighteen of us enjoyed the celebration .  When we re-started in early January the attendances in both classes  were lower due to holiday and family commitments so it was decided to have only one class, due to costs and to go back to two classes when numbers recovered . This never took place due to Coronavirus concerns, subsequent restrictions and Class shutdown . Contact has been kept between the Students and the Tutor and eventually it was decide to try the  ' Zoom ' conferencing set up for continued tuition . This has been running successfully since the start

of April '20  although the take up by Students is low, between  7- 8 per Class .

In conclusion we were all disappointed at the ending of classes and look forward to a new beginning in September ' 20  even if it is via' Zoom '

Saludos y mantenien o salvo !!  



STITCH ‘N’ CRAFT - Julie Ramsey & Roina Sloss

We have had a very busy year and have welcomed a number of new crafters. We now have 26 members with an average attendance of 21.  Our Committee is unchanged and everyone has shared the responsibility this year as unforeseen events have occurred.  The Tea Conveners Ella and Cath have continued to look after us very efficiently and well. We thank them for this

The format for our meetings has continued unchanged with some members electing to work on their own projects while chatting to others.  Some enjoy trying the challenges of the Have a Go table which is led by a variety of members.  Our activities for the Have a Go table this year have included making a 3d decoration, Christmas cards, some decoupage decorations, a beautiful necklace  and the final activities were to make a needlecase and a notebook.   Unfortunately the Covid 19 virus forced us to cancel one of our meetings again this year but matters were taken out of our hands.

This year we decided to continue with our Christmas lunch venue and we enjoyed a festive meal at the Willowbank Hotel.  It was a very good meal and we were made extremely welcome.

Our finances are well looked after by our very competent Treasurer  Cath and at present we have a small sum in the bank.

Our Charity Sales table this year has resulted in a very small sum as we have all previously cleared out our surplus stock and this money will be held over until next year.

We look forward to another year and do hope that the restrictions will be relaxed by September and we will once again have the opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of others as we share talents.  New members are vital and will always be made very welcome.  We always enjoy tea or coffee and a snack.  We meet at 2.00pm in the Largs Bowling Club on Douglas Street/ Brisbane Road on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the winter months. We thank them again for making us welcome



TABLE TENNIS - Marco Cecchini

It has been a long time since the Group was initiated by Lady Dorothy Belch and I now, with my wife Morag’s help, have run this group for the past few years. At the time of the Inverclyde closure we had a total of 28 players 90% O.I.R members with 8 tables available.

We hope that they all keep in good health and hope if will not be too long before we all have a good game again.






TAI CHI - Elizabeth Hambley

Like all other groups we had a sudden finish to our year due to Covid 19 virus.The group this year had a very good start with the majority of our attendees returning to start the new term.

Martin and Kate Wilkinson have as usual been superb at putting us through our exercise routines and updating us on the current changes to some of the exercises we do .The more experienced class have been learning the 24 form yang style to add to our repertoire.We are very lucky to have the commitment of Kate and Martin who keep themselves motivated and enthused by attending workshops and courses when they can.

As the waiting list for beginners was running to 17 by Christmas time it was decided that a third class should be started to give people a chance to try tai chi . This was started in mid February and has had a steady number between 10&12 each week so far. By starting another class it will give us space to offer any new starts a place when we resume in September, we hope .

As usual I would like to thank on behalf of our group the members who help Kate and Martin with the beginners and the people who help me collect fees etc.  A big thank you to Siobhan Ross, Margaret Preston, Lorna & Ian Maclean, Alex O'Hara, Monica Rutherford and Marna Howie. Also a big thank you to Linda Watt who was our sub leader and decided to give up this year .Thank-you for all your help and support over the last 10 years.  Last but not least thank-you to our membership for turning up each week ,enjoying the exercise and of course the tea and coffee and lunches at the Greenshutters for some of us.This is as important to our social communication as the exercise.



WALKING NETBALL - Irene Rafferty

The walking netball group started on Monday 17th February at 10-11am in St Columba’s Episcopal Church.  26 ladies have registered and played in what has become a very friendly but competitive group.  Initially people were unsure whether they would be able to compete but very quickly realised that we were all there trying out a new enjoyable activity that is flexible enough for all abilities to participate. Our coach from netball Scotland (Billy) has given us initial training to help us get started. 

Hopefully as soon as we are allowed we will be back up and running (walking of course) and hope to see all our team mates returning.



YOGA - Danny McGinley

This is the second year I have been a group leader teaching Yoga for OIR Largs.  The classes in Halkshill had been going really well and the numbers were at their highest just before I decided to stop the class two weeks before the pandemic lockdown.  The feedback from the attendees has been great and they all are appreciating the benefits of Yoga.  I am now taking the class online from my Yoga studio.    



ZUMBA GOLD - Shirley Strang & Yvonne Campbell   

This has been another very successful year for the class.  We continued to have a regular attendance of 25-30 most of the year.  At Christmas we celebrated with our teachers, Ursula and Angela, when about 30 of us enjoyed lunch at Room.  During the year Ursula was unable to take the class for several weeks due to surgery but Angela kept us going with her upbeat dance routines.  They both resumed after New Year taking the class on alternate weeks which suits everyone.  The class has been so successful that a second class on a Tuesday afternoon was started in March.  This had over 20 people joining the first week but unfortunately could not continue because of coronavirus. All classes stopped during March but we look forward to starting up again as soon as it is safe enough for us.  Meanwhile Ursula and Angela are running two classes per week via ‘zoom’.








OUTINGS 2019/20 - Eric Niven & Val Towrie

The first outing of the season was to Dundee for the opportunity to visit the new V&A Museum which proved to be somewhat underwhelming to several of the company. Other attractions that were visited were the Discovery and the Verdant Works Jute Museum. 

The outing to the Royal Highland show proved to be a non-starter when only 7 people bought tickets and had to be cancelled. Maybe it was too soon after our visit the year before. In July we had a very successful visit to the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, Traquair House in the borders with a stop in Peebles on the return journey.

40 of us attended the Pittenweem Arts Festival which continues to grow in size. An early dinner was taken at the Kingswood Hotel in Burntisland which looked after us well. In August a full bus load went to Edinburgh to enjoy an afternoon at the Fringe Festival.

In September a visit to the Linda McCartney Retrospective in the Kelvingrove Art Galleries was followed in the afternoon by a tour of the Glengoyne Distillery. October saw a repeat of an earlier outing to Rosslyn Chapel and the National Mining Museum. There was another trip to Edinburgh for the Xmas Markets. 13 of us attended the Hogmanay Concert in the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

The final visit was to the National Film Archive in the Kelvin Hall which was well worth visiting. We also got a tour of the backroom store for Museums of Glasgow where we saw many treasures that don’t usually see the light of day. We ate lunch at Miss Cranston’s Tearoom in Sauchiehall Street after which a communications blip resulted in our bus driver being incommunicado. As the weather was not terribly pleasant two thirds opted to return to Largs by regular bus or train. The bus did arrive about 40 minutes later allowing time for a short visit to the People’s Palace before returning to Largs.  

My thanks go to Val Towrie for organising the Dundee and Edinburgh outings.

ART AND CHAT - Barry Morgan

The 2019 – 2020 season started well with 5 new members joining in September and 3 more in 2020. At present we have 40 members on the books but not everyone turns up each week which is just as well as there would not be enough room in the Brisbane Centre. Using the Centre from 10.30 to 16.00 each Thursday allows members to come and go through the day with plenty of room to do their art.  We usually have on average 20 members attending each week, some doing just the morning or some just the afternoon. Some members do the whole day popping out for lunch at a nearby café.

The OIR open day in September allowed us to put on a small display of our art along with the availability for visitors to purchase greeting card size copies of members’ art. The group had a full open day in November when members invited friends and family as well as members of the public to see examples of what had been produced over the year.  Some 90 pictures were displayed along with a selection of postcards and greeting cards, some with Christmas themes, which were available to purchase. 

December finished with us all enjoying a Christmas dinner at the Largs golf club. 

The new year started well with us all looking forward to a productive new year, including a trip for 10 members to Gartmore House for a week’s painting and relaxation. 

Another open day was planned for June and it was anticipated that some members’ paintings would be shown at planned exhibitions in Ayrshire. 

Unfortunately all plans have now been put on hold until we are allowed to get together again. Meanwhile weekly emails, a 30 day Sketching challenge and useful web site addresses are keeping us all in touch.

 

AYR CONCERT SERIES - Jean & David Wisdish

We are very pleased to report that we filled a 51-seat coach to go to the six concerts of the 2019 – 2020 Concert Series. As we have come to expect from the first-class Scottish Orchestra, each of the six concerts provided us with an evening of inspiring music.  Unfortunately, the seventh concert was cancelled due to the Covid 19 virus restrictions, this was a disappointment to us all.

Unfortunately, at present we are unable to publish the Programme for the  2020 – 2021 Concert Series.  As soon as we have the dates and programme, we will publish these details.

We welcome members to join us in an opportunity to experience six or seven evenings of wonderful music played in Ayr Town Hall.

We provide comfortable coaches with pick-up and drop-off points at Skelmorlie, Largs, Fairlie and West Kilbride.

 

BIRDWATCHING - Earl Spencer

We started our year on 9th September and whenever possible every two weeks from that date onwards.  Due to the terrible weather in February, holidays and leader’s trips overseas, we have had 10 outings nominally spaced out at this fortnight intervals.  Each session lasted about 2-3 hours dependent on sightings and prevalent weather conditions.  Our average turnout has been 5-6 individuals from a strong core of 9 with the occasional appearance of 2 or 3 others.  We were successful in sighting 65 species this year and hope to add to this total as we intend to carry on birdwatching throughout the rest of the year once the restriction, due to coronavirus, is no longer an issue.

 

BOOK CLUB - Margaret Sharp

This year we have had many and varied reads with some very high scoring books (we introduced a scoring system this year) with lively discussions ensuing.  We also have had some really abysmal reads but still managed to have lively discussions afterwards, mainly by going ‘off piste’ with some good humoured banter. (One man’s meat is another man’s poison as they say) but, good or bad, it makes for interesting debates.  It certainly takes one out of one's comfort zone.  We had a trip to a book reading this year which was very informative and hopefully we will be able to build on this for next year with other outings.  We also had our first ever Christmas lunch at the Green Shutters which went down a treat.  This is a nice group who ‘gel’ well and hopefully at this time we will be able to continue by keeping in touch through email.




BRIDGE - Jim Meldrum

Bridge has had a successful year!  Despite the many winter storms our Improvers class continued into its final year and was well attended with more than 20 regular participants.  Some of these folk have already started to play in the other clubs around the town and dare I say it are performing well against tough opposition!

Overall there was greater participation at the Monday and Friday Bridge Clubs with everyone enjoying the additional challenge of new players.  We introduced the ‘ArcScorer’ Electronic Scoring System (funded by OIR) which was seen as a great step forward as we dragged the clubs into the 21st century, got rid of paper scoring and introduced brightly coloured Kindles which allowed everyone to record and review their progress.

The new scoring system allowed everyone to see how they had performed against their ‘rivals’ before they left the hall at the end of the day.  It also had the benefit of letting players see how they played each board as they progressed through the day.  But perhaps the biggest benefit was that it meant we no longer needed to have individuals struggle to interpret the scrawling handwriting of the players present.  This led to a saving of a good few hours following each session and the scorers are only too delighted to have been replaced by technology.

It is fully anticipated that the clubs will be up and running again next session and the club leaders will be:

 

Monday (13.30 - 16.30) Jim Meldrum

Friday (09.30-12.30) Rowan Duggan

Friday (13.00-16.00) Jax Leck

 

CALLIGRAPHY - Edith MacKenzie

We have had another interesting session when we welcomed two new members from our waiting list.  Our projects this session were WORDS …… a word was picked and each person dealt with it as they wished. JOURNEY was very creative with illustrated capital.  PATIENCE was varied and amusing.  DAYS OF THE WEEK written in different styles of hand was challenging but again very creative.  All members are very helpful with ideas and always rise to any challenge with enthusiasm.  I hope to contact a couple of people from my waiting list for next session.

 

CARPET BOWLS - Brian McNeil

We meet twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm at Inverclyde Sports Centre.

We now have around 30 members split between the two days with some people playing once a week and others twice.  We were fortunate to get quite a few new members last session which always help to freshen things up.  We once again had our successful Christmas Lunch at the Sports Centre with everyone dressed in Christmas attire.  We were very pleased to have a visit from Eric Niven from the OIR committee and appreciated this.

 

CYCLING - Jean Williamson

The Largs OIR Cycling Group continued to cycle throughout 2019 finding interesting new routes and visiting many lovely tearooms and restaurants. We now have more riders who are competent in organising and leading rides and this takes the strain off the few people who regularly perform these duties. Generally we have about 10 – 15 riders and at present we have a waiting list.

After our excellent Christmas dinner and party at the Seamill House Hotel we were eager to get back in the saddle in 2020, well the hardier ones anyway.

We started  on 9th January with a run to one of our favourite destinations, Kilmaurs and the Rendezvous café, always worth a visit. That was followed by 2 further runs to Kilwinning and Bridge of Weir.  Then we had our first weather cancellation but we were hopeful of decent runs through February.

Sadly storms Ciara and Dennis had other ideas and we were restricted to 2 runs; firstly Bogend and then Dunlop but that was aborted as road surfaces were more suited to ice skating, so we diverted to Dalry.  Surely March would be better or so we thought. Well it got off to a good start with Langholm, a repeat to Kilmaurs and then along came the Coronavirus.  Primarily on the recommendation of Cycling UK to stop group cycling we decided our last run would be on 19th March to Fairlie Moor on the best day of the year so far, typical. Numbers for the runs varied between 5 and 10.

So that’s it, we’re now in lockdown and unlikely to get back together again until maybe late summer/ autumn.

 

DANCE - Bill Alexander & Archie Adams

Our dance group,with 53 members, have had a very successful year including a Christmas dinner dance held in the Willowbank Hotel. Unfortunately our  Easter dinner dance  had to be cancelled owing to the virus. Both dances were sold out with a waiting list but we are hoping to hold a summer ball in its place.  We also held theme dances at St.Andrews Day, Valentine day, St. Patricks Day, Halloween and Pancake Tuesday etc.

Our dancing consists of a mix of Sequence, Ballroom and old time dancing and it is held every Monday in the Clark Memorial Hall,  1.30 - 4 pm. and new members are always made welcome, with or without a partner, just turn up on the day.

We have been forced to end our dancing season early owing to the shut down.

We hope to restart on Monday 7th September and look forward to seeing you all then,  meantime,  “Keep on dancing”

 

DRAMA - Pauline McIntosh

Prior to the beginning of the 2019/20 session it looked as if our numbers were going to be down to 7. However, partly as a result of the OIR Open day, we now have 11 members, possibly the highest number we have ever had! We were absolutely delighted to include in that number two males who were welcomed with open arms!  The move to our new venue, the Choir Room, has proved to be a great success. We now have plenty of space to rehearse and a small area for storage. With a kitchen and toilet at hand, we are completely self contained and can rehearse without being disturbed.  The plans that I had made for the session had to be scrapped as numbers and genders were not as expected so as Director I had to come up with an alternative. I wanted to make everybody feel part of the group, not under pressure and most of all to have some fun! Something different was required, so it was decided to do our usual short sketch and then something that everybody could take part in. From there evolved ‘ The Play that Never Was’ aka ‘Twelve Angry Pigs’. We wanted to keep this under wraps so the whole group were sworn to secrecy and only a few key people outside the group knew what we were planning. A big thanks to those people who remained tight-lipped! I do hope that the audience enjoyed the performances. We certainly enjoyed the whole process. There were lots of laughs and we felt that we had all pulled together as a group including our 4 new members. Everybody made a special effort to turn up for rehearsals though sometimes we were beaten by terrible weather conditions, high tides and road closures.  All in all, it has been a successful session for the Drama Group with an average of 90% attendance at meetings. We are looking forward to continuing success over the coming year.

 

EASY EXERCISE - Eric Niven

Both Thursday morning sessions in Clark Memorial Church Hall continue to be well attended with several new members joining over the course of the year. Regrettably our coach Iain Burnside was obliged to give up due to a family commitment. However this was before he arranged a short video to illustrate our typical exercises. The film maker didn’t realise that the star of the video was also a weightlifter and way ahead of the rest of us in the routines she undertakes. We are fortunate in having a new highly qualified instructor from Inverkip, Gillian Adams.

 

ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD - Alistair Massey

(Report forwarded by Stewart Tindal - member of the class)

On average each Tuesday morning there were 7 people attending the class.  Whilst we are all at different levels good progress is made under the supervision of Alistair.

Unfortunately Alistair was unable to attend during the second term but it was the enthusiastic opinion of the class that we should continue each Tuesday in his absence.  However as we all know unfortunately due to Covid 19 the class had to stop.  We all look forward to the next session in September and hopefully Alistair will be there to give us his support and guidance.







ENJOY MUSIC - Ian McInnes

It is now 25 years since I took over the leadership of the Enjoy Music group from the late Jean Holms and I have never missed a meeting until now. Yes, in common with all other OIR activities, the group has had to cut its session short because of the need for “social distancing”. As befits the name of the group which I inherited from Jean, the past quarter of a century has been most enjoyable for me and, I hope, for the members of the group as we share our love of music of all types, but concentrating on the mainstream classics and the popular music of the 20th century. Membership numbers have fluctuated from 1994, when I joined the group, until the present day. They peaked in the late 1990s with 70 members and have now stabilised at around 30, with the average attendance this session being 13. Of our 30 members, we have a loyal core of about half the membership who never miss a meeting if they can help it, another 10 or so who come if they have nothing they deem better to do and a few who come to the odd meeting. The last two groups can do this as everyone is always made most welcome and each meeting is free-standing, meaning that there is no need to worry about having missed meetings. Sadly, poor health has meant that some of our most loyal members have not been able to attend as they would have liked and we have lost some long-standing and faithful members to the grim reaper.  Over the years I have endeavoured to present programmes of music on a particular theme and to provide a little background to the genre, composer and/or performers. This session, for example, we enjoyed a musical river cruise, celebrated musical heroes and greeted the “Roaring Twenties”. There has also been the opportunity for members to share their musical favourites and discoveries with the group. The acquisition of the laptop has greatly enlarged the opportunity to discover and compare different performances of a particular piece of music and to rediscover pieces to which members have not had access for many years. There is also the opportunity for an informal chat with old friends and new acquaintances over a cup of tea or coffee.  We must be doing something right, as when we had our annual visit from a member of the executive committee, he enjoyed the meeting so much that he decided to join the group. Why not copy his example and come along and meet a wonderful group of people?

We meet at 2 pm – 4 pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month (September – April); so do come along when we reconvene in Clark Memorial Church Hall Annexe, it is hoped, on 9th September. You are assured of a warm welcome and a great opportunity to “Enjoy Music”.

 

FRENCH 1 - Lorette Duddy

We have 19 members.  May Renwick has been forwarding work since the class has stopped due to Covid 19 and she is currently exploring a zoom class if members are interested.

 

FRENCH 2 -  Stan Petrie

Membership is currently 14 which is about the most we can sit round the table.  Technology is now playing a useful part in our classes in that contemporary recordings of social situations are played for us to translate and comprehend. This is useful idiomatic and every day language rather than the more formal approach.  It is also more challenging because of the speed of the spoken word.

We are all very grateful to our teacher May for continuing to make the class so interesting but most of all such fun . We all very much regretted the early curtailment of the class and look forward to its resumption .

 

FRENCH 3 - Agnes Kennedy

The afternoon group meets in  St Columba’s Episcopal Church Hall  and the accommodation and  parking are good.  We have 17 on the register but only around 10 or 11 in any class as a number of people have second homes abroad and some others travel quite a bit.  May Renwick the teacher is very accommodating and never turns people away even if joining part way through the year. The classes are interesting and up-to-date and cover grammar and conversation.  Topics are varied and during recent weeks May has sent out  work by email to keep us all going including material on the current crisis and how it is affecting France.  

The group is very sociable and supportive. 







GERMAN - Neil Barlow

German has been much better attended this year than last year, with an average of nine students per session. Perhaps we should drop the 'for beginners' as we are now halfway through Willkommen, and have tackled a number of tenses, as well as reading contemporary German magazine articles. At Christmas we had a meal at Guzzi, not without incident, but still very enjoyable. Since the coronavirus closed the group down, I am pleased to report that German is expected to continue online.  We would like to thank Katrin, who has been an inspirational teacher, for her care and consideration to us struggling students. 

 

GUITAR BEGINNERS - John Thomson

The beginners' guitar group started in October 2019 with many of the group returning from the previous year.  Over the period several guitarists at different levels of  competence joined the group and around Christmas it was agreed that those more proficient would split off and meet in an adjoining room led by Richard Topping.  At the end of the session the total group numbers stood at 18 members.  It is hoped that all being well the group will reconvene on 1st October 2020.

 

ITALIAN 1 - Marco Piva

Our attendance during this session has been between 5-10 people, most times closer to 10 and they remain enthusiastic.  Activities are varied, the tutor talks in Italian about life and culture in Italy.  Class members prepare passages in Italian and we use scripts where class members read out the different parts.  We particularly enjoy being read stories.Marco has been reading from a book of simple stories which he calls ‘The Book of Silly People’ as all the characters in it seem to be a little daft. The class is carrying on via skype, same time (Thursday 10.15), if anyone fancies joining or re-joining.  Please contact via email if you are interested.

 

ITALIAN 2 - Marco Cecchini

After many years meeting at Morris’s our Group moved briefly to the Largs bowling club but has now settled at Guzzi.  We were delighted to welcome Mary Valerio (not Italian) and she has fitted into the Group very well. We were  having quite a good time when everything came to a halt.  As I write this we are hoping to find something that could help us to keep in touch and  to do some kind of work until we can meet again.

The highlight of the season for the Group was winning the Town Twinning Quiz for the third time.

(Three out of three can`t be just luck....they are good )

 

JEWELLERY MAKING - Lorette Duddy

We currently have 6 members for this group.  We had planned to make faberge eggs for Easter but hopefully we can do this on our return.  We have been repurposing necklaces from the group’s own items.  Charity shops have also given us broken jewellery.

 

LEVEL WALKING - Lorette Duddy

We currently have 34 walkers on list but 24 regularly attend.  Since lockdown we zoom every Wednesday and we have a schedule planned for when we can resume.

 

PHILOSOPHY - Keith Hammond

The philosophy group has been focused on Socrates and now is working on Aristotle mediated through the internet.  We communicate online.  We have not stopped.  For me as tutor I have made new friends and new angles on old philosopher friends like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  The thinking in the group has been really interesting; more importantly it has been 'real' no intellectual dishonesty.  Sometimes we are all lost with some problems and that needs to be expressed.  But there is a confidence that I watched emerge in the group that is wonderful.  I take my Cocker Spaniel along to classes and he loves seeing everyone.  We love the whole experience of going over to Largs on the Ferry once a week and cannot wait for things to get back to normal whatever that is.




PILATES - Anne Hind

The Pilates group meet weekly on a Wednesday at St. Mary’s RC Church hall from 10 to 11am.  It is a very popular group and our numbers are now twenty two, with an average attendance of seventeen per week.  We continue to learn new moves and are improving every week and everyone enjoys the class.  The benefits of Pilates include improved posture, muscle tone, balance and flexibility.  Let’s hope we can all get back to classes soon.

 

PLAY & POETRY READING - Jean Stuart & Anne Brodie

We were very disappointed that our session came to an abrupt end right in the  middle of our reading of a comedy “Fools Rush In” by Kenneth Horne. It is unlikely that any of us will remember what it is about, after our much longer than anticipated summer break, so we will start at the beginning of it on our first day back.  All tastes are catered for in the plays which we read so there is something for everyone to enjoy.  After our welcome coffee break we turn our attention to Poetry.  Members bring in a poem of their choice to read aloud and we all share our thoughts on them. The poems cover a wide variety of topics ranging from the serious and thought provoking to humorous limericks.

This friendly group was delighted to welcome two new members this session.

 

SATURDAY WALKING - Agnes Kennedy & Billy Strang

We had a very active year until April.  There were a few strenuous walks including Arran’s 5 Bens,The West Highland Way (not all of it though) and a snowy climb up Feuside Hill at the back of Largs.  As usual the weather required that we re-schedule a few walks but the group is very flexible.

New walks have been introduced and new leaders have stepped forward which has brought further variety to our schedule.

Numbers attending vary greatly but 10-12 is the usual group size.  Terrible weather saw only 6 of us make it to Portencross whereas at Christmas we managed 29 including our very own orchestra.  We didn’t go far, just to Cumbrae but it was a beautiful day and the lunch/party afterwards was excellent.

We missed two weeks in March when the confinement period started then moved over to Zoom meetings.  The numbers in Zoom have been good with around 14-17 attending each week.  We discuss walks of course but mainly nonsense.  It’s a great way of keeping in touch and we should be able to use this forum to plan ahead.

 

SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING - Margaret Allen

Again we have had a very successful session.   There are 30 names on the roll and we welcomed two new members, Jaqueline and David Hamilton who have joined in with great enthusiasm.    We average about 22 each week.   This is for various reasons, illness, grandchildren, change of circumstances and SKIING (spending kids inheritance).  Good news, all the ill members have recovered and are rarin' to go. My thanks to all members for your unfailing support and hopefully we will be together again in September.  Proposed date is September 9th.   Put it in your diary now. Thanks also to members of the OIR committee who are always so helpful.

Notes from the Teacher

 

1. We are all Country Dancers,            4.    ‘We have forgotten how it starts’, I hear           

You can tell that by our feet,            Accompanied by a giggle,

Our toes point out at ten to two,        I laugh, I cry, through gritted teeth,

And both our heels should meet.        1s down and up the middle.

 

2. Posture is important,              5.  Just a ‘Senior Moment’,

So stand up nice and straight,            But it doesn’t really matter.

Smile across to your partner,            We are here for fun and friendship,

You're not going to the stake.            And the obligatory natter.

 

3. Next the name and type of dance,

A walk through, all looks steady,

But, dearie me, when the music starts

NO ONE IS READY.

SPANISH - Jim Stewart

At last year’s  O.I.R. open day we had about thirty enquiries from those showing an interest in the Spanish class, both for a Spanish Intermediate Class  and a Spanish Beginners Class .

At our first class at the beginning of September we had 21 attendees and this was considered by the Tutor to be too many for any proper tuition . Mary Turbot has been an excellent teacher throughout but she felt it would be better to have two classes to avoid any possible problems.  Both classes still took place on the same day but one in the morning and one in the afternoon so people could choose which suited . The attendees at the beginner level dropped out as there was too great a difference in the level of understanding.  The two class tuition continued till the end of December with an approximate split of 60/40   morning /afternoon attendance.  We all breathed a sigh of relief when we had a Christmas Dinner together to celebrate our hard work ! Eighteen of us enjoyed the celebration .  When we re-started in early January the attendances in both classes  were lower due to holiday and family commitments so it was decided to have only one class, due to costs and to go back to two classes when numbers recovered . This never took place due to Coronavirus concerns, subsequent restrictions and Class shutdown . Contact has been kept between th

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