Want to explore your ancestry, but don't know where to start? Fascinated by the past and wanting to learn more? Looking for something different to do at the weekend?
The answer's on your doorstep as the annual South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair returns to the Walker Halls in Troon on Saturday 2 June 2012 and promises to be much more than a trip down memory lane.
Between 9am and 4.30pm, you'll have the chance to discover a wide range of stalls offering advice and guidance on family history, tracing your roots, exploring local and national history as well as a specialist Scottish bookshop. Admission to the stalls is free.
In addition, a full programme of informative talks featuring respected guest speakers has again been organised.
Tom Barclay, Local Studies Librarian at South Ayrshire Council gets the talks on track at 10am, literally, when he explores The Iron Road to Troon – a celebration of Scotland's first proper railway. He's followed at 11am by Mark Nixon from the University of Edinburgh, who takes a more radical approach, examining Political Agitation in Late 19th Century Ayrshire.
Dr Iain Banks, Senior Lecturer in Battlefield Archaeology at University of Glasgow takes the floor from 2pm, with a fascinating insight into the archaeology of battlefields and the day is brought to a musical conclusion with a presentation on Piping and the Piper hosted by James Beaton from the National Piping Centre, who takes us on a note-worthy journey through tradition change and the Highland Bagpipe.
Tickets for the talks are always popular and are priced at £3 per talk, or £5 for two. £10 will buy a ticket for entry to all talks and tickets can be purchased from Troon Library, or Carnegie Library, in Ayr from Tuesday 1 May 2012, or at the door on Saturday 2 June 2012.
Stalls can be booked at a charge of £10 for societies and organisations and £20 for commercial businesses. There are limited places available so it is advisable to book early and all stallholders will be allowed free admission to talks during the day.
Looking ahead to the event, Jill Cronin South Ayrshire Council's Acting Head of Community Development said: "History is a rich and rewarding subject very much in vogue at the moment and the History Fair is an extremely popular attraction every year and who knows who, or what, you might discover in your own family history?
"We've seen people discover links to America, Australia and Canada. Your first steps into the past could even spark a family reunion, make some unexpected connections or even help you find family members you never knew existed. Who knows who you might be related to?
"Whether you're interested in exploring your family roots or wanting to take a more specialised look at a particular topic, the History Fair – and the guest speakers – will help bring your interest to life".
Anyone who would like further information, or wants to make a booking should contact South Ayrshire History and Family History Fair, Library Headquarters, John Pollock Centre, Mainholm Road, Ayr, KA8 0QD, telephone number 01292 294320.
Alternatively leaflets on the Fair, which contain a booking form, are available at libraries throughout South Ayrshire.