Ayr is a large town and former Royal Burgh situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, United Kingdom. It is the centre of the South Ayrshire Council area. Ayr is currently the most populated settlement in Ayrshire and is the 12th most populous settlement in Scotland, the town adjoins the smaller town of Prestwick to the north, forming a single continuous urban area with the town. Ayr was established as a Royal Burgh in 1205, serving as Ayrshires central marketplace and harbour throughout the Medieval Period, on the southern bank of the River Ayr sits the ramparts of a Citadel constructed by Oliver Cromwell during the mid-17th Century. Towards the south of the town is the birthplace of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the suburb of Alloway, with the expansion of the railway during the 19th Century Ayr soon developed into a seaside resort. Politically, Ayr is considerably more Conservative-voting than the remainder of Scotland, the town is now marginally contested between the Conservatives and the Scottish National Party. In the UK Parliament Ayr is situated within the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency which is represented by SNP MP Corri Wilson. Ayr is one of the largest retail centres along the south of Scotland and was recognised as the second healthiest town centre in the United Kingdom by the Royal Society for Public Health in 2014, Ayr has hosted the Scottish Grand National horse-racing steeplechase annually since 1965. The town also accommodates the headquarters of the Ayr Advertiser and Ayrshire Post newspapers, the name Ayr can be traced back to a pre-Celtic word meaning watercourse. The name was used before the establishment of the Julian calendar as a name for the River Ayr, Ayr was founded as a market burgh town in 1205 by King William the Lion. It was formerly named Inverair or Inverayr, meaning mouth of the river Ayr, elements of the former name remain present within the Scottish Gaelic name for Ayr – Inbhir Air. Since 1261 annual fairs were held in the town, at this time the town had a recorded population of 1,500 and served as a major port on the west coast. The town was occupied by England from 1301 until 1312 as part of the Scottish Wars of Independence, on 26 April 1315, a Parliament of Scotland was held in Ayr by Robert The Bruce at St. Johns Tower by the sea. Later, in 1652, the town was used as a base, Cromwell established a large fortress along the mouth of the River Ayr and erected walls around the area just south of the Rivers mouth - most of these walls remain present to this day. A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of Ayr Barracks on the site in 1795. Ayr forms part of the Westminster constituency of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock and this constituency includes Carrick in South Ayrshire in addition to Doon Valley, Cumnock and New Cumnock in southern East Ayrshire. The seat is held by the Scottish National Partys Corri Wilson. The Central Ayrshire constituency runs north of the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency and it takes in the towns of Irvine, Kilwinning, Prestwick, Troon and rural Kyle, running into Annbank
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles, the legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is also a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages. Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
Ayr Football Club was a Scottish Football League club from Ayr, Scotland. They were formed in 1879 by a merger of the Ayr Thistle and their initial home ground was Springvale Park, which they left in 1884 to play home fixtures at Beresford Park, which they in turn left in 1888 to move to Somerset Park. Ayr won their first ever game at Somerset Park 3–0 against Aston Villa, Ayr had spent 13 seasons in the Scottish Football League Division Two, with a best finish of third place which they managed on three occasions. They never managed to win promotion above this level, Ayr F. C. merged with fellow league members Ayr Parkhouse in 1910 to form Ayr United. This is the first and oldest example in Scottish football of a merger between two clubs from the same town until the Inverness thistle/Caledonian merger in 1994. The merger came about because it was felt that a club would have better prospects of playing in Division One. Ayr United achieved that status three years after the merger
Ayr Parkhouse F.C.
Ayr Parkhouse Football Club were a football club from the town of Ayr in Scotland. The club was a member of the Scottish Football League until 1910, Ayr Parkhouse were formed in 1886 and took their name from the Parkhouse farmhouse where the clubs players trained. They initially played their games at Ballantine Drive, before moving to the Ayr Racecourse ground. In 1888 Ayr vacated the better developed Beresford Park, and Ayr Parkhouse moved in, however, Ayr Parkhouse took the decision to remain a faithfully amateur club, only turning professional in 1905. Local success continued, but the rivalry that was built up with Ayr ceased to have an outlet when that club were admitted to membership of the Scottish Football League in 1897. Ayr Parkhouses ambitions were beginning to outgrow their local successes and the early amateur fuelled hostility to membership of the professional Scottish Football League was waning. Their initial season in the league was a disaster and they finished bottom of Division Two and therefore had to reapply for membership, but they declined to do so. After two seasons outwith the league, playing instead in the Scottish Football Combination, Ayr Parkhouse were accepted back into the Second Division in 1906, the club performed without much distinction in the following four seasons. At the end of the 1909–10 season, Ayr and Ayr Parkhouse merged to form Ayr United, Royal blue shirts, royal blue shorts. –1910 Royal blue & white hooped shirts, royal blue shorts. He was Manchester Uniteds first Scotland international, in 1912
Ayr United F.C.
Ayr United Football Club are a Scottish association football club, based in Ayr that plays in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Formed in 1910 after the merger of former clubs Ayr Parkhouse and Ayr, their nickname is The Honest Men, taken from a line in the poem Tam o Shanter by Scotlands national poet, Robert Burns. The club have spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division altogether, the club have been the champions of the second tier of Scottish football on six occasions and of the third tier twice, but have not won any national cup competitions. The clubs most famous and most successful manager is Ally MacLeod, in May 2016 United secured promotion to the Scottish Championship via the Playoffs. Ayr United were founded in 1910 after the merger of Ayr Parkhouse, the clubs honours include winning six Second Division titles and a further two such titles, most recently in 1996–97. They have won the competition the Ayrshire Cup on 26 occasions. The Ayrshire Cup was last played for in season 1996–97, since when the competition has been suspended, the clubs overall record scorer is Peter Price, who scored 213 times in competitive matches for the club between 1955 and 1962. Former Scottish national team manager Ally MacLeod is regarded as the clubs most famous and he led the club on three separate occasions spanning 15 years, during which his teams recorded a record 214 wins, and won two league titles. In 1973 MacLeod was voted Ayrs Citizen of the Year, more recent managers have also included the recent Scottish national team manager, George Burley, and former Scottish League Cup winner with Raith Rovers, Gordon Dalziel. Gordon Dalziel is the manager to take Ayr to a National Cup Final on 17 March 2002 when they lost to Rangers 4–0. Their current manager is Ian McCall, although the club has spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division, they have played in the second and third tiers of Scottish senior football since the 1977–78 season. In 1988, Ayr United fan and businessman Sir David Murray offered to buy the club, during much of the 1990s and 2000s, a period of relative success both in league and cup competitions, the Ayr United chairman was local construction magnate Bill Barr. After Barr stood down, there were occasional boardroom struggles, the club suffered significant cashflow problems in 2004 although it survived with a combination of efforts, prestwick-based Roy Kennedy failed to takeover the club in 2005, and his company Kennedy Construction went bankrupt in 2006. On 24 May 2009, Ayr won the Scottish First Division Play-off against Airdrie United 3–2 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division. The following season, to celebrate the centenary, Ayr United played in black and white hoops. The away kit was crimson and gold with blue shorts to reflect the club colours. But it was not a successful season, Ayr were relegated on the last day of the season after losing 2–1 to Morton. The club bounced back the season, winning promotion after defeating Forfar Athletic
Scottish Football League
The Scottish Football League was a league featuring professional and semi-professional football clubs mostly from Scotland. From its foundation in 1890 until the breakaway Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, after 1998, the SFL represented levels 2 to 4 of the Scottish football league system. In June 2013, the SFL merged with the SPL to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SFL was associated with a title sponsor from the 1985–86 season. As this sponsor has changed over the years the league was known in turn as the Fine Fare League, B&Q League, Bells Scottish Football League, the SFL also organised two knock-out cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. Organised football in Scotland began in 1873 with the formation of the Scottish Football Association, during the next 15 years or so, clubs would play friendly matches, Scottish Cup ties and local cup ties. The Football League, initially containing clubs from the North West and this had been done in response to the professionalisation of football in England in 1885, with the regular diet of league fixtures replacing the haphazard arrangement of friendlies. Many Scottish players, known as the Scotch Professors, moved to the English league clubs to receive the high salaries on offer. This prompted Scottish clubs into thinking about forming their own league, in March 1890, the secretary of Renton wrote to thirteen other clubs inviting them to discuss the organisation of a league. All of the clubs accepted the invitation, except Queens Park and these concerns were to prove well-founded, as six of the founder members would leave the league before 1900. The Scottish Football League was inaugurated on 30 April 1890, the first season of competition, 1890–91, commenced with 11 clubs because St Bernards were not elected. The eleven original clubs in membership were Abercorn, Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs, Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven. Renton were expelled five games of the 1890–91 season for playing against St Bernards. Renton raised an action against the SFA in the Court of Session and won, in the 1890–91 season, Rangers and Dumbarton were level at the top of the league on 29 points. The teams drew 2–2 in a match, but no further thought had been given to separating teams by another method. Goal average was introduced for the 1921–22 season and replaced by goal difference for the 1971–72 season, the league proved to be highly successful, and in 1893 a Second Division was formed by the inclusion of a number of clubs previously in the Scottish Football Alliance. Promotion was initially based on a ballot of clubs, automatic promotion was not introduced until 1922, in 1923, the League decided to introduce a Third Division. The Western Football League was used as its backbone but the new set-up lasted only three years before it collapsed under heavy financial losses, from 1926 until 1946, the League returned to two divisions. Post-World War II reforms saw the League resume with three divisions, postwar seasons saw the divisions renamed A, B and C with the last section also including reserve sides
Robert Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire, Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and he also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, in 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV. As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected songs from across Scotland. His poem Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay, and he was born in a house built by his father, where he lived until Easter 1766, when he was seven years old. William Burnes sold the house and took the tenancy of the 70-acre Mount Oliphant farm, here Burns grew up in poverty and hardship, and the severe manual labour of the farm left its traces in a premature stoop and a weakened constitution. By the age of 15, Burns was the principal labourer at Mount Oliphant, during the harvest of 1774, he was assisted by Nelly Kilpatrick, who inspired his first attempt at poetry, O, Once I Lovd A Bonnie Lass. In the summer of 1775, he was sent to finish his education with a tutor at Kirkoswald, despite his ability and character, William Burnes was consistently unfortunate, and migrated with his large family from farm to farm without ever being able to improve his circumstances. Subsequently, the family became integrated into the community of Tarbolton, to his fathers disapproval, Robert joined a country dancing school in 1779 and, with Gilbert, formed the Tarbolton Bachelors Club the following year. His earliest existing letters date from this time, when he began making overtures to Alison Begbie. In spite of four songs written for her and a suggestion that he was willing to marry her, Robert Burns was initiated into masonic Lodge St David, Tarbolton, on 4 July 1781, when he was 22. This venture accordingly came to an end, and Burns went home to Lochlea farm, during this time he met and befriended Captain Richard Brown who encouraged him to become a poet. He continued to write poems and songs and began a book in 1783. The case went to the Court of Session, and Burnes was upheld in January 1784, a fortnight before he died. During the summer of 1784 Burns came to know a group of girls known collectively as The Belles of Mauchline, one of whom was Jean Armour, the daughter of a stonemason from Mauchline. His first child, Elizabeth Paton Burns, was born to his mothers servant, Elizabeth Paton, while he was embarking on a relationship with Jean Armour, Burns signed a paper attesting his marriage to Jean, but her father was in the greatest distress, and fainted away. To avoid disgrace, her parents sent her to live with her uncle in Paisley, although Armours father initially forbade it, they were eventually married in 1788
Odeon is a cinema company operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which along with UCI Cinemas is part of the Odeon Cinemas Group. It uses the name of the Odeon cinema circuit first introduced in Britain in 1930. The first Odeon cinema was opened by Oscar Deutsch in 1928, in Brierley, Staffordshire, the first cinema to use the Odeon brand name was Deutschs cinema at Perry Barr, Birmingham in 1930. Ten years later Odeon was part of the Rank Organisation who continued their ownership of the circuit for a further sixty years. Through a number of sales and acquisitions in the early 2000s the company was purchased by Terra Firma, most UCI cinemas then took the Odeon brand name in 2006. Terra Firma sold the company to AMC Theatres in November 2016, in 2016, Odeon was the largest cinema chain in the United Kingdom by market share. Odeon Cinemas was created in 1928 by Oscar Deutsch, the name Nickelodeon was coined in 1905 and was widely used to describe small cinemas in the United States during that era. However the company is most associated with J. Arthur Rank, the first cinema opened by Oscar Deutsch was located in Brierley Hill, Staffordshire, England in 1928. The building has long since demolished, but as of 2006. However, its style is more functional than that of original Odeon cinemas, ironically, the first cinema that opened under the Odeon brand was located in Perry Barr, Birmingham. It was designed by Harry Weedon, the frontage was remodelled following damage sustained during the Second World War and, having been a bingo hall, has since been converted into a conference venue. By 1930, Odeon was a name and the cinemas known for their maritime-inspired Art Deco architecture. This style was first used in 1930 on the cinema at Perry Barr in Birmingham and he liked the style so much that he commissioned the architect, Harry Weedon, to design his future buildings. It is currently a club in the Mecca chain. It featured central linear lighting, a feature that became characteristic of his work, in 1935, Oscar Deutsch commissioned John Maltby, a professional photographer, to photograph every cinema in the Odeon chain at that time. The resulting collection, of internal and external photographs, is held in the archive of English Heritage. Deutsch sold the chain to the interests of J. Arthur Rank. By the time of Oscar Deutschs death in 1941,258 Odeons had opened throughout Britain, after the sale to J. Arthur Rank Corporation, Odeon also operated a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary, Odeon Theatres Ltd. with more than a hundred cinemas in Canada, coast-to-coast
Somerset Park is a football stadium located in Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been the home of Ayr United since they were founded in 1910, prior to that, it was the home ground of Ayr, who merged with Ayr Parkhouse to form Ayr United. Ayr commissioned Somerset Park in 1888 to replace Beresford Park, Ayr needed an alternative venue for a friendly match against Aston Villa because Beresford Park was being used for the Ayr Cattle Show at the time. The Beresford Park clubhouse and grandstand were dismantled and reassembled at Somerset Park, Ayr entered the Scottish Football League in 1897, but failed to seriously challenge for promotion to the First Division. Ayr Parkhouse, who played at Beresford Park, subsequently joined the league, the two clubs decided to merge in 1910 to form Ayr United and the new club adopted Somerset Park as its primary home, although Beresford Park was used during the First World War. Ayr United bought Somerset Park for £2,500 in 1920, four years later, the direction of the pitch was changed when the club built a new Main Stand. A roof was built in 1933 over the end terrace. The grounds record attendance of 25,225 was set on 13 September 1969 in a match against Rangers, floodlights were installed a year later. Somerset Park was relatively late in doing this because the ground is in the path of the nearby Prestwick Airport. The Somerset Road end terrace was covered in 1971, a new wing was added to the Main Stand in 1989, increasing the seating capacity to 1,450 in an overall capacity of 12,128. Despite this work on other Scottish grounds, Somerset Park was not developed, barr had plans for an out-of-town stadium rejected by the Scottish Executive. He retired in 2004 and passed control of the club to Donald Cameron, in November 2006, Ayr United publicised plans to sell Somerset Park to housing developer Barratt Homes and move to a new purpose built stadium in the Heathfield area of Ayr. The new ground was planned to consist of a stand of 3,650 seats, with the potential to add another 3, 000-seat stand. South Ayrshire Council gave outline planning permission in January 2008, Barratt Homes pulled out of the deal to purchase Somerset Park in August 2008, however, with the developer claiming that the planning rules were unworkable. The credit crunch, which depressed housing values, also affected the proposals viability, the Main Stand roof was damaged by Hurricane Bawbag in December 2011, forcing Ayr United to postpone a First Division match against Ross County. Ayr railway station is approximately 10 minutes walk from Somerset Park, newton-on-Ayr railway station is closer to the ground, but fewer trains stop there. The A77 road is the route towards Ayr. To reach Somerset Park, take the A719 road into town, there is a small car park next to Somerset Park and nearby street parking is also available
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium