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Hector MacMillan Technician     Playwright     Luthier Honorary President: Scottish Society of Playwrights

Honorary Fellow: Association For Scottish Literary Studies

“If we investigate only by physical and chemical means, we can only get physical and chemical answers.”

Sir Alister Hardy, FRS

Ayrshire Lang Syne

Film commissioned by Ayrshire Education Authority to mark the centenary of the Education [Scotland] Act, 1872.

Director Mike Alexander. Camera Mark Littlewood.

The remit was that the film should deal with Ayrshire about the time of Burns and involve the maximum number of pupils and teachers in its production.

I decided to let the story evolve around one professional actor [David Steuart] playing the local minister as he toured the parish collating information for his submission to the first Statistical Account of Scotland. Such reports could cover topics such as coalmining, farming, smuggling, and fornication.

Over 100 pupils and teachers, both primary and secondary, had acting parts in the film. The costumes and sets were the result of much hard work by an equally large pupil/teacher crew drawn from all over the county's schools. Originally commissioned for 20-minutes, it finished up a 40-minute epic on a production budget of £3500.

'of interest far beyond Ayrshire and should be widely shown' The Scotsman

'a fascinating picture of Ayrshire's past.. stands securely on its own, quite apart from its didactic purposes .. often beautiful to watch' Times Educational Supplement

'not only informative - also dares to entertain and enthral' Daily Express

There may be a copy in the Scottish Film Archive.