James Keir Hardie
(1856 - 1915)
James Keir Hardie, Cumnock
Kier Hardie School
Brannock Road, North East Motherwell
Can't photograph the School sign as it is obscured by high trees.
There is no plaque inside the school.
Keir Hardie Sports Center
About a mile away from the above school.
Keir Hardie Centre Plaque
The Baird Institute which houses the Keir Hardie Room - Cumnock
The Baird Institute lies in the centre of the town of Cumnock and was opened in March 1891 to provide leisure facilities for local people and included a museum, billiard room and reading rooms.
Today it holds collections of Mauchline Ware of world importance complimented by many items of Cumnock Pottery as well as a wide range of resources which relate to the history of Cumnock and the Doon Valley area – museum collections, archives, photographs, audio visual materials, books, maps and newspapers. One room is also dedicated to James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party and contains many of his personal belongings.
Combine this with a continually changing catalogue of contemporary art exhibitions and a range of events and workshops taking place throughout the year and a visit to the Baird Institute will be worthwhile, whatever your interest.
The funding for the erection of the Baird came from John Baird who, in his will, bequeathed money for a public building in Cumnock. The building was designed by Mr Robert Ingram of Kilmarnock and was opened in March 1891 and is in the Scottish Baronial style, constructed from local Mauchline and Auchinleck pink sandstone. All rooms were illuminated with gas lighting, each with Irish white marble fireplaces except for the one in the Billiards Room which was made from Italian black and gold marble.
The venue recently underwent a £650,000 worth of refurbishment and was awarded a four star visitor attraction status by Visit Scotland.
For details on the latest exhibitions at the Baird Institute Click Here to Visit Their Site.
Keir Hardie Room
Information inside the room, immediately to the left of the door
This display commemorates the life and work of James Keir Hardie, political pioneer, who lived in Cumnock for the last thirty-four years of his life.
Hardie was born in the Lanarkshire village of Legbrannock. A few years later the family moved to Glasgow and it was there that Hardie began his working life at the age of eight, as a message boy. Still a child, he then went to work in a coalmine. By the age of seventeen he had learned to read and write and acquired his further education through evening classes and solitary reading, being strongly influenced by the works of Robert Bums and Thomas Carlyle. He developed a strong social conscience and by the age of twenty-one was a trade union activist, becoming the miners' agent for the Hamilton district It was as Secretary of the Ayrshire Miners Federation that he came to Cumnock, which was his home for the rest of his life.
By the 1890s he was well known throughout the country as a speaker and activist. In 1892 he was elected by the London constituency of West Ham as one of the first MPs to represent working men, later, he was MP for the Welsh constituency of Merthyr Boroughs. He was a founder member and the first Chairman of the Independent labour Party; he founded and edited the newspaper. The Miner (Later Labour Leader); he played a leading role in the Labour Representation Committee, which in 1906 became the Labour Party. Among the many causes he championed was that of votes for women.
The furniture, books and ornaments deployed here came from his home ‘Lochnorris’