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Updated 07/10/2020

 


The Lads of Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock is a large burgh in East Ayrshire, Scotland. The River Irvine runs through its eastern section, and the Kilmarnock Water passes through it, giving rise to the name 'Bank Street'. The name Kilmarnock comes from the Gaelic cill (cell), and the name of Saint Marnock or Mernoc who is also remembered in the name of Portmarnock in Ireland and Inchmarnock.

The first collection of work by Scottish poet Robert Burns, Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect, was published in Kilmarnock in 1786 by John Wilson, printer and bookseller and became known as the Kilmarnock Edition. The internationally distributed whisky brand Johnnie Walker originated in the town in the 19th century and until 2012 was still bottled, packaged and distilled in the town at the Johnnie Walker Hill Street plant.

Kilmarnock is home to Kilmarnock Academy, one of only two state schools in the world that have educated two Nobel Prize laureates, Alexander Fleming (born 1881), who became known for his groundbreaking discovery of Penicillin in 1928, alongside John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr (born 1880) for his research and work into Nutrition as well as his work as the first Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He was the co-founder and the first President (19601971) of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).