You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

One Day in Irvine (clip)

The Ayrshire town of Irvine as seen through the eyes of a young Canadian.

  • Print All


A scripted drama documentary film showing a young Canadian honouring a dying wish to visit the family seat of Ayrshire. The film looks at the people and industries which sustained the town in the 1970s. This clip includes shots of the Canadian rowing into the harbour at Irvine. The Glasgow Vennel and Plaque on the building stating that Robert Burns once slept there. Shots of the churchyard. The Marymass Festival procession and fair. Shots of the town, a foundry, knitwear factory and Ayrshire Metal Products Ltd.

Questions & Activities


  • When was the new town of Irvine created and why do you think it is important to record the old town?
  • How has fashion changed?
  • What do you think about the town of Irvine and how is it presented?
  • What would Burns have seen in the town?
  • How has industry developed and diversified in Irvine?
  • What street names can you see in the film and who are streets named after today?
  • Why did people emigrate to Canada and when did they go?
  • Which countries did Scots go to and why?
  • Which countries are people coming from to Scotland and why?
  • What is the Marymass Parade and what did it stand for? Does or did your village/town have a gala day?
  • What is the purpose of the certificate at the beginning of the film?


Social History / Modern Studies: Research Irvine New Town. When was it built and why? Create a timeline which maps all the changes. Split the class into co-operative groups to create visuals to put onto the timeline.

History / Moving Image Education: Make your own film to promote the benefits of your own town with your own personal ideas. Choose how you would arrive and leave.

Social History: Research your own family tree.

Social History / Geography / International Education: Does your town have a twin in another country - research the connections. If not where would you choose and why?

History / Geography: Research the local industry, what has changed. Why and how did the city/town grow from this and where is the city/town now in terms of its industry. Where might it go in the future.?

English: Imagine yourself 50 years in the future - you are a visitor - describe what the town would be like using creative writing/a film or storyboard.

English: Research Robert Burns' connection to the town, what he did and what would the town like have been like in his day.

Textiles / Geography: Research what other textiles Scotland exported abroad.

English / History: Pause film after "€œa man needs a sense of history" early on in the film and discuss what this means.

History: Research the street names in your town - what evidence does this give for which industries and historical figures are featured in your town?

Geography: Use street maps of your town and your town to design a historical street walk of your town. Take the class out. Create an audio guide and get feedback from the people that walk it.

English: Write a letter putting forward your case for twinning the town.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-291-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 2237
Date 1971
Genre Documentary, Sponsored
School Subject Modern Studies, History, English, Geography, Social Studies, Media Studies
Subject Matter Textiles
Who Films of Scotland and Irvine Development Corporation (sponsors), IFA (Scotland), Ltd. (production company), Mark Littlewood (director)
Where Irvine
Event Robbie Burns, Migration, Industry, New Towns
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 9:26
Film Length 20:43