‘Baird of Bute’ society is launched

THE man behind last year’s ‘Baird of Bute’ centenary celebrations has this week announced the launch of a society dedicated to helping young people follow in the footsteps of a Scottish technological pioneer.

The Baird of Bute Society has been established to recognise and promote the historical achievements of Andrew Blain Baird, the Bute blacksmith who, on September 17, 1910 at Ettrick Bay, flew a plane of his own design and manufacture to record the first all-Scottish heavier-than-air powered flight.

Chris Markwell, who founded the society, has also confirmed that a second ‘Baird of Bute’ weekend will be held on the island on September 24 and 25, with more details of the programme to be released very soon.

“The achievements of Andrew Baird are an example of what one person can do when impassioned and motivated,” Mr Markwell said.

“While the Society will keep his historical achievements to the fore, it is his entrepreneurial example that we will highlight in the creation and support of programmes and activities that will recognise and reward creative thinking, and assist the youth of Bute to better realise their dreams.”

The society’s trustees are Rothesay Joint Campus principal Wendy Brownlie, Mount Stuart head of collections Andrew McLean, Port Bannatyne postmistress (and Andrew Baird descendent) Janet O’Sullivan and Mr Markwell himself.