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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Bard's club plea to exiled Scots
Robert Burns
A plot of land farmed by Robert Burns is owned by the club
A call has gone out to exiled Scots living in a Devon city to help save a club formed in honour of Scotland's national bard.

The Plymouth Robert Burns Club was formed in 1948 and in its heyday had more than 100 members.

Numbers have dwindled to about 20 and new members are being recruited, ahead of its diamond anniversary in 2008.

The club aims to promote Scottish culture and cuisine and to perpetuate the memory of the poet.

Rabbie Burns was the Robbie Williams of his day
Michael Ough, club secretary

The club is affiliated to the Robert Burns Federation, which has about 80,000 members in clubs around the world, including Russia, Canada, Australia and the United States.

Michael Ough, the club's secretary and vice president, said Burns was a larger than life character.

He told BBC News: "Rabbie Burns was the Robbie Williams of his day.

"His work has given joy to millions of people and his extra marital affairs certainly gave a completely new meaning to the term 'highland fling'."

The Plymouth club was recently given a deed showing it owns a small plot of Mount Oliphant farm near Ayr, where Burns worked on the land with his father and brother between 1766 and 1777.

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