Festivals, exhibitions and a stark warning about the future of Ayr United made the headlines in the Advertiser back in May 2003.

Do you recognise anyone in these pictures from our past?

Ayr Advertiser: The student artists at the exhibition

STUDENT artists from Ayr College showed off some of their work at an exhibition at the Chatterbox restaurant.

The talented group, all HNC Art and Design students, took time off from their busy schedule to display some of their best work from their portfolios.

Local firms such as Drawrite, Greenan Gallery, Off-The-Wall and Henry Picture Framing helped put the exhibition together and it was a roaring success with the number of visitors to view it exceeding expectations.

Our picture shows students Owen Young, Gillian Moynagh, Amanda Tullis, Stephen Rae, Gillian Harvey and Duncan Towson, with some of their work.

Ayr Advertiser: The Ayrshire Guitar Orchestra perform at the Kirkmichael festival

Organisers of the Kirkmichael Guitar Festival hailed the 2003 event “the best ever“ after sold out signs went up for every show.

Over 100 artists - coming from places as far afield as the USA and Australia - performed at the event which had Kirkmichael buzzing from Friday through to Sunday.

Festival artistic director James Taylor said: “This was a fantastic festival, definitely the best yet, and the fact that every night was a complete sell-out proves this without doubt.”

The kids from the Ayrshire Guitar Orchestra, pictured above, hit the right note with the festival audience.

The one disappointment came with the last-minute cancellation of one of the headline acts, French singing star Sacha Distel, who was forced to call off after being rushed into a Paris hospital.

Ayr Advertiser: Volunteers from Copeline at the Ayr event

AYR played host to a fun day with a message as the local volunteer service put on a great show at the Racecourse.

As part of the Year of the Disabled, the Ayr Volunteer Service invited local support groups from across South Ayrshire to publicise their cause while enjoying some of fun at the same time.

Visitors enjoyed music from Prestwick Jazz Band, the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra and Ayr Pipe Band. Facepainting, a family pet show and a circus workshop kept the youngsters amused throughout the course of the afternoon.

Ayr Advertiser: New Justice Secretary Cathy Jamieson

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MSP Cathy Jamieson was named as the Minister for Justice in Jack McConnell’s new Cabinet.

The MSP, who is also Labour’s Deputy leader in the Scottish Parliament, moved on to the new post from her previous position as Minister for Education and Young People.

Her reponsibilities would iinclude criminal justice, youth justice, victim support, police, prisons and sentencing policy, courts and law reform.

Speaking after meeting with the First Minister at his official residence at Bute House, she said: “This will be a very challenging post, but I look forward to progressing our agenda for reform.

“People expect to see us deliver safer communities and improvements to our courts and justice system, particularly for victims.

“Having spoken to many local constituents and organisations, I know how strongly people feel about this and I intend to take effective action to tackle the problems in our local communities.”

Finally, chairman Bill Barr warned that Ayr United would fold, unless the local community stepped in to fund the club.

It came as he announced his retirement from Barr Holdings.

The 65-year-old businessman has pledged to stay on as chairman of the club in a bid to get a community-backed initiative off the ground.

But he warned that he will not remain in charge at United indefinitely, and was looking at bowing out within “weeks and months” rather than years.

And he was clear that fans, local business interests and funding sources such as the Executive, Council and Enterprise Ayrshire will all have to play their part if the club is to survive.

Mr Barr said: “I have always wanted to help Ayr, where I was born, and I have given a lot of my time to Ayr United. But I cannot go on forever.

“ If someone else wants to come in, then fine. But for me it now has to be a community thing.

“Maybe the community maybe don’t want a football team – that’s something we’re about to find out. But one thing is clear – unless they step in, the club simply won’t be there.”