President’s Blog Update 20/08/2014

Since the last blog I am pleased to report I’m am now firing on all 4 cylinders and raring to go. Much as happened in the last month. Glorious weather made the Brow Well annual tribute a truly memorable event and ensured a exceptionally good turn out. David Miller (current president of the SSCBA) presided over the ceremony eloquently and Jane Brown, as ceding president of the RBWF gave a stirring oration to the bard. The Rev Gerald Moule led the devotions and Pipe Major Calum Watson (in full highland dress) played the pipes magnificently ’neath the swirling saltires and added a touch of class to the occasion. SVP, Mike Duguid, of the SSCBA gave the vote of thanks to conclude the ceremony. I was given the honour of chaperoning a couple of visiting Burnsians from New Zealand to the event and gave them an impromptu tour of Glencaple, Kingholm Harbour and the Whitesands on the way to a sumptuous buffet at the Cairndale Hotel. They were a lovely couple who enjoyed themselves immensely and even contributed to the evening’s entertainment with a rather delightful poem. The evening was hosted by John Caskie who kept things running smoothly. The entertainment was braw with contributions by John Caskie, Bill Welsh, Ian McIntyre, Sandy Mclelland, Lee McQueen, Avril Kerr and others whose names I know but just for the moment can’t remember!!

Outing to Transport Museum and Kelvingrove Art Gallery Glasgow Sunday 16th August
On the 16th August a hardy bunch of howffers headed up the M74 to a windswept and rather sodden Glasgow to experience the delights of two of the best museums in the UK. The award winning transport museum was simply outstanding and my first impression was that of standing in a giant toy shop built specifically for adults. Trams, buses, steam trains, cars, bikes, ships and boats….. held up on giants plinths, screwed to the floor, bolted to the wall, some four deep -phew!! Combined with a free guided tour and culminating in possibly the nicest haggis pie I have ever tasted in my life it was an absolute joy! The only disappointment was not being able to board the (clipper) tall masted ship (moored at the ‘Quay’) due to a wedding party. A good reason to revisit the museum again? – definitely! There were some interesting Kodak Moments during our visit and I’m sure, in time, photographic evidence will materialise on the web of a wonderful day out.

After lunch we headed onwards and upwards covering the short distance to Kelvingrove Art Gallery which holds one of the most diverse art collections in the world. The building itself is rather grand and does not disappoint with its exhibits. The gallery is not solely for fine art lovers. Each gallery within the main building holds a separate themed exhibition with Dinosaurs to stuffed Elephants, there’s even a full size Spitfire hanging from the ceiling. The fine art exhibits that do hang are simply fabulous. From Glasgow Boys to impressionists, grand masters to surrealists there is an eclectic mix of wonderful paintings. The famous and surprisingly small Naysmith portrait of Robert Burns is almost lost amid a host of mighty Raeburns and other notable portrait painters. Again, we were taken on a guided tour by a very knowledgeable lady guide who kept us engaged without ever boring us with irrelevant data. Difficult to pick out a favourite amongst so many beauties but Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of St John on the Cross’ and Rembrandt’s Roman Soldier were breathtaking! After liquid refreshment we headed South to Moffat where we sampled the culinary delights of a local chippie. Sheltering from the rain in a bus shelter we mused on what a great day out it was and merrily headed off home. Thanks must go to one David Smith for organising the event and booking the guided tours which added much intellectual value to the proceedings!

John Clark 24/08/14