Charnwood 2015

A full house of residents and staff (around 60) greeted the top table with some enthusiasm for the annual Burns Supper at Charnwood Lodge in Dumfries. Someone remarked it was a good job we were wearing howff ID as apart for the youthful Lee McQueen, we may have been kept in! Proceedings opened with Calum Watson piping in the haggis which was duly addressed by myself. After a tasty supper and generous hospitality , a brief immortal memory was given by myself, followed by a humorous toast tae the lassies by the multi talented Calum Watson. Lee McQueen provided music on the accordion and Bill gave us some fine singing. Gordon gave a short recitation. Looking round it was obvious the residents were having fun and we were duly thanked after a rousing Auld Lang Syne which closed proceedings. Congratulations must go to the staff of Charnwood for providing hospitality and putting so much work into the Burns Supper table décor. A grand day out for residents, staff and all present.

John Clark
President Burns Howff Club

Five Arches Burns Supper

Five Arches Burns Supper President’s Report for Blog
On Friday 6th Feb 2015 the Burns Howff Club were well represented in the annual Burns Supper held at the Five Arches in Dumfries. To an eager reception, the top table was piped in expertly by Don Wylie. Despite heroic attempts ( by me) to circumnavigate the whole pub it was decided to take the path of least resistance to the top table which brought much hilarity and some sighs of relief to guests and speakers alike. As Phil Robertson was unable to fulfill his usual role in the chair due to urgent business on the ‘High Seas’, the evening was ably chaired by first reserve Ian Sneddon with a little help from GJ. After grace, the haggis was addressed, a wee bit rustilly I must confess, by myself. The evening soon got into full swing however with songs from Ian MacIntyre, myself, recitations from Avril Kerr, Les Byers and some fine accordion playing from Lee McQueen.

The Five Arches's photo.

Five Arches Burns Supper 2015 tastefully decorated by the hosts Phil and Jill and staff.

A most entertaining and illuminating immortal memory was given by the irreplaceable Les Byers who later in the evening went on to delight the company with not only a faultless Tam O’Shanter but a hugely entertaining Holy Wullie, complete with gown, nightcap and candle. Les, you are a true star!!

The other main speakers of the evening were all equally entertaining with our own Calum Watson relinquishing his pipes for a lectern, giving a very polished and hilarious ‘toast tae the lassies’ which had us falling off our seats with mirth – well done Calum! A giant in a wee man’s shoe!!

SNP Candidate for DFS and Galloway, Emma Harper brought a touch of sophistication to the evening, with a well constructed and humorous reply on behalf of the lassies. After missionary work in St Petersburg, Gordon Johnstone was in storming form as he donned wig and robes to give a thunderous ‘court of equity’ and which was followed with an equally thunderous and hilarious ‘toast tae the cronies’ later in the evening. With further music from Ian and humorous recitations from the briilliant Avril Kerr, the night drew to a close with a rousing Auld Lang Syne! Phil and Jill Robertson and her staff must be commended (as hosts) for decorating the Arches in traditional Scottish Style and provided a rather tasty three course meal for a very modest sum. It was very pleasing to see familiar faces in the audience who had travelled some distance to catch an authentic Burns Supper.  Congratulations also to Gordon Johnston  for organising the event.  In summary, happy memories to share and a good night had by all!

John Clark
(President Burns Howff Club)