“An mair o’ horrible an awful”
A much needed cultural uplift was achieved during the week commencing 17th October. A visit to the Easterbrook Hall on Thursday 20th for a superb concert by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with a programme of Mozart’s Symphony No 1 followed by the Cello Concerto in D by Haydn featuring an incredible virtuoso solo by Pieter Wispelwey on the well, Cello. After the interval, an eclectic version of Beethoven’s Symphony No 6 “Pastoral”, the youthful orchestra energetically conducted by Thierry Fischer from the Netherlands. An excellent night with music lovers John Lauder and David Miller. Spotted Marshall Laing and Ted Murray in the mature audience. Saturday 22nd. John Caskie had organised a meal at Sino’s before the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra concert at DG One. The auditorium was packed to capacity and thrilled to varied mix of jigs. Strathspeys and reels with solos from Dennis Haggerty, Tenor and Collette Ruddy, Mezzo Soprano. A section of the D&G Police Pipe Band appeared together with a young solo piper and highland dancers. The evening was MC’d by Jim McColl from TV’s “Beechgrove Garden” who had a great rapport with the audience. Delighted that Frank Manson and family joined us. This was Frank’s first public appearance since his surgery. Monday 24th, the Excom meeting to finalise arrangements for the Hallowe’en Supper. The programme looks super and tickets are sold out. The meeting was followed by a presentation on the “Dumfries Big Burns Supper” to be held in January. The movers and shakers are Graham Main, Festival Director and his side kick, Simon Robertson, Producer. The mood was that the club is keen to help out in some way if the event does not interfere with the Anniversary Dinner. Will await further developments. Thursday 27th, Bob Dalziel from Motherwell gave a talk on the history of Glasgow and the Glasgow Tobacco Barons in the 18th century. Bob knew his subject and his enthusiasm was infectious. A good night but again, poorly supported by club members. Friday 28th, Met up with President Frank at the Globe to go over the arrangements for Hallowe’en with Jane Brown and later, with John Caskie to draw up the seating plan. John doesn’t believe in making an easy job difficult and we repaired for luncheon thereafter. The Hallowe’en Supper on 31st October was one of the most enjoyable I can remember. A witty and polished speaker in Professor David Purdie and two of the most talented musicians ever to appear at the Globe Inn. Andy Kain on the fiddle and former “Young Burnsian”, Craig Paton on the accordion who brought the company to their feet. Guest artiste was Cameron Goodall from Lasswade who did not need a mic, gave a rendition of “The Court of Equity” and later, “Death& Dr. hornbook” to great effect. I have to say that I have never heard Les Byers, John Caskie and Frank Curran in better voice and old friends Alex and David Pool from Langholm were as welcome as ever. Special thanks are due to the team who sold over £230.00 worth of raffle tickets for donation to the RNIB appeal. Glad that the silver three penny bit was not ingested this time and I had pleasure in giving Alan Caskie his half bottle on receipt of the coin for re use. Lovely meal from the new chef Steven and his staff including a cheese board to dye for. A night to remember and expertly chaired by President Frank who finished on time and with few empty seats, too. Wednesday, 2nd November, a meeting at Burns Centre called by the Council, to discuss plans for the urgent and much needed refurbishments to the Burns Mausoleum. Good turnout from Burns Club reps heard some reassurance that a scheme was in place and the senior architect talked it through. Hopefully, work with start no later than April, 2012 with completion by the summer. Next year’s commemorative ceremony will have to put up with the dilapidated state. Thursday 3rd November, picked up President Frank and Treasurer David Baird for the Friendship Club at Thornhill for a talk by Helen Morrison on “Jean Armour”. Helen brought a group from St. Petersburg in Russia, a teacher and two super girl students one of whom read her own essay on “Mary Queen of Scots”, to great effect. The visitors’ “English” put the native Scots to shame. President Frank accepted a copy of Burns Works in Russian as a gift to the club library. The event was organised by Thornhill Burns Club as part of their winter programme. Friday 4th November, the Station Hotel at night for the “Drambusters” malt whisky tasting session. 8 malts of differing bouquet’s and “nose” but as the night wore on; they seemed to go down better. The club was represented by David Mackie, David Baird and Gordon Johnston. The least said the better about the results of the half time quiz. Meantime, preparing the agenda for the meeting on 14th November. As a treat after the meeting, the Webmaster will give members a presentation on the Club Website.