“A’ ye wha live by sowps o drink”
Saturday 16th July and the Globe Inn at 7.00pm for the 10th gathering of the Royal Dumfries Volunteers (Revived). Delighted that a detachment from the Crochallan Fencilbes, Edinburgh, were in attendance and after the formalities, and an excellent dinner served with style, the mirth and fun grew fast and furious. Numerous toasts were honoured and the Port kept coming round and round. Tuesday 19th July. The Constitution Revision Sub Committee met and agreed the final draft for consultation. The phrase, “Camel is a horse designed by a committee” springs to mind. Wednesday 20th July, The Commemorative Service at Brow Well which SSCBA President Jane was unable to attend but her place was filled with distinction by SVP David Miller. Rev. Neil Campbell gave a reading from the King James Bible with which Burns would have been familiar and Fed. President David Baird spoke inspiringly on Burns’ final days at the Brow. The social this year held at the Cairndale was most enjoyable with some interesting turns from visitors and well MC’d by John Caskie. Thursday 21st July. Accompanied David Baird to Paisley for the wreath laying ceremony at Burns Statue at Caledonia Street. Met up with members of the Alamo Burns Club in the nearby Alamo Bar. First visit to this famous club who have a link to the historic Alamo Mission in Texas, scene of the struggle in 1832 for Texan independence from Mexico. The walls are covered with memorabilia including a fragment of the actual Davy Crocket hat worn by Davy Crocket during the siege. After the ceremony, attended by the Provost of Inverclyde and members of Renfrewshire Burns Association, the company returned to the Alamo for a sandwich. As driver, Mr. Baird navigated the return journey diverted off the M74 to Muirkirk and Cumnock which took a bit of doing. My turn as driver on Sunday 24th to Ayr to accompany Mr. Baird to the Ayr Burns Club events. Morning Service at the Auld Kirk which is up a close off the High Street but atmospheric and historic. Lunch at the Tam O’ Shanter, a pub again after years as a museum then to Burns Statue for the wreath laying, choreographed by Margaret Morrall, which went on for ages and included a recitation in full of “Tam O’ Shanter”. Met a gent who claimed to be the great nephew, five times removed of Jean Armour. On to Leglan Wood to the Wallace/ Burns Cairn in good repair after the storm damage in 2009 for speeches, turns, prayers and hymn singing before repairing to Auchencruive House for a welcome cup of coffee prior to the return journey. That was the last of the summer commemorative events this year. Other commitments prevented attendance at Kilmarnock Cross on 31st July. Saturday 30th July, a lovely sunny morning saw 21 members, spouses and friends set off at 7.30am for Glasgow to board the PS Waverley for a cruise “Doon the Watter” as the club outing for 2011. A VIP party in the Presidential Porsche made their own way but the luxury minibus got their before them. The Waverley weighed anchor at 10.20am and set off up the Clyde with stops at Greenock, Rothesay, Helensburgh, passing Dumbarton Rock before arriving at Tighnabruich where there is no distillery, for an hour ashore. The river traffic and scenery was fascinating as was the sights seen on board which included a Toga Party in the bar and groups of happy holidaymakers at the end of the Glasgow Fair. Seals and jellyfish were seen alongside and some undisclosed incident not involving members resulted in Strathclyde Polis waiting to welcome the Waverley back to the dock at dusk. A quick head count ensured that the club group was intact before braving the return journey. To the amusement of sum, Ted Murray and John Lauder who were part of the presidential party were designated by the president as the Howff Club’s answer to “Jedward”. Must explain this to Ted later. Seems that I am the only blogger left which is a shame. Come on Frank and Ian, the Webmaster will give you a password if you ask him nicely and you can leave your thoughts for posterity. The title of this deposit is from Burns’ “On a Scotch Bard”, gone to the West Indies, written in 1786.