2010-11 Reports – Neil Johnston President


Seasons Events

AGM Meeting in the Howff

The club AGM took place in the Howff club rooms on the 29th April 2010 when Neil Johnston was installed as President for the coming year, Frank Manson elected Senior vice president and Ian McIntrye was elected as Junior vice president.
for Full Report click here

2010/2011    Previous Years
09/05/2010 Sunday Coldstream Bridge
15/05/2010 Saturday SSCBA AGM  Globe Inn
20/05/2010 Thursday Bowling Night   Dock Park
05/06/2010  Saturday John Lapraik Comp. Muirkirk
26/06/2010  Saturday SSCBA Globe Inn
29/05/2010  Saturday Mauchline Holy Fair
03/07/2010  Saturday SSCBA Globe Inn
05/07/2010  Monday Jean Armour Dinner  Globe Inn
11/07/2010  Sunday Wauchope Cairn, Hawick
14/07/2010  Wednesday Club Treasure Hunt
18/07/2010  Sunday Leglen Wood, Ayr
21/07/2010  Wednesday Brow Well
24/07/2010  Saturday Edinburgh Commemorative event
25/07/2010  Sunday Kilmarnock Cross
19/08/2010  Thursday “Fish & Chip” Supper
10-12/09/2010  WRBF Conference Aberdeen
18/09/2010  Saturday SSCBA  Globe Inn
19/09/2010  Sunday Dumbarton Bowling Match,Dumbarton
01/11/2010  Monday Hallowe’en Supper Moreig Hotel
26/11/2010  Friday Dumbarton BC St. Andrew’s Dinner
30/11/2010  Tuesday St. Andrew’s Night Dinner Globe Inn
05/12/2010  Sunday St. Andrew’s Service, St. Giles, Edinburgh
20/12/2010  Monday Christmas Dinner Globe Inn
21/01/2011  Friday Dumbarton BC Burns Supper
25/01/2011  Tuesday 122nd Anniversary Dinner Globe Inn
30/01/2011  Sunday  Charnwood Lodge Burns Supper (Postponed until 13/02/2011)
05/02/2011  Saturday SSCBA Schools Comp. Academy
26/03/2011  Saturday SSCBA  Gatehouse
25/03/2011  Friday  Games Night Marchmount BC
28/04/2011  Thursday  Annual General Meeting Globe Inn

Projected Excom Dates

10/05/2010 Monday Inaugural meeting & soiree
07/06/2010 Monday General
28/06/2010 Monday Jean Armour tickets and arrangements
30/08/2010 Monday Season’s programme
04/10/2010 Monday Hallowe’en Supper tickets
25/10/2010 Monday Confirmation & payment, plus St. Andrew’s Dinner tickets
15/11/2010 Monday Confirmation & payment
06/12/2010 Monday Anniversary Dinner tickets
10/01/2011 Monday Confirmation & payment
07/02/2011 Monday General
07/03/2011 Monday General
04/04/2011 Monday Pre AGM
Winter Talks & discussion Programme 2010/2011
These night are open to anyone who is interested and are usually quite informal

Thursday 30th September 2010 Mac Creedon “History of Printing”
Thursday 28th October 2010 Marion Aitken “Robert Burns & Annie Laurie at Friars Carse”
Thursday 25th November 2010 John Clark “Photos from OZ & some Poems”
Thursday 24th February 2011 Simon Thorp “The Heather Trust”
Thursday 31st March 2011 Denis Chanarin “The Loch Arthur Community”
Thursday 21st April 2011   Evening visit to Sulwath Brewery, Castle Douglas.
(Bookable in advance)





All talks take place in the clubroom at 7.30pm. Friends of members are welcome.


2010/2011 Activities


21/03/2011 – Sulwarth Brewery (Castle Douglas)


14 members travelled by coach to the micro brewers at Sulwarth Brewery in Castle Douglas on a lovely spring evening and enjoyed a lights supper in the beer garden before the explanation and description of the brewing process and how the brewery was established13/03/2011 – The Heather Trust – Denis Chanarin

Senior vice president Frank Manson welcomed Denis Chanarin as guest at the March Club Night in the Globe Inn.march2011
Mr. Chanarin, manager of the Loch Arthur Community at Beeswing, gave an illustrated talk on the work of the community which supports people with learning and physical disabilities. Loch Arthur is part of the Camphill Village Trust, a national not-for-profit organisation which caters for adults with special needs.
The community at Loch Arthur was founded in 1984 and now consists of nine houses in which over 70 people live, including 28 in supported tenancies. It includes a farm, a large garden, a creamery, a bakery, a wood and weaving workshops and a thriving farm shop.
As a result of a recent funding grant, plans are afoot to build a larger shop nearer the entrance to the site, to cope with the demand for their home grown produce including the famous Loch Arthur Cheeses.
Denis stated that Loch Arthur is a shared way of life in a modern rural community, offering security, together with challenges. It is committed to the fulfilment of the individual through a diversity of relationships and activities which create authentic social integration.

The speaker dealt with a number of questions before being thanked by President Neil Johnston.
10/03/2011 – The Wounded Hare at Ellisland Letter – Professor David Purdie

Honorary member Professor David Purdie again selected the club for the first airing of his presentation of Burns’ “On Seeing a Wounded Hare” and recently discovered unpublished letter.woundedhare
20 members assembled in the clubroom on 10th March to hear David describe the finding of a letter written by the poet from Ellisland on 21st April, 1789, in the Archive Collection at Floors Castle, the seat of the Duke of Roxburgh.
The Duke’s archivist found the letter in an old volume of manuscripts stored in the basement which included letters from Sir Walter Scott, along with a draft of the famous poem. The material apparently had been undisturbed for over 150 years.
Along with a colleague from the University of Edinburgh’s History Department, Professor Purdie lost no time in travelling to the castle to check out the find and a copy was sent to Dr. Gerry Carruthers of Glasgow University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies who confirmed the documents to be genuine and previously unknown. This amazing find is the first original handwritten letter and poem discovered in a century.
The letter was addressed to Professor Jas. Gregory of Edinburgh University together with an early version of the poem. The author was incensed by the son of a neighbouring farmer who took a shot at a passing hare badly injuring it. The crime was made worse by the fact that it happened on the Sabbath, 19th April 1789.
Professor Purdie’ illustrated talk aroused much excitement and a lively discussion followed. The speaker who is currently engaged in a long awaited update of the “Burns Encyclopaedia, was thanked by President Neil Johnston.

13/03/2011 – Trip out to Alloway

keystoneLed by President Neil Johnston, sixteen members and spouses and two members of Dumfries Ladies Burns Club No. 1 travelled in luxury mini-bus to Alloway, fired up to view the new Burns Birthplace Museum, recently opened by First Minister and honorary Howff Club member Alex Salmond MSP, at a cost believed to be £21 million.
The coach stopped on the way at New Cumnock to view the impressive new statue of the poet, unveiled on 5th March by Robert Burn World Federation President and club member David Baird. The party arrived on schedule and made a bee-line for the coffee shop for refreshments before a conducted tour of the museum, built to replace the former “Tam O’ Shanter Experience”. The facility is well laid out has lots of hi-tech terminals for educational purposes and some marvellous exhibits including original manuscripts and memorabilia, as well as sound recordings of songs and poems.
It was noted that Burns’ original writing desk from his house in Dumfries was on display and librarian Gordon Johnston was tasked to mount a recovery operation project. To the surprise of some, only exit from the Museum was through the Gift Shop.
Posing for photographs on the “Auld Brig O’ Doon” then a meander around the Monument and the Auld Kirk. A pleasant lunch was taken at the Brig O’ Doon Hotel before venturing in the rain to the Cottage admiring the giant moose, known locally as “Metal Mickey”, in passing. Club members and guests was disappointed at the changes made to the cottage which now has sound effects and verses scratched on the walls which detract from the original charm of the “Auld Clay Biggin”. But we have to move with the times. The group arrived home on time, tired but happy.
Thanks are due to Mrs. Jane Brown for providing entertainment en route and for her attempts at mental stimulation. Thanks also to Mrs. Baird for chocolate eggs.


10/03/2011 – Wounded Hare Letter – Prof. David Purdie

In an addition to the clubs published program of events honorary member Professor David Purdie again selected the club for the first airing of his presentation of Burns’ “On Seeing a Wounded Hare” and recently discovered unpublished letter.woundhare
20 members assembled in the clubroom on 10th March to hear David describe the finding of a letter written by the poet from Ellisland on 21st April, 1789, in the Archive Collection at Floors Castle, the seat of the Duke of Roxburgh.
The Duke’s archivist found the letter in an old volume of manuscripts stored in the basement which included letters from Sir Walter Scott, along with a draft of the famous poem. The material apparently had been undisturbed for over 150 years.
Along with a colleague from the University of Edinburgh’s History Department, Professor Purdie lost no time in travelling to the castle to check out the find and a copy was sent to Dr. Gerry Carruthers of Glasgow University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies who confirmed the documents to be genuine and previously unknown. This amazing find is the first original handwritten letter and poem discovered in a century.
The letter was addressed to Professor Jas. Gregory of Edinburgh University together with an early version of the poem. The author was incensed by the son of a neighbouring farmer who took a shot at a passing hare badly injuring it. The crime was made worse by the fact that it happened on the Sabbath, 19th April 1789.
Professor Purdie’ illustrated talk aroused much excitement and a lively discussion followed. The speaker who is currently engaged in a long awaited update of the “Burns Encyclopaedia, was thanked by President Neil Johnston.

24/02/2011 – Winter Club Night – Simon Thorp -The Heather Trust

Simon Thorp of the Heather Trust was speaker at the Burns Howff Club’s February Club Night in the Globe Inn.
cnfeb11Mr. Thorp, a chartered surveyor and former naval officer, captivated members with a talk on the current state of heather moorlands in Scotland, now under a variety of threats especially the Heather beetle. The speaker stated that heather which is an iconic species and one of Scotland’s national assets is not just for the game birds, but for all species which live in the moorlands. Since the 1940’s, over 25% of the UK’s heather cover has been lost and continues to decrease at about 0.5% per year. The Trust is taking steps to reverse the decline and to improve the condition of the heather for grazing and shooting purposes. Sheep have been re-introduced and by using traditional shepherding techniques and sheep tick control, the condition of the heather has been restored, tick numbers are declining and the numbers of grouse and other moorland birds are increasing. Management of all our heather moors is vital for the well being of the countryside and the trust seeks to promote an improved understanding of moorland and its eco-systems, particularly carbon retention and balance based on experience and scientific research.
Following a lively question and answer session, Mr. Thorp was thanked by President Neil Johnston.


13/02/2011 – Charnwood Lodge Burns Supper

The President, Neil Johnston, was joined by fellow club members Ian McIntyre (JVP), Frank Curran, Callum Watson, William Welsh, Gordon Johnston, and Robert Burns World Federation Ltd President David Baird.
David Baird addressed the haggis which was piped in by Callum, Gordon Johnston recited a couple of poems, Neil Johnston delivered an abridged Immortal Memory, Ian McIntyre toasted the lassies and gave the audience a couple of songs. Willian and Frank also sang a couple of songs each accompanied by George McKinnel. The guest then joined hands with the residents in Auld Lang Syne.

25/01/2011 – Anniversary Dinner

A full complement of members and guests assembled in the Globe Inn on 25thJanuary for the club’s 122nd Anniversary Dinner.
Following a minutes silence in memory of the club’s honorary president, Dr. George Stirling who had died on 18th January, President Neil Johnston welcomed the company and introduced principal speaker, Peter Kormylo, himself an honorary member of the club. In his toast to the “Immortal Memory of Robert Burns”, Mr. Kormylo spoke of the Globe Inn as the epicentre of the Burns world which had a very special place in his heart. The speaker painted a detailed, knowledgeable and fascinating picture in the minds of his listeners of Dumfries and the Globe in the closing years of the 18th century when the burgh was a garrison town which brought with it, a glittering social life. However, the times also had deep social injustices when those in power operated the 11th commandment-“Thou shall not be found out”. Peter invited the company to envisage the old snug bar of the Globe with the poet seated in his favourite chair, holding court to an eclectic mix of friends and well served by the Hyslop’s, the hosts of the time. As a busy coaching inn, travellers would bring news from further afield and the poet, by turns whimsical and philosophical, would lay aside cares to discuss the news. He had a passion for political comment and the times were awash with ripples of revolution. The French nobility were going to the guillotine and within the British Isles, the opposing views of Whigs and Tories and the fear of revolution here mean there was often little middle ground in Dumfries as elsewhere. Raucous organised crowds would celebrate through the town in the name of the King making their views clear. Burns at the time was notorious for having etched on a window in the Globe the verse, “In politics if thou would’st mix, And mean the fortunes be: Bear this in mind – be deaf and blind, Let great folk hear and see”.
Mr. Kormylo reminded that the Dumfries years was a time when Burns sharpened his political comments and he spoke of the Globe as the bard’s parliament where he encouraged his friends to talk of church and state sharing concepts that were radical and democratic. He also reminded the company that the poet’s friends, although from all walks of life, were no fools and were men of vision. One of these, Dr. William Maxwell, a Jesuit and son of a notable Jacobite had, whilst working in France, witnessed the execution of the French King and Queen and was a man for whom Burns had very high regard. Peter observed that the pen is often mightier than the sword and that, in the hands of Burns, a pen was a very powerful weapon indeed. This was the man who could compose a battle cry as effective as “Sots Wha Hae”- so powerful that it was not published until after his death.
A lament of the pipes was played by club piper Callum Watson
The president thanked the speaker for his inspiring and passionate toast and presented his with a certificate of appreciation and print of the Globe Inn Close.
haggis2011Past president Donald Urquhart replied to the toast to the Burns Federation proposed by the president and thanked the club for its support for the Federation over many years.
Secretary David Smith conveyed over 120 greetings from Kindred Club’s by post and e-mail and Dr. Patrick Trust, president of Dumbarton Burns Club brought fraternal greetings from his members and spoke of the close link between the two clubs.
Honorary member Harry Hutchison proposed a succulent toast to “The Lasses, o” and the “Drouthie Cronies” was proposed by James Haining.
Contributing to a superb entertainment programme were Bill Welsh, Frank Curran, John Caskie, Gordon Johnston, Les Byers with special guest artistes James Coutts, Ian Kirkpatrick and Alex Pool who delighted members with a vivid recitation of “Tam O’ Shanter”.
Junior vice president Ian McIntyre moved a vote of thanks to the “Artistes” and the Chairman was thanked by past president John Caskie.
A rousing chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” way past the witching hour, brought an end to a night to remember

20/12/10 – Christmas Dinner

Superb Company excellent food and drink topped of with a visit from Santa (Jane) Brown….

30/11/10 – St Andrews Night Dinner


President Neil Johnston welcomed members and friends of the Burns Howff Club to their St. Andrew’s Night Dinner in the Globe Inn on 30th November and said how glad they were to be back home in the Globe Inn after Burns’ famous “Howff” was temporarily closed for major repairs. Honorary member and past president Peter Kormylo expressed thanks to the club for supporting his recent compilation of selected Burns’ verses translated into Ukrainian. This was a worldwide first and he reported that the book would be launched nationally in Edinburgh on 24th January 2011.
stand1After dinner, the president introduced guest speaker, Sir Neil McIntosh CBE, who was well known to members as Sir Neil was previously Chief Executive of Dumfries & Galloway Regional Council until 1991 when he went to head up Strathclyde Regional Council.
In a philosophic and thought provoking toast to “Auld Scotia”, the speaker reflected on the changes taking place in Scotland in the time of Burns and the major influence of his contemporaries as giants of the Scottish Enlightenment in the crucible in which Scotland was fired. His place could be judged by his image depicted on the cupola of the Signet Library in Parliament Hall in Edinburgh, along with John Napier, David Hume and Adam Smith. Sir Neil’s toast was enthusiastically received by the company and he accepted an inscribed tankard from the president.
The club’s honorary treasurer, David Baird, who had recently been elected president of the Robert Burns World Federation, was presented by the president with a framed photograph showing him with the prestigious Chain of Office and Mr. Baird expressed his thanks to the club.stand2
stand3The president also presented Mrs Maureen McKerrow with a crystal figure in the shape of a map of Scotland to mark the 400th anniversary of the Globe Inn. This had been created by Mr. Matt Sempie, an antique glazier from Hurry Bros. of Glasgow who had also made facsimiles of the three window panes, inscribed by Burns and removed from the Globe Inn in 1834 and now at the Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway. It was hoped to display the facsimiles in the Globe later this year. Mr. Sempie, who was present, was thanked by the president and presented with a framed print of the Globe Inn close.

After dinner entertainment was enlivened by award winning Burns reciter Willie Horne from Cockenzie who brought the house down with a droll rendition of Hugh Watters’ “Wull the Waster” in which he pointed an admonitory finger at several in the company. Honorary member and author, Chris Rollie, brought 18th century Mauchline alive with a superb recitation of Burns’ “Holy Fair”. Honorary member Max Houliston provided sparkling musical selections and accompanied the singers. The guest artistes were well supported by club members including Frank Curran, John Caskie and Les Byers.
President Johnston introduced delegations from Dumfries and Dumbarton Burns Clubs, Vice President Gavin Findlay from Dumbarton spoke of the long and friendly relationship between the clubs and Vice President Miller Caldwell from Dumfries Burns Club conveyed fraternal greetings from his president and members.
Following a lively spell of community singing, Junior Vice President Ian McIntyre moved a comprehensive Vote of Thanks and one of the most enjoyable gatherings in recent years ended at midnight.

25/11/10“Photos from OZ & some Poems”wl1110

Club member, Local Landscape Artist and Poet – John Clark selected around 150 photographs of his antipodean adventures. John had managed to capture some stunning scenery, views, indigenous culture and works of modern art on his box brownie, ( well actually one of these digital ‘thing a mi bobs’ ) and put together an audio visual presentation interspersed with topical and humorous poems from his publish book of verse. This was a super, light hearted, and enjoyable talk and I think that John should seek commission from the Australian Tourist Board…… The was some photographs of Crocodiles e never mentioned the creapie crawlies
14/11/10 The Jolly Beggers Cantata

cantataThe Theatre Royal, Dumfries was the venue for a performance of the Jolly Beggers Cantata the difference was that the performers were not performing in their native language. The performance was delivered by the group of Russian school pupils, all under 16, from school 61 in St Petersburg. A superb and lively performance with accurate recitations and interpretation of Robert Burns work depicting an evening in Poosie Nancys.

Howff Club Honorary member Peter Kormylo presented one of the poems from his recently publish Burns in Ukrainian, in Ukrainian which he hoped the visitors would understand as the languages are similar

The Visitors were supported by local talented youths including Young burnsian of the year – piper Calum Brown, Scottish Country Dancer, an 11 year old champion fiddle in the making from Lanarkshire young Lee McQueen played the accordion and a previous winner of the St. Petersburg form competition who has recently accepted and is training at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
A superb afternoons entertainment but unfortunately most of the audience had travelled from around Scotland, Ayrshire, Fife, Lanarkshire, Lothian, Renfrewshire, to name a few but only a hand full of Doonhamers


01/11/2010 Hallowe’en Supper

For only the second time in the 121 year history of Dumfries Burns Howff Club, members were decanted from halloween2their home at the Globe Inn on 1st November while the 400 hundred year old building was closed for repairs.
The club celebrated Hallowe’en with a supper held in the Moreig Hotel when the company was welcomed by President Neil Johnston who introduced guest speaker, Iain Scott, well known as lead singer of the famous Hawick based boy-band “Scocha” and special guest artistes, Andy Kain and world accordion champion, Liam Stewart. He congratulated club Honorary Treasurer David Baird, on his recent election as president of the Robert Burns World Federation and forecast that a very busy year with world travel lay in store.
After dinner, Mr. Scott gave a sparkling and humorous address on the traditions of Hallowe’en laced with jokes and stories from his native Hawick and the Border country. The speaker was thanked by the president and accepted an inscribed tankard and club tie.
Contributing to a stellar entertainment programme were Frank Curran, Les Byers and John Caskie. New member Bobby Jess gave a bravura recitation of Burns’ “Tam O’ Shanter” and John Clark delighted the company with one of his own compositions, “David the Magpie”. David Pool from Langholm, following in his famous father’s footsteps, proved his worth as a tenor with a rendition of “Hame o’ Mine” to great acclaim.halloween1
The musical duo, Andy Kain on the fiddle and Liam Stewart on the accordion, had the company shouting for more with their superb medleys of traditional and contemporary music throughout the evening.
The president announced that past president Peter Kormylo had produced a translation of Burns works in Ukrainian. This was a worldwide first and the book with superb illustrations by local artist and club member, John Clark, would be launched in Dumfries on 15th November.
Junior vice president Ian McIntyre moved a comprehensive Vote of Thanks and a remarkable night to remember was brought to an end with a lusty singing of “Auld Lang Syne”.
The accompanist was Liam Stewart.


28/10/10 Winter Talk by Marion Aitken

Mrs Marion Aitken, retired teacher and local historian was guest speaker at the Club Night held at the Moreig wl1010Hotel on 28th October.
Mrs. Aitken gave an illustrated talk on the history of Friars Carse and the connection with Robert Burns and the Riddell family, his neighbours whilst farming at Ellisland. Mrs. Aitken described the relationship by marriage between the Laurie’s of Maxwellton House (home of “Annie Laurie”) and Robert and Maria Riddell. The site of the present day Friars Carse Hotel, partly owned by the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance since 1936, has a fascinating history from its time as a religious community in the Middle Ages to several rebuilds and the country home of the Riddells and latterly the Crichton family who founded the Crichton Royal 1n 1839.


30/09/10 Winter Talk by Mac Creedonwl0910

Mr. Mac Creedon, Director of Solway Offset Services was guest speaker at the opening meeting in the Burns Howff Club’s Winter Talks Programme in the Globe Inn.
Mr. Creedon, who started his career in the printing industry as an apprentice compositor with Robert Dinwiddie and Co. in 1954, fascinated his audience with tales from the days of hot slugs and metal typesetting and said that he was probably the last printer in the region who can go back to that era. In 1959, there were about 250 people employed in the printing trade in Dumfries, all within one hundred yards of the Midsteeple, between Dinwiddies, Grieves and the Standard Office. In those days, compositing was done by hand and was a skilled craft with experts page setting at incredible speeds. A far cry from modern direct input from journalists by computer where every stage in the printing process is digitised. The old crafts died out long ago due to technology although this was resisted initially by the powerful printing trade unions.
The Dinwiddies Building at the Midsteeple was a rabbit warren of passages and cubby holes and a yellow line on the floor guided visitors to the various departments. The owner, the late Noel Dinwiddie, was a larger than life character who also specialised in antiquarian books and customers looking for rare volumes turned up at the shop from all over. He had a department solely dedicated to Robert Burns and supplied napkins and menu cards to Burns Clubs worldwide.
Following a lively question and answer session, Mr. Creedon was thanked by President Neil Johnston who said that the next talk in the programme would be held on Thursday 28th October in the Globe Inn at 7.30pm, when Marion Aitken would talk on “Robert Burns and Annie Laurie at Friars Carse”. A warm welcome would be accorded to all.

Visit to The Mitchell Library

The photgraph shows the Howff Club visits the Mitchell
with Les Byres, curator at Ellisland Farm, reciting our host, Christine Henderson’ favourite epistle.

A party of 11 members were delighted to be able to visit the famous Mitchell Library in Glasgow and were privileged to be allowed into the Burns Room. Welcomed by curator, Christine Henderson, members were introduced to Europes largest library and explained the history of the Burns room and showed us some of the books and artefacts in the world famous Burns Collection which numbers over 4500 items and includes 2 Kilmarnock editions, one of which has been annotated by a friend and neighbour of the poet and indicated the people to whom different verses depicted. We were then allowed to browse the collection.

mitchell2Christine accepted a copy of Peter Kormylo’s book of Burns’ translations in Ukrainian – The Mitchell Library has a collection of book of the works of Robert Burns translated into other languages including Gaelic, French, German, Russian and now Ukrainian. Christine and Howff Club members were treated to a recitation by Peter of “Tae a Moose” in Ukrainian.


Librarian Gordon Johnston presenting a copy of Peters book


19/09/2010 Dumbarton Bowling Match


12 members travelled to Dumbarton and braved the seasonal rain for an excellent day bowling with some great friends, pictured here with Presidents Patrick and Neil with the winners and runners up trophies accompanied by the world federation president and fellow Dumbarton and Howff club members. We would liketo thank our hosts for their hospitality and guidance with the bowling.

19/08/2010 Fish Supper Night

This was a light hearted alternative to the traditional Burns Supper held to support “The Globe Inns” 400th anniversary celebrations and our special thank to Maureen and Gordon McKerrow for the support and donations on what was superb night. James Coutts had agreed to come to The Globe and play the accordian, on several of his sets he accompanied John Caskie who was as usual in fantastic voice and our thanks to James and John for the cultural input on the evenings entertainment. We were all please to hear Bert Hasting with the Candle, John Lauder and The Mealie Puddin, Les Byres with The Rumour, Jane Brown gave us Admiral Nelson, Carlo Rinaldi recited “La Patata”, David Baird, David Millar & Gordon Johnston delivered Hugh Waters “The Twa Dugs”, and John Clark addressed “To The Fish Supper” a poem again By Hugh Water.


14/08/2010 Club Outing – West Cumbria


Member and friends travelled by coach to Jenning Brothers Brewery at Castle Brewery in Cockermouth where we we given a tour of the brewery, seeing both the modern high tech brewing process side by side with the old traditional methods and equipment which has been left in place and is now worked around but is an interesting part of the tour. We were the able to enjoy a light lunch and comment on the brewers art and skills. before we departed to Whithaven and the Beacon Centre.


Having had some time to wonder around the museum and arts centre we had a short but very interesting and informative walking tour of the harbour and old mining area of the town and learned that Whitehaven had once been the third busiest port in the UK. The Gentleman to the far right in the picture above was thought to have come from the Luxury apartment cruise liner “The World” which was at anchor just outside Whitehaven for the weekend
The fine weather helped to make the outing a very enjoyable visit to a part of the country not normally associated with tourism, the beacon centre and its walking tour is highly recommended as it brings the history of the town to life. 

11/07/2010  Wauchope Cairn, Hawick

wauchope2010The Burns Howff Club was once again delighted to be invited to attend the Wauchope Cairn ceremony held by the Hawick Burns Club to mark the correspondence between Mrs Scott, “Guid wife of Wauchope” and Robert Burns and also his visit. The house has now gone however the memorial shown behind the President of the Hawick Burns Club (2nd from the right) and Jane Brown (on the left hand side) if believed to have been built from stone reclaimed from the doorway of the house.

As always the Howff club members were made extremely welcome and enjoyed the afternoons hospitality and entertainment.


05/07/2010  Jean Armour Dinner

Members of the Burns Howff Club, kindred clubs and friends gathered at the Globe Inn and were piped by Pipe Major CalumWatson to the JeanArmour statue where they were welcomed by President Neil Johnston to the 6th commemoration of the life and dedication of Jean Armour to Robert Burns our national bard. Past President John Caskie delivered a superb and heart felt oration to Bonnie Jean.


Returning to the Globe Inn for the Jean Armour Dinner the assembled group enjoyed their meal after the Rev Ella Pennington delivered the grace in her unique style. JAD2010D
The entertainment started with a song from Bill Welsh accompanied by Willie McRoberts on the accordion, Kirsty Solley played the fiddle and later sang to the audience, and Avril Kerr recited. Guest speaker John Young President of Helensbourgh Burns Club gave a passionate toast to Jean Armour and Sophia Harkness past President of Thornhill Burns club an educated and well researched toast to ‘the other women in Burns life’ which includes some humorous interpretations from her time as a primary school teacher.
John Young accompanied his wife Lesley, who was a professional singer, with his acoustic guitar.
Willie McRobert had the audiences feet tapping and John Caskie brought proceedings to a close when he had everyone singing. Ian McIntyre gave the vote of thanks to all present for an excellent evening .

29/05/2010 Mauchline Holy Fair
The President, Secretary, Treasurer and Librarian took the opportunity to visit the annual Mauchline Holy Fair and enjoyed an excellent day where a variety of acts appeared on the main stage including a steel band from south Cumbria and Michelle McMannus, however members of the Howff Club choose to attend performances in the church which featured Willie Stewart singing songs and ballads form the works of Robert Burns, Shelly Clark playing the Clasac and singing, and a specially written sketch featuring the people of Mauchine when Robert Burns lived and worked in the area.  The fire and brimstone period preachers were always present to lecture the gathered audience about their sins and retribution. With may other people walking around the streets in period costume this was an unusual and enjoyable day out and one which I am sure that Howff Club members will attend again.

20/05/2010 Thursday Bowling Night   Dock Park
Twenty four members, three spouses and two guests assembled at Dock Park for the club’s annual bowling night on 20th May when the weather, although overcast was dry and the midges, mercifully sparse.
Bowls Marshall Bob Wilson conjured up ten teams of two and bowling commenced with a will although the state of the green left a lot to be desired with a surface layer of fertiliser which contaminated the bools and caused some skin irritation. Belated apologies to anyone with latent dermatitis.


Bob’s skill at matching players with booling expertise ensured that the less able were quickly knocked out and after three ends, booling was declared concluded at 8.45pm and the calculation of the winners commenced. The company proceeded with some haste to the Globe Inn for the customary sannys and prize giving. After some hesitation, Bob passed the figures to President Neil Johnston who announced that the coveted “Draffan Cup” had been won again by John Caskie and his partner, Elaine Whitehead and the runners up, Kenneth MacKinnon and Ian Meechan.
John’s efforts to decline accepting the Cup were overruled and he was advised that if he won again, the “Draffan Cup” would be his to keep. Ian Whitehead was heard to say that Mr. Caskie turned up at his door with the cup in six months; he would not be let in.
An excellent night with fun and mixed bowling skill was enjoyed and at the Globe, the president thanked Bob Wilson and all who contributed to the success of the event.


09/05/2010 Sunday Coldstream Bridge
The President, Hon. Secretary, Treasurer and Librarian were once again honoured to be invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the Howff Club at the centre of the Coldstream bridge over the Tweed which is the point where in 1787 Robert Burns first crossed into England