AGM Meeting in the Howff
The club AGM took place in the Howff club rooms on the 30th April 2009 when John Caskie was installed as President for the coming year, Neil Johnston elected Senior vice president and Frank Manson was elected as Junior vice president.
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2009/2010 Previous Years
30/04/09 Thursday Annual General Meeting Globe Inn
10/05/09 Sunday Coldstream Bridge
11/05/09 Monday Committee soiree Globe Inn
23/05/09 Saturday Mauchline Holy Fair
28/05/09 Thursday Bowling Night Dock Park
30/05/09 Saturday SSCBA AGM Globe Inn
04/07/09 Saturday “Tea with Clarinda” Theatre Royal
06/07/09 Monday Jean Armour Dinner Globe Inn
12/07/09 Sunday Wauchope Cairn, Hawick
21-25/07/09 Tues – Sat Glasgow Uni. Summer School Crichton Campus
22/07/09 Wednesday Brow Well Ceremony
25/07/09 Saturday Kevin Thompson’s Burns Show Theatre Royal
26/07/09 Sunday Kilmarnock Cross Ceremony
22/08/09 Saturday Edinburgh Military Tattoo
04-06/09/09 weekend Federation Conference Edinburgh
12/09/09 Saturday SSCBA Globe Inn
20/09/09 Sunday Bowling match with Dumbarton BC Dumfries
19/09/09 Saturday “Scocha” concert Theatre Royal
30/10/09 Friday Hallowe’en Supper Globe Inn
20/11/09 Friday Gala Choir Concert DG ONE
21/11/09 Saturday SSCBA Qrtrly meeting Globe Inn
27/11/09 Friday Dumbarton BC St. Andrew’s Night Dumbarton
29/11/09 Sunday St. Andrew’s Day Service, St. Giles, Edinburgh
30/11/09 Monday St. Andrew’s Night Dinner Globe Inn
22/01/2010 Friday Dumbarton BC Burns Supper Dumbarton
25/01/2010 Monday St. Michaels Service & Mausoleum
25/01/2010 Monday 121ST Anniversary Dinner Globe Inn
26/03/2010 Friday Games Night Marchmount Bowling Club
29/04/2010 Thursday Annual General Meeting Globe Inn
Projected Excom Dates
11/05/09 Monday Opening soiree
01/06/09 Monday General
29/06/09 Monday Jean Armour Dinner arrangements
31/08/09 Monday Season’s programme
05/10/09 Monday Hallowe’en Tickets
26/10/09 Monday Confirmation & Payment
09/11/09 Monday St. Andrew’s Night Tickets
23/11/09 Monday Confirmation & Payment
07/12/09 Monday Anniversary Dinner Tickets
11/01/2010 Monday Confirmation & Payment
01/02/1010 Monday General
01/03/1010 Monday General
05/04/1010 Monday Pre AGM
Winter Lecture Programme
Thursday 24/09/09 Evening outing to Broughton House Kirkcudbright
Thursday 29/10/09 “Burns on the Web” Mark Oxbrow
Thursday 26/11/09 “Burns in Books” Murdo Morrison
Thursday 25/02/10 “Burns Cottage, 1750 – 2009” Peter Westwood
Thursday 25/03/10 “Burns the Exciseman” Ian Millar
Thursday 22/04/10 Whisky Tasting in clubroom
All talks take place in the clubroom at 7.30pm. Friends of members are welcome.
Winter Lecture 25th March 2010 - Ian Millar - ‘The Rosmund’
Ian Millar of Thornhill was guest speaker at the Howff Club Winter Lecture on 25th March Ian raised some very interesting points concerning the supposed trip by Burns and Maria Riddell to the Lead Mine at Wanlockhead and also the legend of the carronades seized from the smuggling brig,”Rosamund”in the Solway in 1792 and the alleged attempt to ship them to the French Revolutionaries.
14 members and guests attending what proved to be a very interesting and thought provoking talk, Ian has some very strong views on whether or not Burns went to the Lead Mine at Wanlockhead with Maria Riddell, in fact he went as far in his talk to state that in his opinion Maria Riddell was an immature wee lassie and a Liar!, whilst Ian had strong opinions there was no undeniable or categorical evidence to justify his claims and the main argument revolved around the length of time it would take for to travel from Friars Carse to Wanlockhead by horse and chaise and back on horse back, given the road conditions at the time, this is an almost impossible task to verify.
As far as the legend of the carronades seized from the smuggling brig, ”Rosamund” in the Solway in 1792 is concerned, Ian certainly gave us food for thought. The is no firm evidence that Burns actually forwarded these guns to the French, although Ian argued that ad Dumfries was a trading port it would have been far easier, cheaper and safer to transport the carronades by boat to France rather than over land. Once again it is entirely up to each individual to believe what they want until documentary evidence is discovered, Ian has his own very strong views on the subject, and his own reasons for having these views.
At the end of the lecture everyone went home with their own thoughts and the discussions still go on, but there was no overall view taken, in other words do not believe everything you read or hear! We can assure everyone that no vote was taken at the Howff Club as to the rights or wrongs of Ian’s excellent and controversial talk which can be commended to any Burns enthusiast to listen to the argument and make up your own mind.
25/02/10 WinterLecture - Peter Westwood
Peter Westwood, editor of the Burns Chronicle, was guest at the club’s Winter Lecture in the Globe Inn on 25th February.
Peter, a world authority on Burns ‘ manuscripts, gave a fascinating talk on the history of Burns’ Cottage from 1757 to the present day, to the construction of the “clay biggin” by William Burnes, the father of the Bard, an intriguing family history from his father’s early life in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire and his trek south to seek a better life, first in Edinburgh when he was employed as a landscape gardener setting out the Meadows and then to Ayrshire when he found work as head gardener with Provost Fergusson of Ayr at Doonholm, Alloway.
Mr. Westwood, who has an extensive collection of original Burns’ manuscripts, was able to trace the family tree, both legitimate and otherwise and stated that the poet has hundreds of descendents in the south of Scotland and overseas, although the male line of descent is indistinct but Jean Armours’ line can be traced to recent times. He had access to the records of the Alloway Trust and the National Library and given unique permission to copy ancient documents
The cottage at Alloway has had a chequered history since the Burns family left, at times serving as an inn before being acquired by the Trustees of the Burns Monument at Alloway, circa 1821 until the Trust was dissolved in 2009 and the property passed to the National Trust for Scotland who are currently developing the site as ”The Birthplace Museum” at a cost believed to be £21Million and due to open in the autumn of 2010.
Earlier, members had an opportunity to view a proof copy of the forthcoming special edition of the Burns Chronicle in which the club is featured, as a record of the 2009 anniversary year and year of homecoming. The volume, which extends to 700pages, is limited to 1000 copies by subscription. Mr. Westwood praised the club for its attempt to obtain facsimiles of the window panes inscribed by Burns, removed from the Globe Inn in 1834 and currently in storage at the Burns Museum at Alloway, hopefully for reinstatement in the Globe during its 400th anniversary this year.
Following a lively question and answer session, Mr. Westwood was thanked by senior vice president Neil Johnston.
20/02/10 - Ukranian Burns Shevchenko Supper
President John Caskie Addresses the Haggis The Piper and children perform below a portrait of
below a picture of Robert Burns Shevchenko the Ukranian National Bard
Past presidents Peter Kormylo, James Haining, David Baird, David Smith and Gordon Johnston along with honory member Jane Brown attended and assisted with the entertainment at an excellent evening celebrating the national Bards of Ukraine and Scotland
25/01/10 - 121st Anniversary Dinner
“Robert Burns, a poet for America”. So declared Professor Ted Cowan in proposing the toast to “The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns” at the Burns Howff Club’s Anniversary Dinner in the Globe Inn on 25th January. In a lively and informative toast, Professor Cowan stated that in 1793, the movement towards American independence could be compared to the Scottish struggle for freedom with George Washington described as the “William Wallace” of the United States whilst in Harlem, black Americans would sing Burns songs between acts at plays as Robert Burns was identified with freedom. President Abraham Lincoln was known to be a fan of the poet and able to quote from his works. The speaker said that Robert Burns was not a man solely for Scots but for the whole world, full of contradictions but with sympathy for humanity, liberty and dignity for all. Quoting from Scots history, Professor Cowan explained that it was thought that during his life, Burns had been considered to have been both a republican and a Jacobean, religious and anti-religious establishment as well as uneducated. However, Robert Burns had an excellent education from John Murdoch and this was reflected in many of his greatest works. The poet was outspoken against slavery and offered support for liberty. His admiration for the leaders of the French Revolution was well known.
Professor Cowan, a historian and international authority on Robert Burns, recently retired as director of the University of Glasgow Crichton Campus at Dumfries, received a standing ovation and accepted a scroll of honorary club membership from President John Caskie following a stirring lament from club piper Callum Watson.
Earlier, in welcoming members and guests to the club’s 121st Anniversary Dinner, the president stated that a large number of guests had travelled from afar, from East Lothian, Glasgow, Dumbarton, Fife and Dover.
The haggis was addressed with gusto by the president and after dinner, he toasted the “Burns Federation” which was relied to by David Baird, club treasurer and current senior vice president of the Robert Burns World Federation who thanked the club for its enthusiastic support for the federation and its activities. Several distinguished presidents of the Burns Federation had been supplied by the club over the years. The president wished Mr. Baird well when he took up office in September.
Club honorary secretary David Smith announced over 100 messages of greetings from clubs and Caledonian societies worldwide, many received by e-mail and some by hand. The president added special greetings from honorary member David Shankland, recovering at home after a serious illness, who sent best wishes to the gathering.
Members were delighted when past president Jack Johnstone was called forward to receive an award of honorary membership in recognition of his many years of sterling service to the club. Mr. Johnstone thanked the president and members for the unexpected honour but warned that he would still exert strict discipline during functions as chief steward.
The toast to “The Lasses, o” was proposed by Willie McDougall, a retired senior police officer from Glasgow and formerly security consultant with the Scottish Football Association. Taking his theme as “Burns’ loves and laughter”, the speaker highlighted the poet’s amorous adventures and his love of conviviality and regaled the company with stories from his experiences in upholding the law and with the Tartan Army at home and abroad. Mr. McDougall was presented with an inscribed tankard by the president.
The president stated that 2010 was the 400th anniversary of the erection of the Globe Inn and congratulated Mr. and Mrs McKerrow for their commitment and dedication in preserving the priceless legacy of the Globe Inn and Robert Burns for posterity.
Contributing to one of the best entertainment programmes for many years were award winning accordionist James Coutts, who with fiddler Ian Kirkpatrick on the club’s Millennium Fiddle”, delighted the gathering with their musical duets throughout the evening. Special guest Willie Horne, the winner of last years “Tam O’ Shanter” competition, gave a bravura recitation of the famous poem and later, a performance of “The Whistle” for which he had won first prize at the competition at Friars Carse in October 2009. The proceedings were enlivened by singer Lionel McClelland with stirring versions of “Willie Brew’d” and “A Parcel of Rogues” and by club members, Frank Curran, Bill Welsh and Les Byers.
The president announced that a special draw for a bottle of rare whisky, donated by past president Bert Hastings had raised the sum of £513.00, which would be sent to the Haitian Earthquake Appeal. He thanked the raffle ticket sellers, William and Neil Johnston and Ian McIntyre for their soft-sell approach.
Representing Dumbarton Burns Club was president Paul Reilly who brought warm fraternal greetings from his members and spoke of the close relationship between the clubs over many years despite the efforts of their respective secretaries.
Making a welcome appearance was honorary member Professor David Purdie, hot foot from the Cairndale Hotel where he had been guest of Dumfries Burns Club and had delivered the “Immortal Memory”.
A lively bout of community singing was followed by a comprehensive vote of thanks to the Artistes by junior vice president Frank Manson and the chairman was thanked by immediate past president David Miller before “Auld Lang Syne” brought an evening to remember to a close.
The accompanist was James Coutts.
An impromptu Christmas Party with a visit from Santa Claus (Jane Brown)
As part of the 250th Anniversary the Howff Club has purchased 2 apple trees and 2 Oak trees which were planted in the ground at Ellisland Farm
30/11/09 - St. Andrew’s Night Dinner
St.Andrew’s Day 2009 brought down the curtain on the Year of Homecoming celebrations in Scotland and was greeted with enthusiasm by members of the Burns Howff Club at their St. Andrew’s Night Dinner on 30th November in the Globe Inn.
President John Caskie welcomed a packed gathering and introduced the guest speaker, Patrick Shearer, Chief Constable of Dumfries & Galloway. After dinner, Mr. Shearer, proposing a toast to “Auld Scotia”, spoke of the warm welcome he had received from all parts of the community since taking up his post in 2007. The locality was easy to settle into and he paid tribute to the strong community spirit throughout the region. In a thoughtful and personal address, the speaker stated that modern policing meant getting involved with the community. The local force was totally focussed on the community, which he said, was extremely supportive if demanding, but the rewards were immense. Mr. Shearer shared some of his experiences during his career, some humorous and some poignant. In his current role as president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, he had to look at policing in Scotland as a whole but had no doubt that the local force had much to be proud of. The speaker was presented with an inscribed tankard by the president.
Earlier, past president Peter Kormylo announced a publishing venture in which some of Burns works would be translated into Ukrainian and printed alongside the Scots original. This would be a first for the Ukraine, with which he has family connections and hoped the club would support the project.
Reviewing the club’s projects during the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns and Year of Homecoming, the president stated that the recent schools competition for poems in the “Old Scots Tongue” had resulted in a magnificent entry of over 600 from all parts of Dumfries & Galloway. The standard was extremely high and the winners and the 100 best poems had been published in a commemorative book, with illustrations by club member John Clark, which was available from the Arts Association shop at the Midsteeple or by post from the secretary.
The president accorded a special welcome to delegates from Dumfries Burns Club, president Alan Hanlin and past president Arthur Milton, who brought fraternal greetings from their members. Also present were president Paul Reilly and member Gavin Findlay from Dumbarton Burns Club, which whom the Howff Club has a strong link. They had much pleasure in welcoming president John Caskie and senior vice president Neil Johnston to their own St. Andrew’s Night function during the previous week and hoped that the link would go from strength to strength.
Contributing to a stellar entertainment programme was honorary member John Glover who resurrected Brigadier Farquhar McFarquhar MC, an old friend of the club, who declared the Haggis well and truly open and later reprised Chic Murray to hilarious effect. Club member Donald Shamash delighted the company with a chilling recitation of “Death and Dr. Hornbook”. Director of Music Frank Curran set the mood with a selection of songs, stirring and sentimental and Ian McIntyre revealed hitherto unsuspected talent on the guitar and bohdran with numbers, which raised the roof. Club librarian Gordon Johnston, in a rarely heard Burns’ poem, “The Fornicator”, caused some in the company to look furtive. Musical selections on the accordion throughout the evening were provided by Lee McQueen.
A comprehensive vote of thanks was proposed with some wit by junior vice president Frank Manson and a night to remember closed with a lively rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” conducted by Frank Curran.
03/11/09 - 250 Anniversary Past Presidents Photograph
To mark the 250th anniversary of the bard the Howff club arranged for a photograph to be taken in the club room of surviving past presidents - President representing more than 30 years of the club enjoyed an informal evening and a chance to catchup with each other.
30/10/09 - Hallowe’en Supper
John Haining, past president of the Robert Burns World Federation, was guest speaker at the club’s Hallowe’en Supper in the Globe Inn, on 30th October.
The company was welcomed by president John Caskie who introduced a stellar list of guest artistes. These included Andy Kain, and Michael Philip, Scottish Champion musicians from Fife and Lanarkshire respectively. Andy made the fiddle sing and Michael’s accordion playing was amongst the best heard in the Globe for many years. The Federation was also represented by junior vice president Jim Shields from Edinburgh who contributed some stirring songs, which included his own compositions.
To the relief of the office bearers, Kenny McCall found the silver coin in his Hallowe’en Champers and was awarded his half bottle of whisky. After dinner, and a recitation from Alex Pool and songs from Frank Curran and Jim Shields, John Haining entertained with a witty talk largely culled from his experiences in Strathclyde Police and with a flavour of the uncanny, was thanked by the president and presented with an inscribed tankard.
The traditional recitation of “Tam O’ Shanter” was given by Alex Pool who once again proved that he is the best in the world and as a special treat, was followed by his son David who delighted the company with his fine tenor voice.
Les Byers was in fine form with his “Rumour” and after a lively selection from Andy and Michael, junior vice president Frank Manson proposed a droll vote of thanks to all who had contributed to an exceptionally enjoyable night.
29/10/09 - Winter Lecture - Mark Oxbrow
Mark provided an insight into his ongoing work to provide the superb resource to the history of Scotland in cyberspace. The learning and teaching Scotland web site is a constantly evolving source of information for teachers and pupils of all ages. Members were enthralled with Mark’s knowledge and research into the traditions and history of Hallowe’en and how he compared tradition and images from American greetings cards from the turn of the century to the verses of the bards poem Hallowe’en. Our thanks go to Mark Oxbrow and Peter Kormylo for a very interesting and enlightening evening.
24/09/09 - Winter Lecture - Visit to Broughton House, Kirkcudbright.
The season’s programme opened on 24th September when 11 members and friends travelled to Broughton House, Kirkcudbright, for a visit to the home of “Glasgow boys” artist, A. E. Hornel.
Welcomed by Sally Entwhistle, the project custodian for the NTS, members toured the extensive gardens which featured ornamental ponds and exotic shrubs and plants until driven inside by predatory mosquitoes disguised as midges.
A welcome cup of coffee in the Gallery preceded a fascinating tour of the house which is filled with remarkable paintings by Hornel, many from his “Japanese” period in which Japanese maidens are depicted against local background scenes. The Gallery is the largest and grandest apartment in Broughton House and one of the finest rooms of its period in Scotland. In the middle of the floor, hidden by a carpet, is a trapdoor through which Hornel hoisted large paintings from his studio below.
The tour took in the Library, Drawing Room, Butler’s Pantry and Cellar, with commentary and anecdotes from Sally on the Hornel family and contemporaries, which added greatly to the enjoyment.
Part of the vast Burns collection of several thousand volumes had been laid out for inspection. A lot of this had not been catalogued and would be a project for Sally and her staff in the coming winter. The artist had a great interest in Burns and had amassed a large amount of memorabilia during his life.
Following a vote of thanks from SVP Neil Johnston, members retired to the nearby Selkirk Arms Hotel for supper before returning home.
19/09/09 Scocha in concert
The Howff Club were please to welcome Scocha to their first full gig in Dumfries, the Borders based 5 man band who’s members come mainly from Hawick played many Scottish favourites, border ballads and Burns songs during a great evening in the Theatre Royal. A fantastic evening and we all hope to see the Whole band performing in Dumfries soon.
13/09/09 Dumbarton Burns Club Bowling Match, Dumfries
The annual inter club bowling match took place at the Dumfries on beautiful sunny Septembers day when the members of both clubs donned their soft shoes and prepared for the competition for the trophy. Despite a great effort the Howff Club members were unable to beat our guest visitors from Dumbarton and lost by a small margin but a great day was had by all.
More Picture are located in the Picture Gallery
4-6/09/09 Robert Burns World Federation Conference - Edinburgh
Club delegates and individual members of the federation attended the 3 day event based in Edinburgh, with the main official business and evening function taking place in the Executive suites of Murray Field Rugby stadium. Delegate to the conference were also delighted to attend a ‘welcome to Scotland and the annual conference’ by Scottish First Minister and Howff Club Honorary member, Alex Salmon MSP, held in the impressive Scottish National Gallery. Club member and Treasurer David Baird was elected as the Senior Vice President of the Federation .
22/08/09 Edinburgh Military Tattoo
A party of members, spouses and friends were again lucky to obtain tickets for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which this year was run with a Burns and the year of Home Coming theme. The party travelled by midi coach to Edinburgh, timed to arrive in the Grass Market for 1 p.m. when 14 of the party were taken on a guided walking tour of the old town, and its connections with Robert Burns our national bard led by Charlie. The tour showed us where Burns would have stayed during his time in Edinburgh, places and inns which he would have frequented, and people whom he would have known and perhaps loved. At its furthest point from the Grass Market the walk visited the grave of Robert Ferguson to whom Burns paid for the erection of a headstone. We covered approximately 3 miles including many hidden treasures along the many closes of the old town. The Tour finished at the Royal Oak Inn, near the site of the High School when Burns was there now part of the university, where the party enjoyed and contributed to the live folk music. After a break and a meal it was time to take our seats at the Tattoo. The Burns related theme included an adaptation of Tam ‘o’ Shanter to Highland dance, Calgary choir, and some very talented pipes and drums, performances from Samoa and China were amongst the more unusual presentation but very worthy and enjoyable entrants in the evenings display.
09/08/09 Ayrshire Visit
To mark the 250th year since the birth of Robert Burns it was decided that the club would have an outing to visit some of the places visited during the formative years of the bards life. Starting at the Tarbolton Bachelors Club where we split into two smaller groups, mainly because of the size of the building, and were able to absorb the atmosphere of one of the most famous place were Robert Burns frequented and which potentially contributed to his eventual talent as a poet and song writer and was undoubtedly an influencing factor during his stay in Edinburgh and meetings with the hierarchy of the time.
We then went to Pussie Nancys Inn opposite the the church and graveyard in Mauchline for Lunch before visiting Irvine Burns Club where we were amazed by the vast collection of memorabilia and artefacts including original manuscripts and early publication. The Irvine Burns Club has a visual presentation room with murals depicting the life of burns whilst he lived in Irvine and worked in partnership in one of the flax works in Irvine. This was a most enjoyable and informative visit limited only by time.
26/07/09 Kilmarnock Cross
Five Member pf the club travelled to Kilmarnock to represent the club at the Kilmarnock Cross ceremony which marks the printing to the Kilmarnock Edition of the Bards work. Due to traffic as a result of public processions the representatives arrived after the ceremony but still laid floral tributes at the cross before joining the company and enjoying the songs and verse at the community centre.
25/07/09 Burns 250 - Kevin Thompson
Despite a poor attendance those who turned up really enjoyed Kevin’s performance which integrated modern visual technology to display scenes from the different eras in Burns life and loves. Kevin used the bards music and song to illustrate how his emotions affected his works as Kevin lead the audience in song withn someof the less well known verse displayed karaoke style.
22/07/09 Brow Well Ceremony
An estimate 130 people attended the ceremony held at the Brow Well to commemorate the 250 anniversary of the birth of the Bard and his ultimate death with in a few days of drinking the waters of the well and bathing in the nearby sea. shown in the photograp are presidents of many Burns and past presidents of the World Federation. The Oration was delivered by Bill Dawson. Bavid Baird conducted the ceremony as president of the Southern Counties Burns Association who organise the annual event.
12/07/09 Wauchope Cairn
A Mini bus and 14 club members and friends travelled to visit Hawick Burns Club in celebration or Robert Burns visit to Wauchope House Pictured above is the travelling party which were as always warmly welcomed by our fellow Burnsians
06/07/09 JeanArmour Dinner
Members and friends of Dumfries Burns Howff Club gathered at the Statue then proceeded to the Globe Inn on 6th July to celebrate the memory of Jean Armour Burns, the wife of the National Bard.
President John Caskie welcomed the company and introduced the guest speakers, David Shankland MBE and Mrs. Lesley Douglas.
After dinner, Mr. Shankland, an honorary club member since 1979, held the company spellbound with a richly humorous toast to “Jean Armour”, describing her as a remarkable women who overlooked the manifold shortcomings of her famous husband.
Mrs. Douglas, vice president of Dumfries Ladies Burns Club No. 1, spoke on the “Other Women in Burns’ Life” and both chided and praised the poet for his affairs, amorous and intellectual.
Contributing to a superlative entertainment programme were club members Bill Welsh, Les Byers and Gordon Johnston and guest artistes Aileen Carr from Dunfermline and Willie McRobert from Moffat.
Representing Dumfries Ladies Burns Club No 1 were president Rev. Ella Pennington and secretary Betty Haining and from Annan Ladies Burns Club, president Eva Stubbs and secretary Agnes Taylor, all of who brought greetings from their members.
Following a vote of thanks from junior vice president Frank Manson, a rousing chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” brought to a night to remember to a close.
Earlier, members were piped to the statue to Jean Armour by club piper Calum Watson. Wreaths were laid by president John Caskie and by David Baird, president of the Southern Scottish Counties Burns Association. Mrs Jane Brown of the Globe Inn gave a brief appreciation of Jean Armour.
04/07/09 Tea With Clarinda
A fantastically enjoyable performance in front of a busy Theatre Royal in Dumfries
25/05/09 Club Bowling Match
The annual bowling night took place at Dock Park on Thursday 28 May. President John plus 14 members and two wives competed with great enthusiasm and a little skill for the distinction of winning the dreaded Draffan Cup. John, in full sporting attire plus skip hat, was partnered by our Secretary David who was more appropriately dressed for dinner. John should definitely stick to singing and it is not clear how David should spend his time. An excellent supper was provided by landlady Jane at the Globe followed by the prizegiving. A youthful Bert Hastings and Frank Manson were the worthy winners, Bert for the third time and surprisingly he has declined the offer to keep the cup.
10/05/2009COLDSTREAM BRIDGE CEREMONY
On May 7th 1787 along with his pal Robert Ainslie, Robert Burns during his visit to the Borders crossed the Tweed Bridge in Coldstream for his first visit to England. It was reported that on Leaving Scottish soil and entering English land Burns went down one knee at the Tweed bridge and recited the last two verses of ‘The Cotters Saturday Night’ which begin O Scotia! My dear, my native soil!....
On Sunday 10th May 2009, 222 years later, Coldstream Burns Club to celebrate this 250th anniversary year of the birth of Robert Burns re-enacted that very event at the banks of the Tweed Bridge. Over 100 members and Friends of the Club including myself and fellow ‘Howffers’ Treasurer David Baird, Past President David Miller, Secretary David Smith and Honorary member Jane Brown, we joined the procession from the centre of the Borders town to walk behind the two pipers and the Coldstream Burns Club banner across the Bridge into England and assembled under the Bridge awaiting the arrival of ‘Robert’s Burns and Ainslie’. Arriving to loud cheers ‘Robert Burns’ dismounted his horse kneeled on one knee and proceeded to read the lines from ‘The Cotters Saturday Night’ After Toasts to Robert Burns and To Coldstream Burns Club it was back over the bridge where I on behalf of the Howff Club laid a wreath at the plaque commemorating Burns ‘arrival in England’.
An absolutely brilliant afternoon of entertainment was then laid on at the towns’ community centre where after an inspirational address by World President Bill Dawson many members and friends of the Coldstream Burns Club entertained.
Chairman Rob Smith extended a welcome to many guests from the Robert Burns World Federation and neighbouring clubs and asked for a ‘special welcome’ to the members of the Howff Club! Rob said they were honoured that we could attend and be part of their special afternoon. Weas Howff Members could only insist that the pleasure was ours at once again being asked and to be part of a very special celebration.