Coldstream Burns Club’s annual ladies night supper, an event which started in the 1960s and is open to non-members, was held on Saturday in the British Legion Club.
Club chairman David Douglas got proceedings underway and following the ‘Selkirk Grace’ from club secretary John Elliot, things got off to an impressive start with the arrival of the haggis piped in by Keith Guthrie. The stirring address to the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race” was delivered by Rob Bell.
Principal guest for the evening, delivering the tribute to Burns, was Joy Thomson, a resident of the town who was born and brought up in Edinburgh in a theatrical family where from an early age she and her siblings regularly entertained throughout the city. She explained that her knowledge and love of Burns came from her mother who regarded the Complete Works of the Bard as her bible. Accompanied by Alex Young on guitar she wove a number of Burns songs into her highly personal and entertaining tribute followed by the lament played by piper Keith Guthrie.
The highly amusing toast ‘To the lasses’ delivered by Iain Dempster from Berwick had the audience rocking with laughter. And the reply on behalf of the lasses was given by Marion Pate who, while not overly critical of the male sex still managed to expose some of their frailties. Rob Cockburn recited ‘Willy Wastle’ and ‘To a mouse’ while Ian Buick recited ‘The haggis of Private Mcfee’, an amusing but poignant tale set in the First World War trenches.
Performances from two of the best singing voices in the area followed: tenor Cameron Robertson from Berwick, gave an outstanding performance of ‘The Lea Rig’, ‘The Bonnie Lass o’ Ballochmyle’ and ‘Red, red rose; and baritone Bobby Hanlon, matched him with ‘Ye banks and braes’ and ‘Ae fond kiss’, both accompanied by Ken Pritchard on piano.