Alexandria Burns Club
Saturday 24th January 2015
Guests and Artists (from left to right): John Young, Walter Snedden, Les Reynolds, Vince Dolan, Lennie Moore (front), George Dunwoody (rear), Robert Ryan, Bryan Weir (President). Mike Taylor, George McCaughey, Andrew Lockhart, Bob Wylie, Andrew Gordon, Ian McLean and Malcolm Gilmour. (Click Image to view in larger window)
A gathering of 137 people attended the annual supper held as normal in the Alexandria Masonic Temple this year. The top table guests were piped in by Malcolm Gilmour. Chairman Bryan Weir welcomed everyone then the company observed a one minute silence for Stuart McLean. Stuart was not actually a member of the club but he had performed on his fiddle here on several occasions and he was a good friend to the Alexandria Burns Club..
The beast, borne by our Caterer Robert Mills was then piped in as usual by the Piper o' the Vale, Malcolm Gilmour. The chairman offered the Selkirk Grace before the address "To a Haggis" was performed by Vince Dolan.
Vince is a committee member of the Alexandria Burns club, who was performing for the very first time. His address and dispatch of the beast was both painless and clinical.
The company then enjoyed another excellent meal from Robert Mills' team. This was followed by the Loyal Toast.
After an interval The Immortal Memory, was delivered by club member George McCaughey. George is a popular speaker on the Burns circuit and his Immortal Memory was both entertaining and informative and well appreciated by the audience.
John Young and Ian McLean (AKA the Dumbarton Corries) have entertained us on a few occasions over the years.They were called upon to do so again this year and once again they were excellent.
Their rousing songs and music are always appreciated at Burns club events. Ian and John perfomed for us again in the second half of the show.
Our next toast was "John Barleycorn". Club member Bob Wylie was tasked with this on this occasion.
Bob has been a member of the Alexandria Burns Club for many years and while he has performed for us at St Andrews nights this was surprisingly his first appearance at a Burns Supper. His humourous toast to the "cratur" was very much enjoyed by the audience
.Bob Wylie and the Toast to John Barleycorn
Last year accordionist Andrew Gordon performed at our supper for the first time. Andy is quite simply, a maestro on the accordion. This year as last the audience were entranced by his performance. Andy has his own ceilidh band and we know he is very much in demand as a performer but we certainly hope to see Andy many times in future at our events.
Tam O'Shanter is almost an essential part of most Burns Suppers. This year we had Walter Snedden and Les Reynolds performing it as a duo or perhaps a trio if we include the grey mare Meg.
This was hilarious and very well received by the audience.
Lennie Moore's Sangs and Clatter have been a popular slot in our pprogramme for many years. This year was no exception. Lennie had his audience in stitches as usual.
Sadly Lennie has announced that he is to retire from the circuit. Perhaps we can talk him into changing his mind.
As well as being George Dunwoody's VP at Dumbarton Burns Club Robert Ryan sings, plays guitar and the harmonica as well. In fact he plays the blues harmonica as well as anyone I have ever heard.
Robert is the front man of the wonderfully labeled blues band, "Harmonica Lewinsky". There was no Harmonica at the Burns Supper but Robert presented his Toast to the Lasses in a very entertaining way that was much appreciated by the audience.
After our second interval the final part of the evening was heralded by the Piper o' the Vale, Malcolm Gilmour. Ian McLean and John Young entertained us again before John sang a tribute to our late President, Ian Collins.
Mike Taylor is another member of the club who is an accomplished performer. It is a while since we enjoyed his performance of Holy Willie's prayer, which he had been asked to do for us. Mike gets dressed for the part and and as expected, his performance was flawless.
As we approached the final parts of the evening Andrew Gordon once more entertained us on his accordion.
This was followed by Andrew Lockhart our keyboard player, who offered a musical tribute to the aforementioned Stuart McLean.
We are blessed with so much musical talent at Alexandria Burns Club and Andrew's contribution is often overlooked as he sits in the background accompanying everyone else. We do however recognise what an important part he plays in our evenings.
Vince Dolan warmly thanked everyone in his toast to the artists and a successful evening was then concluded in the traditional way with the company singing The Star o' Rabbie Burns followed by Auld Lang Syne.
Thanks to everyone who assisted in making this another very successful evening.
(Photos by Tommy Gilmour.)