Saturday 10th January
Burns Night Dinner

It was decided that this year’s New Year’s Party was to be a Burns’ Night Celebration and the venue for the event was in Crantock Village Hall at 7 pm for 7.30. The Members and their guests, together with guest pipers and drummers in all numbering 48, were greeted with a choice of warm punch or apple juice. Before dinner the time was spent catching up with friends and New Year wishes. At the allotted time everyone took their seats at the two tables placed down the long hall, each place setting furnished with a menu of the evening’s entertainment. The Chairman welcomed those who had travelled from far and wide and the visiting pipers and drummer. He said this was to be a “do it yourself affair” with self-entertainment and spoke of Robert Burns and the Selkirk Grace.

The Chef entered the hall ceremoniously holding aloft the Haggis being piped in by Nigel and the small procession circled the length and breadth of the room to everyone’s enjoyment. Ian then did the traditional address to the Haggis, causing much amusement and Allan entertained the Diners with the song that Nigel had been playing, “A Man’s a man for all that”. The Diners settled down to their first course, the starter was Haggis with “neeps  and tatties”. And second helpings were offered.

Ian did the Immortal Memory – Robbie Burns – quoted and reading his poems, his love poetry and talked about his romantic life and mentioned Bonnie Prince Charlie. At the finish of this thoroughly entertaining recital the Diners were asked to “charge your glasses and be upstanding” and the Diners rose accordingly.

Alex came on next to amuse his listeners with a humourous and challenging Toast to the Lassies, for e.g, What constitutes a woman? and finishing with “to see her is to love her …………”.  The gentlemen in the hall were then invited to rise and make a Toast to the Ladies.

The Lassies Reply was taken up by Miranda who in great and feisty form was more than a match for the challenge and offered amusing reasons just why men enjoyed being men. A return Toast was then made to the gentlemen by the Ladies in the hall.

Keith gave an enlightening speech on “To the land we live in” by outlining the wonderful County of Cornwall and all of its enjoyable attributes.

At 8.45 Father and Son, Tom and Andrew held the stage. While Tom played the pipes, Andrew unleashed his sword from its scabbard and crossed them on the floor and proceeded to dance nimbly over and above in intricate fashion as if he had been doing this all his life! It was an amazing display and the entertaining duo were wildly applauded!

The next act was husband and wife, John and Jill who sang beautifully in perfect harmony a Burns’ song “ ‘Til all the seas gang dry”. Their audience sat entranced at the music and showed their enthusiastic appreciation. This was followed by a lovely rendition of “The White Rose”.

Cheese and biscuits and coffee followed before Miranda played the guitar and sang an amusing song on marriage and another, where there was some noisy audience participation. Keith followed with a “song from my childhood” which concerned a familiar amusing tale of a barrel of bricks ……… and this tale had the audience in stitches. Still on the stage Keith nominated and invited four volunteers to join him and placed them around himself and Miranda. He then lifted her up on to his shoulders whereupon she balanced and reached down for the offered bagpipes and played Scotland the Brave to a captive audience. Needless to say there was some loud appreciation of that stunt! James then entertained the room with his pipes and some very fast reels.

At 11 pm the dancing started and afterwards Nigel said a big thank you to Alex for all his hard work on the event and to James and Ian and others for their contribution and made a presentation of a green fleece with the Kernow badge on it to Alan the driver who had transported and supported everyone around on the Arnhem trip.

The Pipers and Drummers picked up their instruments and played a variety of tunes to the audience. Old Lang Syne followed and goodnights were said and the final clearing of the tables began as this was a homespun evening. And a final word, for a homespun evening the first Burns’ Night celebrated by the Kernow Band had turned out to be a lively and entertaining, sparkling and cracking affair!