Burns Night returns – but without haggis this year

Toasting the haggis at last year's event, left to right, chef Duncan Walkman, organiser Geoff Howitt, reader Douglas Hill and piper Tim Wilkinson ENGSUS00320140126101631
Toasting the haggis at last year's event, left to right, chef Duncan Walkman, organiser Geoff Howitt, reader Douglas Hill and piper Tim Wilkinson ENGSUS00320140126101631
0
Have your say

BURNS Night will be celebrated at the Shoreham Centre again, following the success of last year’s inaugural event.

But there will be a few changes for this year only, due to the kitchen being out of action during improvement works.

Organiser Geoff Howitt, chairman of the trustees at the Shoreham Centre, said: “The Burns Night, which was so successful last year, will go ahead on January 24, the Saturday before the Bard’s birthday.

“We have major difficulties because the kitchen at the Shoreham Centre is being dismantled and is unusable.

“It will be a Burns buffet and everyone can help themselves throughout the evening, because the centre kitchen is closed for three months. It will be a continuous and plentiful buffet, with a variety of foods.”

The hall will be decorated with tartan and Barry Ruffell’s band, The Hopdogs, will provide the music, with a caller for two sets of Scottish dancing.

A piper will welcome people in at 7pm and there will be a nip of whisky for anyone wearing tartan.

Mr Howitt said: “There will be a programme of singing from various groups and maybe one or two Burns poems to give the night variety.

“There will be a short ‘ode to the haggis’, even though it will not be on the menu, a short appreciation of Robert Burns, a toast to the ‘lassies’ and a lassies response.”

The bar will be open until 11.30pm and the evening will end at midnight. Tickets are £15, a reduction on last year due to the lack of haggis.

Mr Howitt said: “Next year, we will want to go back to the haggis and neaps, as well as the dancing, singing, poetry and the short traditional Burns appreciations.”

Tickets can be booked or bought from the Shoreham Centre, call 01273 454686, or contact Mr Howitt on 01273 463768.

The event was launched last year as part of a bid to ensure the future of the Pond Road centre, which is facing major upheaval while the extension is built and a reduction in the number of rooms the charity can hire once the new civic presence there is established.