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Robbie Burns Night up on the Hill

Friday, January 19th, was a perfect winter’s evening for a Burns Night hosted by the Livingstone Brewery in Franklin.

The cold night’s chill was perfectly offset by the warm welcome received inside the brewery. Music was already underway, provided by Stew and Alice, and Wanda Gundry on her bagpipes.

Owner Trevor Livingstone gave the official welcome to the second annual Burns Night and introduced the MC for the evening, Noah Tolhurst, who was suitably attired in kilt and woollens, and fully looking the part of the “rustic, haggis-fed” Scot.

Attention was then directed to Livingstone’s aerie loft, where Wanda set the tone for the evening with a couple of lively pipe tunes. Noah gave the Selkirk Grace, and the evening was off to a fine start.

The dinner, prepared by Gary’s Restaurant, was perfect for the event. A delicious soup was served, then the haggis was piped into the hall by Wanda; Noah performed his rendition of the Address to the Haggis, and a toast was raised to the guest of honour. The haggis was served with neeps and tatties with a wonderful gravy.

While dessert was served, Noah spoke on the “Immortal Memory” of the Burns’ Nights going back more than 220 years, and why the Ploughman’s Poet’s words resounded so deeply with so many people around the world, and everyone toasted his memory. Then came the traditional Toast to the Lassies, and guests were invited – nae, encouraged – to share a song or poem with the room.

Friends were made, more toasts were made, and the lively music of Stew and Alice filled out the evening. A final tradition was the singing of Auld Lang Syne, and Trevor bade us good night, saying he hoped to see everyone again next year as we stepped back out into the cold wintery air, hearts still warmed by the wonderful evening.

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