Nostalgia: Burns Night and haggis

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It took a gruelling 11 hours to prepare and weighed a mighty 328lbs – something of a record in the haggis world.

So who better to cut the giant feast than TV personality – and Record Breakers presenter – Roy Castle at the Halls factory in Broxburn in January 1978.

Roy Castle prepares to cut the record-breaking 328lbs haggis in Broxburn in 1978; below, Lasswade Secondary School hosts a Burns Supper in 1964

Roy Castle prepares to cut the record-breaking 328lbs haggis in Broxburn in 1978; below, Lasswade Secondary School hosts a Burns Supper in 1964

The impressive haggis was made not only to cement a place in the record books, but to celebrate Burns Night, with portions of the meal later cut up and distributed to care homes for the elderly across the community.

Tonight, thousands of us across the Lothians will be dipping into our own haggis feast as we celebrate The Bard, either at home or out and about at a formal Burns Night celebration.

Back in 1964 at Lasswade Secondary School, staff and pupils came together for a Burns Supper. Pictured here, teacher Jean Bailie gave the traditional ­address.

Burns Night was slightly less conventional that year for elderly residents at Queensberry House – now part of the Scottish Parliament – when catering staff and musicians brought the celebrations to their bedsides. One gentleman, a Mr J Sneddon, was treated to some piping by 13-year-old Stanley Young, a pupil at the Royal High School.

For many visitors to the Capital this weekend, Burns Night will offer an opportunity to sample the national dish for perhaps the first time.

During the Festival in 1963, students from the Oxford Group Players did exactly that, with the now famous Terry Jones and Doug Fisher getting to grips with haggis – yet without a dram in sight.