Nostalgia: Toasting the Bard in the traditional way

Burns supper in Assembly Rooms Leith
Burns supper in Assembly Rooms Leith
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THIS week sees the annual celebration of Scotland’s most famous writer, with Burns clubs up and down the land and all across the world gathering to hold the traditional Burns Supper.

The poetry and song of the great man will be ringing out in halls, homes and venues all over the Capital, while the Great Chieftain o’ the puddin’ race will be in greater demand than ever to take its place centre stage at the events.

These will merely be the latest in a long history of suppers, big and small, which have seen Edinburgh champion the legend of Robert Burns.

Members of the South Morningside School Choir were proudly showing off their puddin’ ahead of an event for parents and pupils of the school in 1969.

One of the city’s biggest Burns’ Suppers used to be held every year in the old Assembly Rooms on Commercial Stree,t Leith, which would host the Lamb’s House OAP Burns Supper, attended by hundreds of city pensioners.

While it may follow a traditional format of course, everyone likes to make their Burns supper unique, and in 1963 a Mr McCue was pictured in a striking pose as he prepared to deliver the coup de grace to the haggis at the supper organised by the combined youth organisation of St Brides Church, Orwell Place, as piper W Wightman looked on in amusement.

There wouldn’t be any Burns Suppers without the haggis, and in that regard the Capital’s MacSween and Son butcher have long played an important role, which continues to this day. Back in 1986 the butcher Charles MacSween was joined by members of staff for an impromptu Highland fling as they prepared for one of their busiest seasons of the year.