My Dad is the President of Dumbarton’s Burns Club (Association?). This year he has already sang at two Burns suppers, and has another eight to attend. Tomorrow night he travels to Dumfries to the Howff Club, which was formed in 1889.
He told me a story this evening about the Globe Inn (where the club resides). About 40 years ago, the local window cleaner handed in his bill as usual, the owner decided to check it and noticed he was being charged to clean 24 windows. The owner was sure there were only 22, so he recounted them (from the inside) and confronted the window cleaner. The window cleaner was certain he cleaned 24 windows and took the owner outside to prove it. Only then did they realise there was a hidden room to one side of the Inn. It is presumed it was built as an illicit drinking den, as the entrance to the room was from the building on the farside of the Inn.
My knowledge of Robert Burns is not extensive, I can remember singing some songs in the school choir, reciting a few poems in primary school, reading Tam O’Shanter in English class, and I vividly remember my first Burns Supper. Highly ritualised, and totally hilarious. As with these things I don’t remember the jokes all too well but I do remember the air was a certain shade of blue!
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thankit.