Bournemouth care home residents fire up the festivities for Burns Night

FIRED UP FOR BURNS NIGHT – Avon Cliff in Christchurch Road marked Burns Night with traditional festivities. From left resident Maureen McTernghan, volunteer Keith Tomkins and resident June Hayward raise a glass to the bard as chef Ben Salkeld ceremoniously sets the haggis alight.

Bournemouth care home residents raised a dram and ‘toasted’ the haggis to welcome in Burns Night.


Residents of Colten Care’s Avon Cliff in Christchurch Road were observing some of the popular customs celebrating the life of the prolific Scottish poet Robert Burns.


Avon Cliff residents including Maureen McTernghan and June Hayward raised a glass to the bard after watching chef Ben Salkeld ceremoniously set the haggis alight.


Maureen said: “I’m not Scottish but 40 years ago when I was working in the buying department of Marks & Spencer in Oxford Street, we were invited across the road to the Selfridges Burns Night celebrations.


“It was stupendous, with pipers, food and poetry. A really impressive occasion.”


Residents later sampled the haggis and whisky and enjoyed readings of Burns poetry.


Claire Jackson, the manager of Avon Cliff said: “We really enjoy celebrating notable, cultural occasions with our residents and Burns Night is always popular with everyone, not just those with Scottish links.


“As well as giving the opportunity to eat haggis and drink whisky – it provokes happy and positive memories and reminiscences and we always have a lot of fun.”


All 21 Colten Care homes celebrated Burns Night in traditional style including

Wellington Grange in Chichester, where residents from the home’s poetry club held a poetry recital.

Newstone House in Sturminster Newton held a Scottish afternoon complete with a piper in a kilt – a special surprise for Scottish resident Catherine Matthews.

Burns ‘suppers’ typically include haggis (celebrated in the poem Address to a Haggis), Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns’s poetry.

The first Burns Supper was held in memoriam of the poet Robert Burns by his friends, on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death.

It has been a regular occurrence ever since and is celebrated around the world, usually on or around his birthday, January 25th.


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