Special Thinkers' Dinner - Burns Night

This page relates to the Thinkers' Special for Burns Night 25th January 2011

The Burns Night TD was sponsored by Alpine who covered all the costs, including those of the venue, which was also a new one for Thinkers: Adam Street Club

Much as everyone had a good time at the earlier, theme-less, Special we were mindful of Churchill's injunction to a waiter “Take away that pudding – it has no theme.” with which the very first Thinkers' Dinner was opened. That taken together with the fact that the 25th January is the anniversary of Robert Burns' birth in 1759 and the need for a theme became overwhelming . . .

Food, including appropriate Scottish fare, was consistent with the Burns Night theme, which was more strongly featured than at a regular TD. The dinner was opened with a Selkirk Grace and although the full Address to a Haggis was not used, having no uncut haggis to cut and no bagpipes with which to pipe it in, we did make reference to this traditional verse along with other Burns poems and quotations appropriate to the season.

There are a range of traditions associated with Burns Suppers, which were combined with those of Thinkers' Dinners to form this special, which amounted to an very informal Burns Supper with the added quiz-style of the typical Thinkers Dinner.

As always we looked at this-day-in-history and, of course, found that the birth of Burns is not the only event of note to have fallen on the 25th January . . .
There were plenty more snippets for this-day-in-history that I won't repeat here.

As a Burns Supper is always as much a celebration of Scottish culture as of the Bard himself and as Thinkers' always features some little known facts that illuminate a topic, we took a look at some of Scotlands heritage. The origins of tartan were exposed as both newer (in terms of the clan associations) and far more ancient than is generally supposed and we discovered that the modern kilt may well have been invented by an Englishman!