A NEW Burns Night special is being organised at the Shoreham Centre, as part of a bid to ensure its future.
The venture, a grand Burns Night supper and ceilidh, is being organised by Geoff Howitt, who hopes it will become a major annual event for everyone to enjoy.
The Pond Road centre is facing major upheaval while the extension is built, and a reduction in the number of rooms the charity can hire once the new civic presence there is established.
Centre manager David Frost said: “This is just the kind of function which we can do so well, with our space, kitchen, famous dance-floor and central Shoreham position.
“I am confident that it will be a wonderful night and I hope it will become an annual feature each year.”
Dancing will be suitable for beginners and all ages are welcome to take part.
Mr Howitt, chairman of the trustees at the Shoreham Centre, said: “We have tried Scottish dancing at various venues in the area and realised that the Shoreham Centre is the one place where there is lots of room for dancing and for everyone to be seated for the traditional haggis meal as well.
“We have hired Barry Ruffell’s band, The Hopdogs, with a special Scots caller, and there will be a piper, some Burns poems and songs, with a nip of Glenmorangie single malt whisky for anyone wearing tartan.”
Mr Ruffell is a member of both The Hopdogs, which specialises in ceilidh and barn dances, and The Rude Mechanicals, a multi-instrumentalist Shoreham group with an extensive repertoire. He said the band playing on the night will be an amalgam of the two.
The large hall will be ‘fully and attractively decorated’ to suit the occasion and the bar there would be open until late.
Centre chef Duncan Workman has already made his plans for vegetarian and non-vegetarian haggis, the tatties and neeps, and he will also produce a traditional Scottish fruit pudding.
Tickets at £20 are now available and will be limited to ensure plenty of space for dancing. Free parking will be available behind the hall. Call the centre on 01273 454686 to book.
Building work on the Shoreham Centre extension is expected to begin in April, once the huts are removed.