VIDEO: A taste of Scotland at Burns Night celebration in Hartlepool

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PEOPLE are invited to enjoy a taste of Scotland at a sparkling Burns Night celebration that is set to be held in Hartlepool.

It will be held at the Grand Hotel, in the town’s Swainson Street and has been organised by Hartlepool’s Ceremonial Mayor Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher.

Pipe Down: Hartlepool Mayor Stephen Akers-Belcher (pictured, centre) fails his bagpipe audition ahead of his Burns Night Supper, to be held in January at the Grand Hotel. Pictured with the Mayor are Frank Bonner (left) and Kevin Reilly of the The Royal Scottish Pipoe Band Asociation, who will be playing the pipes on the night.

Pipe Down: Hartlepool Mayor Stephen Akers-Belcher (pictured, centre) fails his bagpipe audition ahead of his Burns Night Supper, to be held in January at the Grand Hotel. Pictured with the Mayor are Frank Bonner (left) and Kevin Reilly of the The Royal Scottish Pipoe Band Asociation, who will be playing the pipes on the night.

Masters of Ceremonies will be Scottish pipers Kevin Reilly and Frank Bonner, who have over 40 years’ experience of running Burns Night suppers.

Frank served in the Scots Guards and has piped at a host of venues including Edinburgh Castle, Balmoral and the White House, where he played for President Carter.

Kevin is Honorary Vice-President of The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and has played around the world including the USA, Canada and South America.

Guests will be piped in to a delicious three-course dinner of Scotch broth followed by haggis with neeps and tatties, then ice cream, fruit coulis and shortbread. There will be a dram of whisky for the toast.

As well as the skirl of the pipes, there will be various entertainment including a tribute to the life and times of poet Robert Burns, humorous tales – including the life of the haggis – and a Scottish quiz with prizes.

The dress code is smart suit or kilt and to add to the fun everyone is encouraged to include something tartan in their outfit.

The event is being held on Saturday, January 25, from 7pm.

Tickets cost £20 and the proceeds will go to Councillor Akers-Belcher’s Charity Fund in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, the Pansies Breast Cancer Support Group and the Denise Taylor Cancer Trust.

Coun Akers-Belcher said the event will be one to remember.

He told the Mail: “The Scottish people say that there are no strangers in the world. Just friends who they have not met yet and that sums up the atmosphere we’re looking forward to on the night.

“There’s nothing quite like a Scottish celebration and we’re pulling out all the stops to make it a truly memorable evening – all in aid of some great causes.”

Tickets for the event are available from Karen Mason or Eileen Larkin at the council on (01429) 523702.