SWALLOW charity presented the Mayor of Midsomer Norton with a certificate in thanks for the Burns’ Night Celebration which saw a full house at Midsomer Norton Cricket Club on Friday the 26th January, raising a total of £552.

Supporting teenagers and adults with learning disabilities to live their lives to the full, SWALLOW charity is based in Bath and North East Somerset, is user led and supports more than 150 people and provides a range of services to support people in all areas of their lives.

The Burns’ evening saw traditional haggis, neeps and tatties, plus special ‘dim sim’ haggis, donated by local supplier Andrew Carter, and perfectly cooked by the Mayoress Julia, served up alongside Scottish tablet and shortbread.

With bagpipes playing, the haggis was brought before the crowd for the Mayor, Cllr Gordon Mackay, dressed in full Scottish regalia, to recite the traditional Robert Burns’ address.

After dinner, a prize raffle was drawn with gifts donated from local businesses including Greek restaurant Nisi, the Dog Café, Norton Sports, Rebel Zen Café, broadband provider LitFibre, Ian Hobbs Refrigeration, Dragonfly Leisure, SWALLOW, Tescos and High Street DIY.

“The response from local businesses has been outstanding,” said Cllr Mackay, commenting on the raffle donations. SWALLOW is such a wonderful local charity, I’m so grateful to everyone for lending their support. Jo Davis has been promoting the event every morning on her fantastic Somer Valley FM breakfast show which really helped raise awareness.”

With the Mayor wearing a traditional Mackay tartan Kilt, many people chose various Scottish-themed outfits including tartan dresses and ties. Local businessman, Andrew Baker, who owns ALB Fabrications, donated “Jimmy” hats for people to wear which the Mayor duly placed under his trademark tricorn hat.

“Since becoming Mayor I’ve met many other Mayors who host charity events, so I decided it’s time Midsomer Norton held one,” continued Gordon, the Mayor. “We’re lucky to have the most amazing community here with so many people putting in so much effort, it’s good to do something small myself. My biggest thanks to Julia for doing the cooking, there’s a lot of new haggis fans.”

With the Cricket Club being full, thoughts are already turning towards a bigger event next time. “I’d love to hold something like this at the Town Hall one day,” said the Mayor. Plans for the Town Hall include a kitchen and dumb waiter connecting to the Assembly Room above.

“It will be wonderful to invite all the other Mayors and Chairs from Somerset to Midsomer Norton to show off our fantastic Town Hall once it’s finished.”