Thursday, 17 January 2013
Top chef Mafiz Ali is delighted to announce that Wednesday 6 February is the date of this year’s Burns Supper at Ayr Spice, the restaurant in the Old Church, Minishant.
Jim Shields (pictured above), who only stepped down from his year as president of the World Burns Federation in September 2012, will lead the cast, propose the toast to “The Immortal Memory” and sing a group of the Bard’s songs, accompanying himself on the guitar.
Like his “Trusty freen” Jim Shields with whom he will share master-of-ceremonies duties, Bob Henderson is an Ayr man who “emigrated” to “Auld Reekie” decades ago. Bob will address the haggis and recite Burns’ epic poem, “Tam o’ Shanter”.
Ian Lyell, a well-known stalwart of Mauchline Burns Club and retired teacher at Kyle Academy, will propose the toast “Tae the Lassies”.
Once again, this will be a Burns Supper with a twist. Haggis, neeps and tatties is a foregone conclusion, but the Bangladeshi food, for which Ayr Spice is now very well-known, will also be on offer.
Learning from the first Burns Supper at Ayr Spice last year, changes have been made to allow this year’s event to be fitted into a 7pm - 10pm time-scale.
Judging by the names taking part, it looks as if this will be an evening not to be missed!
Tickets price £24.95 including a complimentary glass of whiskey, are available from Ayr Spice Restaurant. Tel: 01292 441 413.
Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant
Ayr Spice Indian Cuisine can be found in the fine old red sandstone Memorial church at the entrance to the picturesque village of Minishant, 5 miles south of Ayr on the A77. The church was erected by the thread magnate Sir Peter Coats of nearby Auchendrane, in loving memory of his wife Glorianna, who died in 1877.
Indian food can be simple or elaborate, humble or opulent, within a culinary tradition that is centuries old. The unique gift of Indian cuisine is its inspired use of exotic spices and the finest fresh ingredients. Proprietor Mafiz Ali and his team at Ayr Spice are determined to bring you the best of that tradition, and look forward to welcoming you.
Ayr Spice Restaurant is open 7 days a week from 12 noon until 10pm including Bank Holidays, Christmas and New Year. Takeaway and home delivery are also available.
Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant
The Old Minishant Memorial Church
22 Ayr Road
Tel: 01292 441 413
Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant is a member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Work has started on the construction of South Ayrshire Council’s latest brand new rural school building to accommodate the pupils and staff of Kirkmichael Primary School.
This new school shows the Council’s commitment to rural education. Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder cut the first sod at a ceremony to mark the occasion (pictured above).
In December 2012 a new school building for Colmonell Primary School was completed, and now the Council is further investing in rural primary education with a new Kirkmichael Primary School building.
The Council has funded the whole cost of the project, £2.3 million, to meet the cost of constructing a new school on the site of the old school, which has already been demolished. Pupils and staff from the school have been decanted to the McCosh Hall in Kirkmichael, where they will remain until the new school is completed in October this year.
Pupils joined Councillor Toner, local Councillors, staff from the school and officers involved in the project to take part in the sod cutting ceremony.
Councillor Margaret Toner said: “The financial investment in the new Kirkmichael Primary School building clearly demonstrates our commitment to rural education. The old school building was constructed in the 1970s and was no longer fit for purpose and it was decided that a new school building was the best option.
“Designed to include landscaped external areas, classrooms, lifelong learning facility, assembly/dining areas, changing facilities, nursery accommodation and multi-purpose areas the new school building is fit for the 21st century.
“The new facilities within the school will be of great benefit when delivering education through the Curriculum for Excellence, which provides a coherent, more flexible and encriched curriculum for pupils.”
Access to the school will be through a secure, controlled area, from which the community will be able to access the lifelong learning room separating them from the pupils during the school day.
“Schools are important to our communities, which is why I am really pleased that members of the local community will be able to use the school in the evenings. One room will be available for local people at any time. This additional accommodation will supplement the facilities already available in the village at the McCosh Hall.”
The classrooms cluster around a multi-purpose open area with exits from each classroom to the external play area. The dining and assembly hall is at the end of the main corridor providing easy access for the pupils and staff and secure re access to community users in the evening.
The architect for the new Kirkmichael Primary School building is Holmes Miller, construction and the construction contract was awarded to Clark Contracts.
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
A star-studded line-up of singers and speakers entertained almost 600 guests at the Homecoming Burns Supper held in the Ayrshire Suite at Ayr Racecourse last Saturday.
The undoubted highlight was a superb rendition of Tam O’Shanter by Karen Dunbar, which earned the Ayr-born star a standing ovation.
First Minister Alex Salmond proposed a thought provoking Immortal Memory while former fastest man in the world George McNeill performed an amusing Toast to the Lassies with BBC newsreader Sally Magnusson giving an equally funny Reply.
John Carmichael’s Address To The Haggis was stirring while the songs from Karen Matheson and Jaime MacDougall were truly outstanding.
The John Carmichael Band and Piper Iain MacFadyen also entertained with some traditional music and Chairman for the evening Joe Campbell kept things moving during the evening.
Alan Macdonald, Chairman of Ayr Racecourse and the driving force behind the event commented: “What a marvellous evening. I have long wanted a Burns Supper of this magnitude at the Racecourse and I thought it was an outstanding success.
“My thanks go to Joe Campbell who used his influence and reputation as one of the world’s leading experts on Burns to secure such an array of talent as our entertainment. It was a truly memorable event.”
For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.
Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
Monday, 14 January 2013
House sales across Scotland look set to continue to increase as chartered surveyors’ expectations for the coming three months remained positive, says the latest RICS housing market survey.
In December 2012, 8 percent more surveyors in Scotland predicted transactions to rise rather than fall over the next quarter. This positive outlook comes at a time when confidence has been growing and that the housing market in some parts of the country may now be over the very worst.
Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland
Scottish chartered surveyors reported prices continuing to fall, with 19 percent more surveyors reporting a fall in prices rather than a rise. However, a more positive view of the price outlook between now and March was reported with 5 percent more respondents predicting rises over the following three months. This is the first positive expectation since September 2010.
With transactions expected to increase, demand from would-be buyers remained positive last month with the number of homes coming up for sale also increasing. During December, a net balance of 37 percent more surveyors reported an increase in new instructions.
Thomas Baird MRICS, Select Surveyors Ltd, commented: “The market is traditionally slow during the start of the new year, however, I would expect this year to show an increase in the number of Home Report instructions.”
Across the UK, London once again bucked the overall trend and saw significant increases in prices, while the North East and Wales saw the biggest drops. Notably, prices in the West Midlands stabilised last month; this represents the first time in over two and a half years that prices have stopped falling in the region.
Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, commented: “As we start the new year, confidence in the housing market does appear to be improving with RICS members predicting that transaction levels will continue to increase in many parts of Scotland.
“However, despite these tentative signs of recovery in the sales market more still needs to be done to ensure potential buyers can access the market at every level.”
RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.