It’s only girls aloud....

The Mochrum Ladies Jean Armour Association has recently handed a cheque over to Newton Stewart Hospital making the total sum raised by the group £1445 since 2009.

This takes the total sum raised by the group £1445 since 2009.

Mochrum Jean Armour Club members

Mochrum Jean Armour Club members

The tongue-in-cheek formally named group, was established in 2001 when founder member Tracey Wallace moved from Edinburgh to Mochrum.

“Surprised” that the local Burns Suppers were male only affairs, Tracey invited some friends to her home for a Burns Supper to celebrate the life of The Bard’s wife, Jean Armour. And so the Jean Armour nights were born.

For a few years the suppers were low key but fun filled with light hearted speeches from group members. The suppers floated from members’ to members’ kitchens until a larger gathering was held in Mochrum village hall, followed by a public 10th anniversary charity event in the Maxwell Hall.

In recent years the event has moved to the Clansman restaurant in Port William and the evenings have become more structured and charity focussed.

The haggis is now properly addressed by long standing member Lynn Fisher followed by the Selkirk Grace.

However that is where the traditional Burns Supper format ends and invited speakers then take to the floor to speak on any chosen subject.

Sometimes there are sketches, poetry or tales of life and work experiences from the members whose ages extend over several decades and whose lives cover a broad range of career and family experiences.

However the one constant, the expected, highly anticipated ingredient each year, is the hilarity the evening delivers.

Annual hostess, Dib Penrose, embraces this required hilarity and ensures every evening flows with uproarious laughter.

One ‘Jeanie’ described the evenings as “the ultimate girlie night out, while another describes it as the annual “laugh until you cry evening” and insists it provides the best stomach muscle workout ever!

Founder Tracey explains that it is quite amazing that a simple wee idea fifteen years ago has resulted in so much laughter and in money being raised for The Alexandria Unit, PIRSAC, the local playgroup, school and youth group and now Newton Stewart Hospital. The next charity to benefit will be Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.

Secretary, Mary Cowan added: “We are a close knit group and we respect each member’s love of Burns, the Scots language and sense of fun.”

The ladies now plan to increase their meetings to quarterly ones and focus on raising even more laughs and money for charities. Their invitation each year uses the phrase, Here’s Tae Us...

It is obvious these ladies appreciate the health benefits of laughter as they raise money to benefit others in the process. So here’s tae them - The Mochrum Jean Armour Ladies.