This year's conference was not without incident, it must be confessed, however the excitement took place well into the Saturday Evening, when delegates were unfortunately bustled outside, after suspect fumes were detected in the hotel's lift shaft.

The Harrogate Fire and Rescue service arrived with three engines in very good time however and allowed us to pick up our Circassian Circle where we left off.

The Friday night 'sang aboot' was somewhat subdued this year, although John Caskie did a marvelous job of cajoling performances out of travel-fatigued delegates.

The business meeting passed without much incident and the reports were dealt with very succinctly. Jim Thomson of New Cumnock and Kilmarnock being the only candidate for Junior Vice President there was little requirement for ballot and all business was concluded before noon.

The afternoon Seminar session was a very enlightening affair with talks from Dr Fred Freeman, producer and musical arranger of the seminal Linn 13 disc recording of the Complete Songs of Robert Burns and Professor David W Purdie, co-editor along with Prof Gerry Carruthers and Dr Kirsteen McCue of the forthcoming 4th and greatly enlarged edition of the Burns Encyclopaedia, which is expected to be published by Hale's of London in the early part of next year.

At the inaugural Dinner, new President, Bob Stewart made a very fine speech, marred unfortunately by technical difficulties with microphones. It is hoped that the speech will appear online very soon. Thereafter, dancing was led by the extremely talented Dance Band of Andy Kane.

Sunday's divine worship was led my Margaret Anderson of the EDBCA, herself a lay assistant at Polwarth Parish Church in Edinburgh. Immediate Past President Jim Shields acted as precentor and a healthy collection was taken up on behalf of Bob Stewart's favoured charity, War Blinded.

Next year's conference is to take place in Glasgow on the weekend 6-8th September 2013, further details to follow.