A GROUP of woman are showing they can celebrate the bard with their own ladies' Burns night celebration.

What had started as a get-together in Rena Macintyre's home in Millport has blossomed into an event enjoyed by 70 woman.

Rena, pictured, took action as there was nothing on the island to get woman involved in the Burns scene.

She explained: "It started as a small gathering of just eight friends to mark the occasion.

"There was nothing on the island for the woman to join in the celebrations, so came up with something ourselves.

"I did that for a few years and word spread. It just kept getting bigger and bigger until I couldn't cater for it in my home anymore.

"So last year the Masonic Hall was kind enough to give us the space and we hosted it there - to great success.

"I had planned on doing it every second year but people kept asking me about this year!

"The demand has been incredible. There will be around 70 people this year and there are still more women who want to come but sadly due to health and safety rules we can't accommodate any more.

"Everyone is local too which is great and it is a completely traditional Burns night, with the piping in of the haggis and everything staged very professionally.

"It is all woman who take the roles and I try and get different people to do the different parts every year so that it is unique and things are switched up.

"We have members of the choir that attend as well and they do their bit.

"Last year I was nervous because it had been scaled up so much, but this time it's a little easier because we know how it all works now."

The evening will include a raffle, with the proceeds going to Parkinsons charities, as well as a donation to the Masons for the use of the hall.

Rena says that with the event in such high demand she hopes that the town hall will soon be back in use to increase places even further.

She added: "Right now it is just locals that attend but we would love to have a bigger venue to host people from off the island.

"There is already a greater demand for places than we are able to supply."

The event will take place on January 26 with a 7pm start.