IT MIGHT be a staple choice for farmers – eating out or in – but the origins of the sirloin steak came into vogue again last week, when a rare menu for a Royal feast was sold recently.

Folklore tells us that the beef was so good at the Royal bun fight on August 17, 1617, that the Stuart king, James VI, announced to his host, Sir Henry Hoghton and fellow guests: "Loin, we dub the knight ... arise Sir Loin!"

But it did well to stand out from the rest of the menu, for there were 129 dishes spread across the day's feasting, including turkey, heron, curlew and wild pig. The rare menu was later printed by the Hoghton family in 1790 and the copy of which that was up for auction made three times its estimate by selling for £3000 to an un-named bidder

Drew at 80!

The Raider understands that the hottest ticket in town last weekend (yes, I wasn't invited!!) was to the 80th birthday celebration of 'Years of friendship and farming' hosted by Drew Sloan, founder and former head of Semex UK.

That business almost single handedly changed the face of dairy cow genetics in Scotland and the wider UK from its base at Prestwick. Still looking as suave as ever, he was seen with his two bodyguards, known as the 'Lockerbie Heavies' – Archie Mair and Billy Campbell, who also acted as the official food and drink-tasters at the event.

The job application form stated the successful candidates would be required to eat and drink copious amounts at the celebration. Fortunately, neither required any intensive training before taking up their respective roles at this prestigious event and The Raider understands they performed to Olympic standard!

A new cocktail!

The Raider endured the weather last week to take in the machinations of my local football team, Morton, who took on East Coast rivals, Arbroath, at Cappielow, in Greenock.

And I was glad I did, for what a fine day it was courtesy of Stevie Shaw's Cowal Building Supplies. The 'Ton Team looked after the 'hostility' very well and I'm proud to say that there was good old Scotch Beef on the menu, as a very fine braised feather-blade steak.

I have to report, though, that while the game might not have been a vintage one, the entertainment certainly was – especially when the host entertained us in a bar known locally as The Stab Inn. It was so salubrious that they had Buckfast on tap!

A new cocktail devised by the visitors has been given a name. Just ask for a Bucks...e – or Buckfast and soda!