The Banff and Buchan Collection

Gordon Easton, Tyrie, 24/02/1994

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NEFA 1994.016.02    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton
T: A Richt Good Fiddler
S: The grocers used to come round in vans. The Eastons had a little pony. George Fowlie was a fiddler and cello player. His daughter played the fiddle. He would come around to the house and play. The gut strings on the fiddle went out of tune quickly. GF played all sorts of Scottish dance music and often visited and played for many hours.

NEFA 1994.016.03    Transcription  
P:  Gordon Easton
T: Mother Played the Fiddle
S: Gordon's mother played the fiddle a little. George Fowlie taught him as well.

NEFA 1994.016.04    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: A Fiddle in the Hoose
S: Gordon found an old fiddle in the house and had it fixed up down at the shop. He began playing when he was eight and soon had so much music in his head that the teacher said he could no longer help.

NEFA 1994.016.05    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Gavin Barron
S: Gavin Barron was just like Gordon; he had the music in his head. GE fiddled at home.

NEFA 1994.016.06    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton  
T: The Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society
S: When GE left the school, he joined the Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society, which met in the village hall. There were about thirty five fiddlers, lead by Jimmy Youngson. GE and a neighbour biked down to Fetterangus every week for practices and the occasional competition.

NEFA 1994.016.07    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Biking to the Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society
S: GE and a friend used to bike down to the Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society, whatever the weather.

NEFA 1994.016.08    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society (2)
S: They used to have guests like Jimmie Dickie, Charlie Sutherland, Duncan Strachan, Hector MacAndrew.

NEFA 1994.016.09    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society (3)
S: They met weekly and went out for concerts in the wintertime (by bus). They had local concerts as well.

NEFA 1994.016.010    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton 
T: It Wis Jist Playin Mair Gin Competin: Fiddle Competitions
S: GE was under fourteen when he competed, and he did well. Talks about other competitors.

NEFA 1994.016.11    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Singin In Front O Fowk: I'm Jist Masel The Day
S: Used to sing only to himself. Started competing in 1985, almost by mistake, and since then has been going to most of the TMSA competitions. He has won most of them at least once.

NEFA 1994.016.12    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton 
T: A Natural Wey O Diddlin
S: GE has had a lot of cups for diddling. Talks about other diddlers: Fred Davidson, Willie Fraser.

NEFA 1994.016.13    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton
T: Diddling Strathspeys
S: There are (basically) unspoken guidelines for diddling. Diddlers would sometimes sing when there were no musicians.

NEFA 1994.016.14    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton
T: Dancing At The Meal An' Ale
S: There were dances at special times of year, e.g. harvest. Meal-an-ales were social occasions, recitations, music, dance. They would play fiddles, comb and paper.

NEFA 1994.016.15    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton 
T:  What Sort of Dances?
S: They did eightsome reels, waltzes, foxtrots, and many other dances. Diddles a foxtrot.

NEFA 1994.016.16    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel Society (4)
S: There were about thirty-five fiddlers, lead by the head forester at Aden. Ned Stewart took over, Jean Stewart was the pianist and had her own dance band as well. The Society played concerts all over, followed by Jean leading the dances. They had guests like Violet Davidson, Myra Fowlie (Thow), comedians and jugglers too. Charlie Sutherland, Hector MacAndrew, Bill Hardie would come and fiddle as special guest. John Strachan used to come and sing sometimes.

NEFA 1994.016.17    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton 
T:  Learning Bothy Songs/The Gramophone and the Motorbike
S: There was a man in GE's youth who would come around on a motorbike with 78s and a gramophone about twice a year. He would play all the bothy songs and ballads too.
He was very careful with the records.

NEFA 1994.016.18-19    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton 
T: Both Parents Sang
S: [End of Side A.] Discussion of family and homefarm.
GE used to work on various farms around the area. He eventually inherited the farm. Old thatched house is still down the close, dates from Culloden. Describes how it was thatched. There was a chain from which to hang pots and a hingin lum. There was an envelope with songs kept in it. More on family background on Esslemonts and Eastons.

NEFA 1994.016.20    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton 
T: GE's cassette of songs
S: Description of
tape and how it was made by Duncan Simpson [available for listening at the North East Folklore Archive, 1993.003]. Proceeds go to charity and the tapes have been sent all over the world. Description of the Elgin Bothy Ballad championship.

NEFA 1994.016.21    Transcription
P:  Gordon Easton 
T: Hogmanay customs
They used to go round the houses to 'seek Hogmanay'. The lads would get invited in, receive an apple or an orange, and then move on, all around the area. Recites 'Rise up aul wife an shak yer feathers...'. Sometimes they would have gotten money, a sixpence, as well.


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