[Gordon Easton] Doon e road
at the corner here, I hid it originally but the hooses were
nae muckle use ti me wis jist the land I wis needin. We'll
at's anither bit we hiv, number thirteen, it's aboot forty-two
year ago since I bought it. I selt the hooses ti ma cousin.
It's affa funny foo ye get involved, he selt his folks place
ower aside South Blackhills, nae it, but next een, it wis
an affa hilly place at his father hid. Well he was an agricultural
lad himsel, Jim, ma second cousin really, he let it ti a lad
cause it wis nae use ti him, he selt it tae another lad and
is lad selt it ti Lovie cause Lovie's found oot they were
sellin and gave em such big an offer he couldna refuse. Wi
sellin it he hid naewey to keep his mither's auld furniture
so he asked me if I wid sell him the craft hooses, and I said
well they're nae use to me, so I got mair than half as much
as I paid for the hale caboodle fir es hooses ti him and I
hid the grun, super bit o grun.
This Jim Wilson well he retired,
second cousin, he stayed in Glasgow, nae family, married bit
nae family, he wis gan to leave a the hooses to me in his
will, it wis made oot bit wisna signed, he took cancer, in
a the time he came up here he wis a poor thing, I dinna cane
fit wey he managed to drive up, but his heart wis in Tyrie,
native o Tyrie and buried in Tyrie. He drew up his will, thought
I'll be better, I'll be back, en he niver got back, is new
will wis niver signed, so I didnae get the hooses, it gaed
till his widow ye see naturally, an it was up for sale fin
she died, seen. Ah well, fin she wint into hospital, she lost
her memory, ...she got as bad she couldnae stay hersel. ...
[Tom McKean] What estate was this and all the other farms
[GE] Philorth Estate, Fraserburgh, Lord Saltoun-Fraser,
Lady Saltoun bides at Cairnbulg Castle yet.
[TM] And that's who you grandfather bought it
from when he bought this place?
[GE] Aye, it was bought in 1925, no it was bought
from the Philorth Estates, at's when Philorth's selt aff maist
o their estate. I suppose they'd come on hard times tae, but
they kept a few of the better fairms jist close to Fraserburgh,
ye see. Fraser's, named efter Frasers o Philorth, they've
been lairds for lang enough. In Fraserburgh it wis the Frasers
that Fraserburgh got it's name fae, ye see, and they used
to stay at Philorth. There wis a mansion hoose at Philorth,
but it wis a big estate within the estate, but it got burned
doon so they eventually moved to Cairnbulg Castle, that belonged
ti them as well, so at's far they've stayed fir long, long
enough. The daughter o Lord Saltoun, the last Lord Saltoun,
she's aboot oor age I wid imagine, she's the Laird yet ye
see, bit they've selt nearly athin aff, they kept a few fairms
on by the Broch, they hid a good hooses now they attend ti
them, but the Broch Toon Council taen awa an affa lot o it,
they wid hae gotten good revenue fae that ye see, oh they've
200 acre o land expanded tae the Broch over the last twenty-thirty
year. It's jist wey things evolve ye ken.
[TM] Do you have any idea what the rent would
have been on a place like this in 1866?
[GE] Here? Oh gosh, I've plenty documents bit
nae here. Oh at one time it wis £24 but it wis higher
than at, but the land court got it doon. I think it was £36
at one time, it wis stupid ye see, but at's a lot o money,
en the land court got it doon to £24 I ken at much.
[TM] Do you know how much your granddad paid
[GE] Aboot £300 I think, which wis a fortune
at at time tae.
[They move to outside. Wind noise.]
[GE] ...That's Whitebog, e middle een, is is
Greenburn. Whitebog far Isobel's folk wis and far George Wallace
wis. There grun wis right doon ti e dyke, right along ti at
trees, e moss is right awa up, ye see, great sklyter. Is es
the moss I wis telling ye aboot, ye see the black jist tae
left o this tree, so they gaed right awa up ti e back o it.
Es is Mcknagran, the hill, at's Mitchell's. The grun goes
right ower ti the back road and a bit below the road. Auchentumb
wis straight up es road aboot a mile fae here, but jist ower
the horizon. Mains o Blackhills,
ye canna see it, great big sheds jist in the right o them
trees, they hid great big sheds builds en they enlarged the
hoose. The road they go in is at at trees doon the hill, so
athing wis in aboot a mile a radius, that's the layoot.
[GE] [Looking at photograph of the Fetterangus Strathspey
and Reel Society] This 's Ian; that's Jimmy Matthews he would
come fae Ellon;... is is Johnny Sangster, he wis a grocer.
I canna mind Ian's name, bit I have it written doon, bit I'm
nae rakin for it enicht. This is Andrew Burnett, he wis a
[TM & GE] That's Ian's, I canna mind his
name, he wis jist a young chappie; No 4 is John Sangster;
Andrew Burnett (7); John Watt, he wis Jessie's[?] employer
and related through marriage, but John hid the fairm, son
still in e hoose yet, they hiv a hoose en a steading but selt
the grun--Johnny died a while ago. This is Jimmy Youngson,
the conductor (12). This is Johnny Geddes, he wis a tailor
(13) fae Lonmay; Is es Sandy Barron (14), no relation to Gavin
Barron, he repaired fiddles at lad. That's the lad Reid (19)
fae Ellon, at's him at back; is is Ned Stewart (20). Adam
Reid would be at fella at back (19). That's Jimmy Massie,
he hid a garage at e top o the brae at Ellon. Canna tell ye
at man's name; that's me (5); at's a man Murray, oh there
wis twa Murrays, Bert Murray; that's Jessie; es is he played
the cornet, Harry Hepburn, he stayed in Stuartfield; is is
Bert Shand; is is Jimmy Mutch, he hid a pub at Bucksburn in
Aberdeen; is is another brither o this lad's now (Andrew Murray),
Wallace I think ye ca that chappie here; I dinna ken at en.
That's as muckle as I can dee.
[GE] It wid hae been the same night, but jist
the haill company taen in, were a' standin much e same place,
we hiv shifted though a wee bit ti let the accordions come
in aboot. In was Dan Urquhart, I aye mind his name, he wis
a juggler. This lads are a' sitting in e same formation. That's
Ned, is lassie is sitting on his knee, ye ken, and that's
[TM] And there's a bass player back there, whose
that playing the double bass?
[GE] Oh no I canna gie ye that, no way. And
that's Jean here, Elizabeth's mother. This is a' pupils, an
the majority o that lassies hid red hair.
[TM] Do you know if any of them are still about
[GE] Oh no, I canna tell ye that. In fact we
jist kent them, saw them once a week, jist occasionally a
these lassies tee ye see. Because is wis Jean's pupils ye
[TM] So that would have been 1946 roughly?
[GE] Well possibly, I'm seventy-one noo past
[TM] And you were born in 1923.
[GE] Aye. We were married bit nae affa lang.
1946 we were married. ...It's an affa thing minin back sae
lang. Wis twinty-three fin I wis married, so that wid roughly
aboot the time Tom, but I jist winna swear....
[Tape off and on.]
[TM] Who was the best players of the lot?
[GE] I wid say Andrew Burnett, the soutar, he
wis an affa shy man. Ned Stewart wis a damn good player, bit
he jist hid his ain like Jimmy Dickie. Well he gaed to Jimmy
Dickie a good lot en he developed at style a wee bittie, en
it didna take the judges eye, cause often we wid go ti Banchory
an compete in the festival there. We hid een at Mintlaw, I
think, a festival, before Banchory hid, maybe jist twa held
at Mintlaw--Fetterangus company. Then Banchory started, I've
got it written doon, but I'm nae raking. Aberdeen wis first,
I think Fetterangus wis before Banchory, but this wis an affa
[TM] There quite a number of fiddles there.
[GE] An affa lot o fiddles. A lot o young fiddlers,
but they a came up ti be good fiddlers en a big turnoot every
year--twenty wis average, maybe up ti aboot thirty. I think
I've telt ye afore, it was most enjoyable, especially for
us ye ken, every winter we got guests, good players, maybe
once a fortnight.
[Joe Aitken] I'll start aff wi Dave McFadzean, seems a lang
time ago [laughter]. Great performance, more contacts between
the songs, nonetheless.
Douglas Dawson--the first song
you sung is affa difficult when you're nervous. Good overall
Alan Laing--Great performance
I could hae listened ti a lot mair.
Brian Miller--Great performance
Thomas McKean--Ye said ye learnt
the twa songs fae Jane Turriff, Jane wid hae been proud o
ye. Great singing Tom.
Rod Mason fae Tyrie--Singer
efter ma ain heart. Wi bit o a stutter, but I ken how ye feel,
I've done it a' masel. Great stuff.
Peter McNeill--This caused me
a wee bit o a problem, although I didnae understand the words,
I probably enjoyed the singing.
Scott Gardiner--Well I've watched
Scott progress ower the years, gets better a' the time, very
mature performance today. I've heard him singin though his
voice breaking, great joy for me to see a young lad like that
both your songs, felt maybe just a wee bit more feeling, I
was struck with three singers, but I felt you could do with
a bit mair heart gan into it. Nae jist quite enough to sing
the words, ye've got ti really feel it.
Arthur Ramage--Both songs were
sung, again I felt there wisna enough contrast between the
two o them, the rules say two songs that contrast in nature.
Jock Duncan--Great expression,
this is what I was speaking aboot, feeling the song. I wis
at engrossed in it I jist aboot forgot to write the marks
doon (he his to be difficult dis he?) [laughter].
Johnny Bissett--A good all-round
William Brattan--Caught him
short o breath I think. Enjoyed the singing jist the same.
Stanley Robertson--Well there's
naebody sings the big ballads quite like Stanley, that wis
a great performance once again Stanley.
Peter McNabb--Two great songs,
but you cut one a bit short, I wis sitting waiting for the
Robert Elder--A good all round
performance, you're a fine singer.
Jim Duke fae Dundee--Another
wee bit stutter there, but a fine performance.
There wis nobody who completely forgot their words this afternoon.
Only two folk really hid a wee blip, jist a blip.
We'll hae the results now. Third
place tie between Brian Miller and Alan Laing. Believe me
there was 19 points separating first fae last. I think the
first seven or eight wis within 6 points. Second place--Stanley
Robertson. The local winner was Robert Elder. Overall winner,
because he put so much intae it--John Duncan.
[JA] I would like to thank a' the singers, a'
the workers, and the audience, because when the singers were
on were getting the best attention, I've had a difficult job,
but I enjoyed listening to this, and thank you very much.
[TM] He's gan tae his lady gaen,
As he has done before-o,
Sing madam I maun keep a tryst,
On the dowie dens o Yarrow.
Oh bide at hame ma lord, she said,
Oh bide at hame, ma marrow,
Or my three brothers will slay thee,
On the dowie dens o Yarrow.
Oh haud your tongue, my lady dear,
Fit's all the strife and sorrow,
For I'll come back tae thee again,
Fae the dowie dens o Yarrow.
She's kissed his cheek, she's kissed his hair,
As she has done before-o,
Gied him a brand doon bi his side,
And he's awa ti Yarrow.
Noo he's gone up yon Tennies bank,
Awite he gaed wi sorrow,
And there he met nine armed men,
On the dowie dens o Yarrow.
Noo come ye here ti howk or hound,
Or tae drink the wine sae clear-o,
Or come ye here ti pairt your land,
On the dowie dens o Yarrow.
I come not here ti howk nor hound,
Nor ti drink the wine sae clear-o,
Nor come I here tae pairt ma land,
But I'll fight wi you on Yarrow.
Noo fower he's hurt an five he's slain,
On the bloody dens o Yarrow,
Till a cowardly man fae him behind,
And pierced his body through-o.
Gae hame, gae hame ma brither John,
With all the strife and sorrow,
Gae hame and tell ma lady dear,
That I sleep sound in Yarrow.
So he's gaen up yon high high hill,
As he has done before-o,
And there he met wi his sister dear,
She wis coming fast tae Yarrow.
I dreamt a dreary dream yestreen,
God keep up all fae sorrow,
I dreamt I pulled a birk sae green,
On the dowie dens o Yarrow.
O sister I can read your dream,
And I know it has come sorrow,
Your true love he lies dead and gone,
He was killed, he was killed in Yarrow.
[Jane Turriff:] You've learnt it, there's only
two bits that ye wint wrang wi. I dinna ken fit wey ye didna
win, you're a good singer.
[TM] Was it alright?
[JT] Aye, ye sung like at fin ye were ere? Well
I dinna ken fit wey ye didna win, because you're a good singer.
You've a good voice.
[TM] I don't think I have the turns quite right,
ye know. ...
[JT] Aye you put in the curly bits, the...twisted
notes, ti make the feel the song.
[TM] I'm not so good at those curly bits.
[JT] Did ye nae get second or nothin, there
must hive been a lot o them a' singin?
[TM] There were eighteen people. Jock Duncan
was first and Stanley Robertson second.
[JT] You're a better singer than him, min. Aye
are ye. Fit wis he singin, it maybe depends on the song maybe;
that's a good song.
[TM] Jock Duncan sang 'Harlaw' and he also sang
'Glenlogie'. Stanley, I can't remember what he sang.
[JT] 'Glenlogie''s a bonnie song. Stanley kens
a lot o songs an a'. Lot o good songs. You're a good singer,
that's e first time I've heard ye singin, an I understand
a' yer words. Ye jist hid two wrang wordies, but ye'll maybe
mind on the words again.
That's a true song. I learnt
Clive and he got first, he's won wi that. He's a good singer
too, but I understand your words better. Clive's a good singer,
but I understand your way o singin. An yet I understand yer
words fit yer saying ken.
And eh, whit een did ye sing again?...
[TM] I sang that at Keith actually. I'll have
a go at that.
O my wee doggie has learnt me a trick,
To go a-huntin when it wis dark,
To go a-huntin when it wis dark,
A-huntin wi ma wee dog and I.
I hadn't went far on my way,
When a nice girlie she was going my way,
I asked, pretty maiden whit brocht ye here,
And I courted that young maid like ony man could do.
She said, I love apples and I love pears,
And I love these cherries that grow on thon tree,
And I love my true love and he loved me,
So begone young man, begone, for I don't love you.
So he's taen thon high road and she's taen
And aye he whistled an aye she sung,
And the song that she sung was a threid o blue,
Sayin I love my true love, but I don't love you.
O lassie, lassie dry up your tears,
For it's my bad behaviour has caused you to mourn,
For the world it is wide my love and we'll gang side,
An the whole world will ken that thy love is mine.
O lassie, lassie, ye dry awa yer tears,
And for you an your bairnie ye need nae fear,
Though the world it is wide my love, we'll gang side,
And the whole world will ken that your bairnie's mine.
[JT] That's a beautiful song. My granny used
ti sing at an ma mither.
I wis singin a song the other mornin, I never learnt it, fit
a beautiful song:
I'm jealous of you, of all things you do,
I'm jealous of you, night and day,
For some pretty face may take my place,
That's why I'm jealous of you.
I've heard ma mother singin that, but fit the
rest o the verses is, I couldna tell ye.
There wis another song now I
came oot wi the other mornin, God ma mind goes way back ti
ma mither. I'm old and I still ca ma ma, 'ma ma', queer, is
it? I've heard ma mither singin. My sister in Aberdeen's the
same, thinking aboot our parents, loved them dearly an we
hid a hard dad, didna batter or hit ye, but we hid to take
a telling, answer him. Our father wis a good da, if we were
nae weel, he jist looked at ye, syne ye maybe wipin or blowing
oor nose and he'd say, ye're biddin in e night, you're nae
gaen oot in e caal. Ye see, looking efter ye, get ye a toddy,
made wi whisky, and make it up wi sugar and warm water, ti
make ye sleep. Oor da wis a good dad, but he made us take
a telling, he didna let us get aff wi things.
Nowadays the kids are nae the
same. They get aff wi athing noo, and ye don't get ti correct
your children now. I think a dad should always be a father,
always protect their children. What is a dad for, but the
boss o the house, look after bairns, nae bad-usin them, a
good dad ti them, but a dad is the heid o the house. He looked
after us, cared for us and I really miss my mum and dad yet,
very much. I'm always away back, maybe a song will come ti
me. I'd think I heard ma ma singin at, it's wonderful.
[TM] Things you never really learnt, but just
heard a lot.
[JT] I heard it aye, heard it. My goodness,
I aye think o ma ma, ma sister's the same in Aberdeen. We
all think aboot our parents. See if anything happened to me
now, Billy is mammy's loon in a ken, he aye comes up ti see
how I am, ma this, ma that. He'd say I looked in the window
today ma, were ye sleeping, I didna bother ye, see. If anything
happened to me, I think he'd break his heart an a'. I miss
my parents an affa lot yet, because I wis disabled--I fell
and hurt ma leg--then I wis always wi ma parents, niver awa
fae them. I loved ma parents an affa lot, and they cared for
me. An yet I'll say sometimes it didna look like they cared
aboot mi, because they hid other kids ti look after. Many
a time they wint away for a fortnight and left me wi a' the
hoose o bairns.
[TM] Were you the oldest?
[JT] I'm the oldest one, aye, yet I am the one
that is more lively among them a'. I've hid sometime, I'm
goin tae let ye hear, all my sisters and the whole family
in my mother's house all happy singing.
[TM] I'd love to hear that.
[JT] It's a great tape I've got. I've got ma
ma singing, all happy, everyone in the house. I mine is wis
at a weekend, and my sisters, we were a' married, and my sister
stayed in Aberdeen--I've two sisters stay in Aberdeen. I hid
another sister, she died nae an affa time ago, she wis the
youngest quine, she wis a great singer hersel, aye whistlin.
We were a' married and a' used to come through to see ma ma
and da at the weekend. Now I stayed ower the road fae ma mother
and I wid gang ower e road and she'd get ma sisters and brothers
coming through to see my mum and dad, and I'd come fan they
were a' there. The piano wis going; I started playing the
piano--a' the tunes o the day, nae only the old ones, but
the hillbilly ones and the old songs too. It's a wonderful
tape, a big roond tape, and how happy in that house, you've
never heard the like o it.
Now I've another tape and I've niver heard this een. I've
a big tape and my tape recorder winna play it because the
tape I got fae this lad is too big. Now I could maybe halve
the tape on ti a smaller wheel, en see fit's on it cause is
boy invited me and my husband one time in Fetterangus, maybe
thirty years ago and I've niver heard it.
You know Grey's o Fetterangus,
it's a work place[?]. Is boy, he's dead now, the laddie, invited
me and ma husband up tae his mither's hoose for a sing-song.
We went up and he must hiv hid a tape recorder because he
recorded me and ma husband. He come down two-three nights
after at, he'd written ontae it "Radio Scotland"
and oor names an a', makin on he wis a recorder, BBC, or something
like that. I looked at the tape and knew it widna play on
ma tape recorder because the wheel's too big. Must be an affa
lot o singing and chatting on it, but I dinna ken fit I'm
gan ti dae wi it.
[TM] I could take it to Edinburgh for you and
make a copy of it for you.
[JT] I dinna ken, fit I wis thinking wis I wis
going to buy two wheels for the tape and I could maybe play
the half onto a wheel, and half again on the other wheel.
Far wid I get two wheels to buy?
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