Document 1034

Afa sad news, bit thanks for the memories - March 21, 2005

Author(s): Robbie Shepherd

Copyright holder(s): Robbie Shepherd


God be with you, Ireland And the Old Bog Road The Old Bog Road - Irish Ballad COMIN on tae the eyn o the wikk, ma myn wis made up tae hae ma say-awa the day on a gypit craitur o a columnist in the Sunday Times fa took the rise o oor naitural tongue up here in the north-east.

Syne I forethocht an decidit he wisna worth wastin win on an it's a peety Cabinet meenister John Reid hidna teen at advice fin dealin wi Jeremy Paxman.

A phone-call on Setterday morning pit aa thochts o at oot o ma heid wi the afa sad news o the daith o Paddy McGarr, o the Gallowglass Ceili Band, jist a day efter his dear wife, Sheila, wis laid tae rest an a day afore a faimily waddin.

Losh bit it's a blessin we dinna ken fit's afore's an a tragic time for the McGarrs wi Peggy - Paddy's sister, fa play't the horned fiddle - noo in a nursin home.

That news cam on tap o reading last wikk o the daith o Ian McConachie, o Elgin, my sparrin pairtner on a feow concert platforms.

It wis Bapper Ewen that linkit me tae the Gallowglass Ceili Band an I myn sittin in the front raa o Campbell Davidson's convertit Victoria Cinema in Ellon watchin John Mearns daein his hinmaist stint as MC o the famed Irish band, takkin tent o aa that wis gyan on as I wis tae tak ower fae him.

That wis tae be the start o mony a tour in the 1960s an 70s ilka sax month in spring an aatumn.

THERE wis the likes o Brendan Breen on accordion, wi the twinkling fingers an twinkling een; Jimmy McGarr - fa can forget the deep rich voice wi the Old Bog Road, een o ma favourites - Sean on the piano, the shy kindly Paddy on lead accordion, wi Peggy bi his side.

They were tae leave their mark nae only wi their personality, but wi a style wir ain bands were tae copy - presentation a priority.

As guest artist, I introduc't Jean Martin, noo mairrit wi a teenage dochter doon in Orpington in Kent. We keep in touch.

Laurencekirk wis aye the start o the twa-wikk tours an I aye felt sorry for the aadience there as there wis nae time for rehearsal an Jimmy wis aye wary as tae fit prottick I hid got him inta es time.

Jean wis a great sport an aye willin tae tak pairt, an I suppose een o the best responses we got wis parodeein Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Esma made full-length skirts for the twa o's, held thegither wi Velcro, an in the middle o the sang we wheepit them aff tae reveal nylon stockins richt up tae sma panties.

Jean swore I hid better legs than her, bit at wis a gye back-handit compliment.

Farewell tae Paddy an tae the Calor Gas Men, as I eest tae introduce them.

Happy, happy memories, an tho they laached like hell wi the aadience, they aye maintain't they didna unnerstan a word I said.

MA THOCHTS are also wi the faimily o Ian McConachie, an oor early meetins were at the Inverurie Musical Society Top Town competitions back aboot 1960. Ian wis wi the Elgin Team an me wi Kintore.

We must hae teen a trick wi somebody for we were speirt back month aboot as comedians for a feow eer an my fondest memory is sharing the Tivoli Theatre stage as a double act, him in evening goon as the wifie, beads doon till's belly, an me wi fite wig for aa the world like Mr Pastry - that wis the ploy as we did a take-off o Mr Pastry's lancers, big Ian flingin me across the stage, landing me in aneth the cheers. The bruises hae lang since gane.

Those were the days, my friend, we thocht they'd never end. Alas they hiv, bit thanks for the memories.

NOO aginst ma better judgment, I fin I hiv jist a wee space tae gyang back tae ma supercilious mannie fae the Sunday Times.

Fit wis he on aboot? The Asda signs in Doric in Peterheid, at's aa, an telling Asda an the warl at "there are better ways to do this than pretending the store is run by and for 17th-century farm labourers".

Get a life, min. Ken yer fowk for a start an hae a bit o fun like the lave o's. I canna be daein wi soor moos.

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Afa sad news, bit thanks for the memories - March 21, 2005. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

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Information about Document 1034

Afa sad news, bit thanks for the memories - March 21, 2005


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2005
Word count 778

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Text publication details

Publisher Press and Journal
Publication year 2005
Place of publication Aberdeen
Part of larger text
Contained in Press and Journal
Page numbers 12

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Text type



Author details

Author id 897
Forenames Robbie
Surname Shepherd
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment University
Age left school 15
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Freelance Broadcaster
Place of birth Dunecht
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bridge of Don
Region of residence Aberdeen
Residence CSD dialect area Abd
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Shoemaker
Mother's occupation Housewife


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes