Document 1805

Scots Tung Wittins 154

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 154
Sept 2006

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid an in yer hert!

[NOTE: logo here of the dot Sco in original]
Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently Campaignin tae Uphaud the Scots Language
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

[NOTE: image of a poster advertising Robert McLellan festival in original]
THE 28t Januar 2007 will merk the centenary o the birth o Robert McLellan, yin o Scotland's maist kenspeckle dramatists, that bid for maist o his life in High Corrie on the Isle o Arran. Sae it's only but richt that the Isle o Arran shuid fend the settin for a festival celebratin McLellan's life an wark. Atween noo an 2007, The Arran Theatre an Arts Trust, complouterin wi Robert McLellan's faimly an the community o Arran an North Ayrshire Cooncil, will wark thegither tae bring the beauty, wit an smeddum o McLellan's wark tae a new generation, throu drama, visual airts an music, an, at the same time, warsle tae forder his howps an ettles bi eggin on an sponsorin new warks in Scots bi young Scottish playwrichts.

This year's ongauns includes productions o twa o Robert McLellan's cuttie plays foondit on Arran's byegane, "The Smuggler" an "The Cailleach", in Corrie an Sannox Village Ha. An exhibition o Primary schuil paintins, inspired bi the twa plays takin place in this year's Festival, will be hauden at the Burnside Gallery in Brodick.

Forbye thon, poetry warkshops will be hauden at the Burnside Gallery an poetry readins in the Corrie Ha alang wi a recordin o Robert McLellan readin some o his ain kenspeckle "Linmill Stories".
The Festival will feinish wi a pairty on the last nicht that will include music frae the award-winnin fowk band cried "Back of the Moon", some o the music hivin been specially composed for this year's Festival, poetry readins an the praisentation o the McLellan Award for Poetry bi Kathleen Jamie, the kenspeckle Fife poet. The closin date for entries tae this competition wis 6t August an the entries wis judged bi Kathleen.
For mair particlars aboot the Festival, see the wabsite at:-

No Juist Eurolang!
FOR gey near a year noo the Scots language haes haed tae dree the insultin discrimination o bein the only UK language left oot o the leet o languages in the wabsites o Eurolang, EBLUL an the ither sib an relatit wabsites. Want o resources (siller) wis gien as the reason for this discrimination. Howanver, syne particlars o the Scots language haed kythed in thae wabsites for years, shuirly it wad cost mair siller tae tak it oot than tae juist leave it the wey it wis.

Until the middle o August, the BBC wis up tae the same tricks in its Languages Across Europe wabsite at whaur it gied a leet o twal languages spoken in the UK but nae mint o Scots at aw. Again, want o resources wis gien as the raison. Howanever, efter a campaign bi Colin Wilson an Scots Tung, the BBC got roond tae pittin maitters richt (gey near). There nae Scots in the leet o European languages but it daes kythe in the leet o UK languages wi links tae a history o the leid.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's wabsite at:-
A hard copy o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung ilka month.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 (Scotland/UK)
Peyed ilka September. €9 (Ireland/EU)

Drouthy Neibours
[NOTE: image of a 'Nae Smokin' sign in original]
WHEN the Scots Pairlament's smokin ban in enclosed public spaces cam intae force on Sunday 26 Mairch 2006, yin o the Edinburgh pubs that wis yaisin the Nae Smokin notice, haed set oot an ootdoor beer gairden on its property for thae fowk that wantit tae cairry on haein a smoke wi thair pint.
Howanever, some o the fowk in the neibourin properties roond aboot pit in an official complaint tae the cooncil aboot the noise that wis bein makit an the publican wis telt tae mak siccar thair customers kept the noise doon tae acceptable levels. Tae comply wi this new directive, the publican speirt a Scots Tung maimber if he cuid get some kinna notice in Scots that said somethin like, "Nae Noise - Complainin Neibours!" The ootcome wis the yin abuin threapin, "Haud it doon a bit for the greetin faced neibours!"

Scots is the biggest spoken language in the British Isles - efter English an written forms o the language on notices an posters etc haes a faur different effect on fowk than English yins haes, as ye micht hae noticed wi readin the abuin. It grips the ee better for it's no whit fowk is expectin tae see an it gars a feelin like bumpin intae an auld freend. Forbye that, it disnae look doon its neb when tellin fowk whit tae dae like the mair authoritarian English daes an this mair freendly souch in itsel maun gar fowk tae tak its instructions in a mair guid hertit mainner.
[NOTE: image of a note saying 'haud it doon a bit for the greetin faced naibours!' in original]

Stooshie at the Store
A review bi Irene Broon ©
[NOTE: a photograph here of the EPT STooshie Team in original]
ST PETER'S kirk ha in Lutton Place, Edinburgh fair buzzed wi the clatter o the audience 'o a certain age' as they waited tae see The Edinburgh People's Theatre's 2006 Fringe production Stooshie at the Store, a farce aboot missin Divvie siller amid the Store's centenary celebrations. The mood wis set bi music frae the era an I cuidnae help notice the words o the sangs bein moothit nostalgically bi some o the audience. Tae set the mood forder, the ha's wa's wis covered in aw kinna wittins aboot Edinburgh in 1959, frae music tae fashion tae news stories an TV programs. (The 'Wittins' wis there an aw!) It aw reflectit the research that haed lovinly gane intae the play's writin bi its author, Irene Beaver. Irene's faither, Bobby Brown, haed stertit work in the St. Cuthbert's store in the 1920s an efter the war he wis makit the Display Manager. Tho in the program Irene says "the characters is aw fictional…", her Dad gets a mint in a line aboot the Teddy Boy windae dresser, Joe Fraser, when the buyer, Miss McCreadie, threaps surprise at Bobby Brown giein a character the likes o Joe sic a responsible job.

There no mony plays set in a depairtment store, sae it's gey easy tae see similarities tae a certain sit com. This cuid hiv been McGrace Brithers! In a warld whaur onythin can happen, like young Andrew Davidson (Kenny McKay) bein a transvestite for the efternuin wi the maist improbably engineered bosie I've ever seen, an a ful gemm o peevers on stage as weel as a richt gallus jive bi Dot Jamieson (Mandy Black) an Peter Wilson (Iain Fraser).

Irene wis clever eneugh tae write in the sindry speech modes o the various characters frae the Morninside souch o Andrew Davidson an Miss McCreadie an coorse the boss hissel, Mr McDonald, tae the braider Edinburgh Scots o Joe the windae dresser an Mrs McMillan, the mither o May McMillan o jewellery. May's ain speech chynged depending whae she wis speakin tae as did Peter Wilson's, whae's role wis played weel in camp music ha style. The character Dot Jamieson o haberdashery, played brilliantly bi Mandy Black, wis supposed tae be originally frae Upha Station in West Lothian. Irene richtly gied her the maist Scots tae speak, reflectin the reality o the West Lothian tongue whaur Scots is still yaised as pairt o ilkaday speech bi mony in thon airt.

Irene's research peyed dividends. Ilka pairt o the play managed tae chime wi the audience like when reference wis makit tae places the likes o the proponed creation o a new toun in Livingston ("How can there be a new toun when ther's no an auld yin?!" ) or Bread Street hivin been kent as the Main Point o the Auld Toon in Mary Queen o Scots' times. This led tae the question as tae whuther Mary ever stoppit aff at the Store in the passin! Bruce Forsyth got a mint as an up an comin star as did Cy Grant an Cliff Michelmore on the Tonight program. The contemporary claes an hair dos wis juist the dab as weel.

At the shaw, I didnae see yin linen suit or hear yin foreign accent but it wis their loss tae hiv missed oot on a gret wee piece o Edinburgh history. On the foondin principles o the Co-op muivement, this wis an inclusive shaw whaur laughter wis shared oot amang aw the maimbers takin pairt.

The Edinburgh People's Theatre wis foondit in 1943 an can craw aboot takin pairt in the Fringe for 48 years. Onybody interestit in oncomin productions or in hou tae get rowed in wi the EPT shuid gaun tae their wabsite at

Midsummer Nicht’s Dream
A review bi Irene Broon ©
THE title o Edinburgh Acting School's Fringe production, A Midsummer Nicht’s Dream, suggestit there wad be a Scots slant on the production, sae I gaed alang. The shaw opened wi tartan cled fairies dancin tae the strains o Rod Stewart. The omniscient narrator that sat bi the side o the stage the hail nicht, gied a rhymed resume o the story in a guid Scots vyce wi a puckle Scots words. She then gied a summary efter ilka scene in the same mainner. It wis a guid thing she wis there cause for aw it was weel seen that the cast wis makin a muckle maucht an kent their moves weel an didnae stummle ower thair lines, the words o this vairsion o Shakespeare's play wisnae clear frae mony o the actors. Aiblins the ha's acoustics didnae help but it seemed like they hidnae learnt tae project thair vyces richt. Mibbie they shuid hae taen a lead frae Kate Potter (narrator), Sheila Thomson (Helena), Stuart Moran (Peter Quince), Rebecca Fairnie (Starveling), Nigel Jarvis (Snug) an of coorse Helen Goldie that wis byordinar guid as Puck. Thae actors kent that on the stage, words haes tae be delivered in a wey that's distinct tae the audience, aye mindin the wee deif fellae sittin at the back! It makit me think o the principle involved in creatin a statue tae sit atap a public biggin. Her features wad hiv tae be exaggerated ayont the normal, sae that she wad luik normal frae a gret wey aff. The same gauns for speech. Normal speech juist spoken looder juist isnae eneugh. The soonds haes tae be exaggeratit tae cairry oot tae the audience.

I can weel imagine that a musical o Shakespeare wis tae accommodate the variety o buddin talents in the Edinburgh Acting School. Aiblins a no sae contrived vehicle for this wad be mair appropriate. Mind ye, the audience seemed tae be fair taen wi the shaw on the Seturday nicht an seemed particlar tickled bi the collapsible umberellies uised as swords bi Lysander an Demetrius. Imaginative stuff!

A Midsummer Nicht’s Dream (a Shakespeare classic wi a twist) ran frae 14 tae 19 August at the Lauriston Ha's, Lauriston Street, Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Acting School rins clesses frae 25 September 2006 for aw ages an for sindry meisures o experience. Clesses is hauden at 60 The Pleasance, Edinburgh. Their telephone nummer is [CENSORED: ].

Makar's Neuk

Come September, fowk stap in
Tae Yarrae for the show
Tho often teemin up abin
An clairty doon ablow.
They poor in frae the east an west
The fowk o every station
Tae represent the very best
O this prood ancient nation
An ithers tae.
In Yarrae at the show.

The douce fowk come up thrae the toon
Their een fair roond wi wonder
An steppin cannie on their roond
Lest they mak onie blunder
Like takin a gimmer for a tip.
They study wi perusement
An take great care tae make nae slip
Tae gie the herds amusement
Or some like thing
In Yarrae at the show.

The horsey lasses, there because
They haenae onie fears
O loupin cuddies owre brick waas
They’ve practised it for years.
Gin they get thrawn off at the jumps
They’re raised tae sic reverses
Tho on their heids a routh o bumps
An gey sair skin’t their erses,
Hard cheese, Fiona!
In Yarrae at the show.

Sae at the endin o the day
A guid time had bie all,
They drive or bike or walk away,
A wheen can only crawl,
Then they hae a final blether
As they say ‘Cheerio’
An plan that they’ll again foregether
Next Year.
In Yarrae at the show.

Walter Elliot 1934

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Information about Document 1805

Scots Tung Wittins 154


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2160
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2006
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Scots Tung Wittins

Text type

Prose: nonfiction
Other mixed text type


Author details

Author id 95
Forenames Robert
Surname Fairnie
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Consultant Marine Structural Engineer (Retired)
Place of birth Musselburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Musselburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Fisherman
Father's place of birth Musselburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Fishwife
Mother's place of birth Musselburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes In Germany to communicate with two grandsons
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Wherever Scots is understood