24–26 July 2015

A Festival to celebrate the singing traditions of Scotland, England, and Ireland in memory of Tom and Anne Reid

The Guests          Programme          Booking          Drumallochie          Organisers and Sponsors

Download the festival programme

Tam and Anne ReidThe Festival is a unique celebration, bringing together outstanding traditional singers from Scotland, England, and Ireland. The event is especially for those who like to hear, enjoy, and join in unaccompanied traditional singing. Essentially informal, friendly and non-competitive, it will be just the place to encourage the young and less experienced as well as the old hands. The weekend includes ceilidhs featuring the guest singers, singarounds for everyone who wants to join in, workshops, craft demonstrations and a talk.

Cullerlie Farm Park  and Heritage Centre was set up by Tom ('Tam') and Anne Reid in 1993 and is now run by Anne’s daughter Tracey Walker and her husband Eric, as well as other members of the family. Tom moved to the Cullerlie Estate with his parents in 1935, and worked with his father in the traditional way of farming. He kept the traditions alive by turning the old original steading into a farm museum with one of the largest privately owned collections of farming and domestic memorabilia in Scotland. Anne, who was from nearby Peterculter, joined Tom when they married in 1975.

Tom (born 1929) was a legendary singer, having been crowned, in 1977, the Bothy Ballad King before a crowd of 10,000 at the Haughs in Turriff, a title that remained his until his death in January 2003. Anne (1939–2006) was also a fine singer and promoted the traditions of the North-East through singing and speaking workshops with schoolchildren and adults at local schools and at the museum, as well as hosting regular Saturday-night ceilidhs. It is the family’s express wish that the festival should continue to run in memory of Tom and Anne.

At the Park there is a tearoom where members of staff serve soup, sandwiches, and lots of home cooking. They cater for all needs with a baby changing area plus disabled facilities. The Park nestles at the foot of the Hill of Fare where the battles of Corrichie and Cullerlie Moor were fought. It is 6 miles north-east of Banchory and 12 miles west of Aberdeen. From Aberdeen follow the A944 to the Westhill roundabout, then fork left on the B9119 to Garlogie, then fork left again on the B9125 for 3 miles. The Park is on the right.

The Guests

Stuart AshtonStuart Ashton was born and bred in Glossop, Derbyshire, becoming interested in folk song and music as a student in the 1960s.  Though he learned quite a few songs, he didn’t sing in public until 1976 when he moved to Aberdeen and has been singing ever since at folk clubs, ceilidhs and festivals.  Stuart has a wide range of songs but specialises in humorous, music hall, and drinking songs (especially those regarding beer!), plus a few monologues.

Moira CraigMoira Craig was born in Glasgow and began singing from childhood within family gatherings and choirs. Her foray into folk music began in the late 1960s and apart from a few years’ break, continues to the present day. As well as having been one third of the successful group Craig, Morgan, Robson, Moira has continued solo singing, performing at various festivals and folk clubs particularly down south where she has lived since 1983. Moira’s repertoire is mostly traditional Scottish but incorporates some contemporary and humorous material.

Francy DevineFrancy Devine is a great favourite at Cullerlie. Born in London, he now lives in Howth near Dublin and is an executive member of the Musicians' Union of Ireland. He is also a member of Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann – the Folklore Council of Ireland – and President of St Lawrence Howth Pipe Band. A leading member in the Howth Singing Circle, he recently released a CD, with Steve Byrne & Friends, My Father Told Me.

Henry DouglasHenry Douglas, BEM, a farmer from Bonchester Bridge in the Scottish Borders, is steeped in the customs and traditions of the Common Ridings and has been Official Song Singer, Chief Guest and President of all three Common Riding clubs in Hawick. Born into a farming family at Catslackburn in the Yarrow Valley, he developed a love of the local song traditions, most notably from Willie Scott. Henry is a great favourite at rugby gatherings.

Barbara DymockBarbara Dymock’s middle name is Alice. As a child she refused to learn the deliberately misnamed ‘Hard Hearted Barbara Alice’ from her Fife granny. However, she did air some of her grandparents’ songs in the early days of the band Ceolbeg and is delighted to have had recent opportunities to revisit them, despite a 20 year break from performing during which she had three bairns and pursued a medical career. She loves singing traditional songs, either solo, or with the talented and weel-kent singers and musicians she collaborates with from time to time.

Bella HardyBella Hardy, from Edale in the Derbyshire Peak District, is a singer, musician and song writer who presents folk songs in the best tradition; not as museum pieces, but as relevant and very human creations. Her own songwriting creates twisted tales that touch on both the fantastical and the lovelorn.  She was named ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having previously won the award ‘Best Original Song’ in 2012 for ‘The Herring Girl’.

Billy Jolly (Copyright Sean Purser)Billy Jolly is something of a legend in Orkney. Whether singing about a make-shift rubbish dump (amongst many other captivating topics), or leading the company in an aerobic version of the whaling song ‘The Balaena’, he never fails to add that special something to an evening’s entertainment. A favourite musician (moothie) and storyteller in his home islands, his gift for being on stage can also be seen within the five-piece band Hullion.

Ellen MackinnonEllen Mackinnon is a young singer with roots in the Scots and Gaelic traditions. Born in Aberdeen, she was brought up in a household rich in song. Her mother is the North-East singer Janice Clark. Ellen learned songs from many singers who were regular visitors to her home like the wonderful Stanley Robertson. Ellen attended Gaelic medium education and learned songs through many Fèisean and Mods. Ellen has a rich, expressive voice which can captivate any audience.

Máire Ní ChróinínMáire Ní Chróinín from Dublin has family roots in Sliabh Luachra and Belfast. She is a member of the Góilín Singers’ Club in Dublin since 1991. She has been involved in the Sean-Nós Cois Life Irish language traditional singing festival in Dublin since 1993, through which she has learned Sean Nós songs directly from masters of the tradition. She has been a guest at festivals in Ireland and Spain.

Russell TaylorRussell Taylor is a born and bred Aberdonian but has been resident in Ellon in Aberdeenshire since 1978. Although coming from a musical family, it was only in later life that he started singing in public. His first love is the local bothy and traditional ballads of North-East Scotland in which he can give full rein to the Doric dialect. He is a regular winner of bothy and traditional ballad competitions and has made four appearances at the annual 'Champion of Champions' Bothy Ballad Competition in Elgin.







    ‘Come-All-Ye’ – everyone





Workshop A1

    ‘Straw Work’, Elaine Lindsay


Workshop A2

    ‘Wood Turning and Carving’, Alan Steele


Workshop A3



Workshop B

    ‘Songs of the Common Ridings’,   Henry Douglas


Workshop C1

    ‘Farrier’, Ian Christie


Workshop C2

    ‘Farmhouse Cooking’, Shirley Foulkes


  The Cullerlie Hour – Marquee

    Francy Devine, ‘The Story of The Red Flag and
    other Political Songs’



    Informal sessions


Singaround A

    Billy Jolly


Singaround B

    Bella Hardy


Singaround C

    Máire Ní Chróinín


Long Tea Break



Grand Concert

    In the Marquee
    All Guests – hosted by Scott Gardiner, Jim Taylor
    and Ian Russell





Workshop A1

    ‘Straw Work’, Elaine Lindsay


Workshop A2

    ‘Wood Turning and Carving’, Alan Steele


Workshop A3



Workshop B

    ‘Singing in   Harmony’, Moira Craig


Workshop C1

Workshop C2

    ‘Farrier’, Ian Christie

    ‘Making a Creepie’, Billy Jolly


Lunchtime Singarounds



    Ellen Mackinnon and Russell Taylor



    Barbara Dymock and Stuart Ashton



    Informal music


Farewell Concert

    In the Marquee. All Guests – hosted by Scott
    Gardiner, Jim Taylor and Ian Russell



= Marquee



= Bothy/Wash Hoose



= Outside/Inside Tea Room


General Information about the Weekend

  • Food will be available over the weekend in the tea room
  • You can buy an all-weekend meal ticket at a discount
  • There will be no bar - BYOB
  • Camping and caravanning can be booked. There is a charge of £5.00 per pitch
  • There are several B&Bs in the area - for a list, contact Tourist Information at Banchory: 01330 822000 or Aberdeen: 01224 269180
  • Bursaries are available for young singers in full-time education

Download the booking form

Bookings to:

The Traditional Singing Weekend, Cullerlie Farm Park, Echt, Skene, Aberdeenshire AB32 6XL

Tel: 01330 860549

Booking Enquiries - Tel: 01224 645486

Please Note: Because of the limited number of places available, priority will be given to those who are coming for the whole weekend. Please book early to avoid disappointment.


A favourite love song as sung by Tom Reid

’Twas on a chill November’s night when fruits and flowers were gone,
One evening as I wandered forth upon the banks o Don,
I overheard a fair maid and sweetly this sang she,
‘My love he’s far fae Sinnahard an fae Drumallochie.’

I said, ‘My pretty fair maid, you’re walkin here alone,
Lamenting for some absent one upon the banks o Don;
Come tell the reason o your grief, come tell it aa tae me,
An why you sigh for Sinnahard an fae Drumallochie.’

‘Oh, Peter was my true love’s name, he lived on the banks o Don,
He was as nice as a young man that e’er the sun shone on;
But the cruel wars o Scotland they hae pairted him frae me,
An noo he’s far fae Sinnahard an fae Drumallochie.’

I said, ‘My pretty fair maid, you’ll give to me your hand,
For on the bonnie banks o Spey I hae baith hoose and land,
And I will share it aa wi you if you will be my bride,
And you’ll forsake the bonnie lad that lived upon Donside.’

Says she, ‘Kind sir, your offer’s good but I must it deny,
And, for the sake o my true love, a maid I’ll live an die,
An for the space o seven years when black shall cover me
For him who lived at Sinnahard nearby Drumallochie.’

But since my love was weepin, I could no longer stand,
I clasped her in my airm an says, ‘Oh, Betsy, know your man;
Behold your faithful Peter now, he’s free fae every care,
And on the bonnie banks o Don we’ve met tae pairt nae mair,
Aye, and on the bonnie banks o Don we’ve met tae pairt nae mair.

Festival Organisers

Tracey Walker (Anne’s daughter), Eric Walker, Jim Taylor (Tom’s nephew), and Scott Gardiner on behalf of Cullerlie Farm Park and Ian and Norma Russell on behalf of The Elphinstone Institute

Thank you to our Sponsors

Breedon Aggregates
Coupers (Fish Processors) of Aberdeen
Davidson & Murison Ltd
The Elgin Rotary Club
The Friends of the Elphinstone Institute