Cullerlie 2016

Cullerlie 2016

22–24 July 2016

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 traffic lights, then turn left on the B9119 to Garlogie, then fork left again on the B9125 for 3 miles. The Park is on the right.

The Guests

Jane CassidyJane Cassidy, a professional folk singer during the 1980s, toured extensively in Europe and released two albums with Claddagh Records Waves of Time 1982 and The Empty Road 1985, as well as an album with husband Maurice Leyden telling the story of Mary Ann McCracken, 1770-1866. She presented Downtown Radio's 'Folkal Point' for four years. Jane and Maurice specialise in performing shows combing history and folksong as well as delivering traditional singing games workshops in primary schools.

Janice Clark was born and brought up in Aberdeen and, from an early age, took an interest in theJanice Clark traditional music and song of the North East of Scotland. Her ballad singing style was heavily influenced by some of the great local source singers, most notably Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins and Stanley Robertson. Janice has been singing at folk clubs and festivals from her early teens and recorded with several bands, including Iolair, Lang Johnnie Moore and Highland Connection. She is an experienced teacher of singing workshops and has tutored for Scottish Culture and Traditions in Aberdeen.

John DIcksonJohn Dickson's roots are in the coal mining community of Midlothian where he was born and grew up. He then moved to the Scottish Borders in 1970 and took part in the local folk scene until he moved to Aberdeenshire in the early nineties. There he discovered a love of bothy and traditional singing and competed in various competitions. He has made several appearances at the Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions in Elgin and won the title in 2011.

Shona DonaldsonShona Donaldson is one of Scotland's most lauded young traditional singers, having performed locally, nationally and internationally. Raised in Huntly, she lives with her husband Paul Anderson and children in Tarland. Her most recent CD is Short Nichts and Lang Kisses, and she is the current Champion of Champions Borthy Ballad Singer, being the first woman to win this coveted title in Elgin earlier this year.

Johnny Handle and Chris HendryJohnny Handle and Chris Hendry perform songs and music from Scotland and the North East of England. Firmly rooted in the tradition, they were involved in the early days of the Folk Revival, finding inspiration from older source singers and musicians. At schools and universities, over many years, they have passed on their enthusiasm and knowledge to successive generations. Concert and festival appearances have made them firm favourites with audiences both at home and abroad.

Maurice LedenMaurice Leyden is a folk singer, collector, and broadcaster living in Belfast. He has published two collections of traditional songs, Belfast, City of Song in 1989 and Boys and Girls Come Out to Play in 1993, and his latest, a social history of the Ulster Linen Industry through folk song, is nearing completion. Maurice presented a weekly, live radio programme called 'Folkal Point' for fourteen years on Ulster's Downtown Radio. He teaches traditional singing for Belfast Trad and regularly delivers 'singing lectures'.

Ewan McVicarEwan McVicar was born in Inverness in 1941 into a singing family. He co-started Scotland's first folk club in Glasgow in 1960 with friends Archie Fisher and Hamish Imlach, has taught Scottish songs in over a hundred schools, and created two very popular song websites for young people. He is Scotland's expert on children's playground songs. He has written several books on Scottish song, and many traditional-style songs including 'Shift and Spin' and 'All the Tunes in the World'.

Jim RadfordJim Radford has been making waves and singing, for longer than most of us have been alive - first at sea, from 1944-1954, and then for forty and more years, as an anti-nuclear campaigner and innovative community organiser. A key figure in housing and homelessness initiatives, like the squatting movement whose activities have landed him in police cells as well as television studios, Jim has always been a singer, especially of sea songs, and came to national prominence when he sang his autobiographical song 'The Shores of Normandy' at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014.

Robyn StapletonRobyn Stapleton was named BBC Scotland's Young Traditional Musician in 2014 and has quickly become one of the country's most sought after folk singers. Her performance highlights include singing with the BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra at the BBC Proms in the Park and on Radio 4's 'Desert Island Discs'. Twice a nominee for Scots Singer of the Year (Scots Trad Music Awards), Robyn released her first album last year: 'With a poise and feeling for her material that belie her 25 years', The Scotsman.



Basket Making

Helen JacksonBasketHelen Jackson's inspiration for basketmaking comes from times when baskets were a fundamental part of everyone's life, be it for carrying, storing or a unit of measurement, life depended on them. She is a member of the Basketmakers' Association and the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle. 'There is nothing more satisfying than planting, growing, and harvesting willow then weaving it into a basket that is strong, functional but also beautiful. Smells good too.' 


Paul CooksonSignPaul Cookson of Green Aspirations Scotland, which is a woodland-based social enterprise with a mission to inspire outdoor learning. Why? Because they know the importance of a close connection with nature – and with like-minded people – for our health and wellbeing. They teach traditional crafts and rural skills, from woodland management to whittling. They aim to encourage and inspire a new generataion to care for the environment.








    ‘Come-All-Ye’ – everyone





Workshop A1

    'Basket Making', Helen Jackson


Workshop A2

    'Sporran Making', Alasdair Colquhoun


Workshop A3

    'Whittling', Paul Cookson


Workshop B

    'The Handlooom Weaver and the Factory Maid:

     Songs from the Ulster Linen Industry',

     Maurice Leyden


Workshop C

    DVD documentary film Mayday Tugs of War


  The Cullerlie Hour – Marquee

    Jim Radford, 'The Unknown Story of the Rescue

    Tugs in World War II'





Singaround A

    John Dickson


Singaround B

    Robyn Stapleton


Singaround C

    Janice Clark


Long Tea Break



Grand Concert

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

    and Ian Russell





Workshop A1

    ‘Basket Making', Helen Jackson


Workshop A2

    ‘Sporran Making', Alasdair Colquhoun


Workshop A3

    'Whittling', Paul Cookson


Workshop B

    'Coal Minings Songs from Tyneside and Scotland',

     Johnny Handle and Ewan McVicar


Workshop C

    'Farmhouse Cooking', Shirley Foulkes


Lunchtime Singarounds



    Jane Cassidy and Shona Donaldson



    Chris Hendry



    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 £10.00 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