Cullerlie 2017

Cullerlie 2017

21–23 July 2017

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

The 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

Margaret BennettMargaret Bennett was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother's side and Lowland Scots on her father's, sharing songs from several generations in both languages. She has spent her life as a folklorist, recording, writing, teaching, and singing worldwide. Author of award-winning books and many articles, she wears her scholarship lightly. The late Hamish Henderson commented perceptively, 'Margaret embodies the spirit of Scotland'.

Sid CalderbankSid Calderbank has been collecting, researching, interpreting and performing the songs, stories and poems of his native Lancashire for almost forty years. Whilst it may sometimes be difficult to follow the more obscure dialects, it is always worth the effort as the county's vast store of nineteenth-century writing reveals a unique social history, written by ordinary working men and women, and unrivalled in any other English county.

Jim CausleySadly Jim Causley is not able to be with us due to health issues.
His place will be taken by Matt Quinn.

Matt QuinnMatt Quinn is fast becoming a well-known name on the English folk scene. In the past he has been seen playing at festivals around the country (including Glastonbury and WOMAD). He is currently gigging with the Dovetail Trio (alongside Rosie Hood and Jamie Roberts) on the UK folk club and festival circuit, as well as performing with them live on the BBC Radio 3 programme In Tune. Matt also regularly works with ceilidh bands the Discussion Topic, Geckoes and English String Band. His brand new solo album, The Brighton Line consists entirely of traditional songs which were collected in his home county of Sussex.

Mark DunlopMark Dunlop grew up in rural County Antrim, where songs and music were part of everyday life. After moving to Dundee at 18 to study, he developed his interest in traditional singing, as well as learning the tin whistle, flute and bodhran. Having promoted traditional song around the world through the band Malinky since 1998, Mark feels the only thing more enjoyable than singing is listening to good singers sing good songs.

Iona FyfeIona Fyfe from Huntly is one of Scotland's up and coming young ballad singers. Nurtured by her fellow singers of Aberdeenshire, she has become a 2017 finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and semi-finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. She has performed at clubs and festivals in the UK as well as in Italy. A student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Iona has released an EP East in 2016 and plans to release a debut album in 2018.

Rita GallagherRita Gallagher from Donegal, is the recipient of Gradam Ceoil Amhránai na Bliana (Singer of the Year) 2017, from the Irish broadcaster TG4. She lists among her greatest influences such luminaries as Paddy Tunney and his mother Brigid, Frank Harte and many others. She has made three recordings in total, Easter Snow in 1997, which was re-released with The May Morning Dew in 2010, and most recently The Heathery Hills in December 2016.

Bob KnightBob Knight is a singer and songwriter from Aberdeen, an experienced musician, and performer. He is related through his mother, Margaret Stewart, to all the great Traveller singers of Aberdeenshire and Blair. Not only does he have an extensive repertoire of traditional songs, but is adding to the tradition by writing new songs and stories in the traditional style, especially in Doric, the local variant of Scots.

Annie ReidAnnie Reid A 'Torry Quine' by birth, Annie developed an interest in Scottish song when living abroad and, finding ways of keeping her young family connected with hame, she discovered Singing Kettle and the singing of Cilla Fisher. Back in Scotland, she became involved with Stonehaven Folk Festival and with their encouragement sang solo first in 2009. She feels connected to songs from a woman's perspective. She is also one third of Addled Vice, World Paper n Comb Champions 2016.

Pete ShepheardPete Shepheard is a fine singer with a song repertoire that includes many songs from his own collecting. He first came into contact with the riches of traditional song when he was a student at St Andrews University and a member and organiser of the folk club. His contacts with the Stewart family of Blairgowrie led to song collecting on the berryfields and exploration of Traveller traditions in Scotland, England and Ireland. He runs Springthyme Records and is an organiser of the FifeSing weekend.

Jim TaylorJim Taylor was born near Garlogie (3 miles from Cullerlie) where he still lives. A nephew of the late Tom (Tam) Reid, Jim is steeped in the local tradition, singing several of Tom's songs, as well as others which he has picked up over the years. Jim is a member of the TMSA, and enjoys a mix of material including bothy, traditional and folk. He has been a guest at several festivals in Scotland as well as at Inishowen in County Donegal and Drax in Yorkshire.

Walking sticks collection Sticks by Arthur Milne



7.30-11.30 Welcome ‘Come-All-Ye’ – everyone



Workshop A1

'Stick Making', Arthur Milne


Workshop A2

'Making Petery Dicks', Allan McKenzie


Workshop B

'Singing Style – From the Living Tradition', Pete Shepheard


Workshop C1

'Herbal Remedies', Fairley Taylor


Workshop C2

'Farmhouse Cooking', Shirley Foulkes


The Cullerlie Hour – Marquee

Margaret Bennett, 'Two Sides of the Same Coin: Scots and Gaelic Song'





Singaround A

Bob Knight


Singaround B

Rita Gallagher


Singaround C

Mark Dunlop


Long Tea Break



Grand Concert

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



Workshop A1

‘Stick Making', Arthur Milne


Workshop A2

‘Making Petery Dicks', Allan McKenzie


Workshop B

'Songs of Place', Sid Calderbank & Jim Causley


Workshop C

'Herbal Remedies', Fairley Taylor


Lunchtime Singarounds



Annie Reid & Iona Fyfe



Jim Taylor



Informal music


Farewell Concert

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



= Marquee



= Bothy/Wash Hoose



= 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) and 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