Cullerlie 2019

Cullerlie 2019

The Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie

26–28 July 2019

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

The Guests | Programme | Booking | h-Hm | Organisers and Sponsors

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

Ellie Beaton is one of Scotland's youngest traditional singers. From the small village of Rothienorman she has been brought up with bothy ballads and traditional ballads alike. At only seventeen years she has already won traditional ballad singing titles and has recently collaborated with the band Malinky. She is currently studying at school, and hopes to focus on music in the near future.

Sheena Blackhall is a poet, traditional singer and storyteller, born in Aberdeen of Aberdeenshire parents. She has performed at Sidmouth, Edinburgh and as a guest of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, through the Elphinstone Institute. She has won many awards for singing and writing. Her mentors in singing were the Travellers John Watt Stewart and Stanley Robertson.


Photo by Frieda Morrison, Scots Radio
Steve Byrne hails from Arbroath and is known for his work with folksong band Malinky, celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year. A graduate of the School of Scottish Studies, he has worked on the Kist o' Riches sound archive project and on the papers of Hamish Henderson. With 'Local Voices' he runs workshops in schools, has recently produced a CD of ballads from Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border for an academic project, and worked as singing coach for Netflix's Robert the Bruce epic, Outlaw King.

Photo by ABCassidy Photography

Roger Hinchliffe was born on a small farm to the west of Sheffield and grew up listening to his father, Frank Hinchliffe, singing 'the old songs' whilst he went about his work. As time passed, Roger became more appreciative of his father's songs and started to pick them up. After Frank died in 1995, Roger was invited to sing at one of Ian Russell's gatherings. He bit the bullet and sang for this first time in public. It will be his third visit to Cullerlie.

Christine Kydd has always sung. At family get-togethers in Glasgow she heard her folk singing the old Scottish favourites at the piano. From playing guitar in a folk band at the age of ten, Christine first heard unaccompanied singing in the early 1980s. Influences include all the great recorded Traveller and ballad singers as well as Barbara Dymock, Aileen Carr, Gordeanna McCulloch, Alison McMorland and Maureen Jelks. Christine has eclectic tastes, releasing in 2019, a CD of old and new songs on Greentrax, Shift and Change.

Photo by Louis De Carlo

Anne Lamb is from County Durham. She has built a reputation in England's North East clubs, where she is known as 'Houranne'. Her love of folk song began at the age of eighteen when she was greatly influenced by the singing of the Watersons. Since then her influences have been the many wonderful singers in her native North East. She now spends time travelling to festivals and singing weekends, where she can indulge her love of traditional song.

Fiona Meade has been crocheting for most of her life and runs beginner and improver's workshops in Aberdeen and Stonehaven. The craft of crochet has seen a huge resurgence in popularity in the last few years and it is lauded for its physical and mental health benefits. Crochet just requires a hook and yarn, making it both an affordable and portable pastime. Start your crochet journey with Fiona at Cullerlie, where you'll learn how to craft your first stitches and make some simple crochet jewellery to take home.


Jerry O'Reilly is a member of An Góilín Traditional Singers' Club in Dublin, which is reckoned to be the foremost singing club in Ireland and which is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. His first solo CD Down from your Pulpit, Down from Your Thrones, was enthusiastically received, and his second album, Havoc Heaven, has been described by The Irish Times as 'a strapping collection which will fuel repertoires from Stonybatter to Sneem'.
Hector Riddell was born and brought up in Leochel Cushnie in rural Aberdeenshire. After singing in the local church choir and performing 'Country and Irish' in dance bands all over the North East of Scotland, he went back to singing bothy ballads. Encouraged by his family to enter competitions at various festivals, he managed to qualify for the Bothy Ballad 'Champion of Champions' Competition in Elgin in 2009. This year he won the championship for the sixth time

Ian Russell is a researcher and singer, who champions the local traditions of the English Pennines and NE Scotland. Since 1969 he has conducted fieldwork into the singing traditions of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, inclluding Christmas carolling.More recent research has focused on Aberdeenshire Traveller traditions and Bothy Ballads. An emeritus professor at the University of Aberdeen's Elphinstone Institute, he has written and edited several books on traditional music. He has been a guest at festivals in England, Ireland, the USA and Australia.

Anne Skelton is from County Mayo and has been singing traditional songs since her childhood. Her father John Kelly was a singer and stepdancer and her mother and uncles were also singers. She is a regular guest at traditional music festivals throughout Ireland such as the Willie Clancy Summer School, Féile Chois Cuain and the Frank Harte Festival. She has also collaborated in projects such as 'The Man, Woman and Child' project at the National Library, Dublin, and 'The Birdsong Project' in Galway. She has lived in Galway City for the past 35 years with her musician husband Joe.











‘Come-All-Ye’ – weekenders & guests







Workshop A



'Crochet', Fiona Meade


Workshop B



‘Songs of the Sea’, Christine Kydd


Workshop C1



Writin in Yer Ain Tongue', Sheena Blackhall


Workshop C2



‘Wooden Boatbuilding’, Portsoy Boatshed


Workshop C3



'Farmhouse Cooking', Shirley Foulkes


      The Cullerlie Hour – Marquee



with Jerry O'Reilly 'Who will shoe my babe's little foot?' Classic Ballads in the Irish Song Tradition'







Singaround A



Anne Lamb


Singaround B



Anne Skelton


Singaround C



Hector Riddell


Long Tea Break





Grand Concert



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







Workshop A



'Crochet', Fiona Meade


Workshop B



Songs of Hamish Henderson’, Steve Byrne


Workshop C1



Writin in Yer Ain Tongue', Sheena Blackhall


Workshop C2



‘Wooden Boatbuilding’, Portsoy Boatshed


Lunchtime Singarounds







Ellie Beaton and Christine Kydd





Ian Russell and Roger Hinchliffe





Informal music


Farewell Concert



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





= Marquee





= Bothy/Wash Hoose





= Tea Room or Outside


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: 01224 269180 (Banchory Library 01330 700441)
  • Bursaries are available for singers under 25 yrs in full-time education

Download booking form

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

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. Bookings close 19 July 2019.


This was one of Tom’s favourite songs. The original words,‘M-Hm’, are attributed to James Nicholson in John Greig’s Scots Minstrelsie (1893), VI, 302-04.

Hiv ye heard o the deil as he wauchled through life

With a wife in ilk oxter an een in his teeth

Till some-een bawled out will ye tak mine the morn

He waggit his tail an he cockit his horn

But he only said ‘im-hm’, that daft-like word ‘im-hm’

That auld-farrant ‘im-hm’, that stands for an ‘aye’.


Now fin I wis a callant lang syne at the skweel

Oh the maister aye caed me a dunce an a feel

For aa that he said I cuid ne’er unnerstan

Except when he cried, ‘Jimmy, will ye haud oot yer han?’

Then I gloomed an said ‘im-hm’, I glowered an said ‘im-hm’

I wis nae that prood bit ower dour tae say, ‘aye’.


Syne ae day a queer wird like aul-nibbet’s himsel

He vowed he wid thrash me if I widnae spell

Says I, ‘Mr Quill’ wi a kind of a swither

I’ll spell ye the wird if ye’ll spell me anither

Lat’s hear ye spell ‘im-hm’, that daft-like wird ‘im-hm’

That auld-farrant ‘im-hm’, ye ken it means ‘aye’


Syne he steid an he glowered an he scratched his aul pate

An he shouted, Ye villain get oot o ma gate

Get aff tae yer seat, ye’re a plague o the skweel

The deil gin I ken if ye’re maist rogue or feel

Bit I only said ‘im-hm’, that daft-like wird ‘im-hm’

That auld-farrant ‘im-hm’, ye ken it means ‘aye’.


Oh and when a braw wooer I coorted my Jean

O aa the braw lassies the pride an the queen

When in my great plaidie wi hairt beatin’s pain

O I speired in a whisper, Oh! if she’d be my ain

She smiled an said ‘im-hm’, she blushed an said ‘im-hm’

A thoosan times sweeter an dearer than ‘aye’.


Well bit noo I’m a dad wi a hoose o my ain

A dainty-bit wife aye an mair than ae wean

Bit the warst o’t is this when I question I speir

They pit on a luik sae auld-farrant an queer

An they only say ‘im-hm’, that daft-like wird ‘im-hm’

That auld-farrant ‘im-hm’ that stans for an ‘aye’.


Noo ye’ve heard o this ‘im-hm’, it’s no a nice wird

When printit on paper it’s perfect absurd

So if you’re ower lazy tae open yer maw

Jist haud o yer tongue an say nothing ava

But niver say ‘im-hm’, that daft-like wird ‘im-hm’

That auld-farrant ‘im-hm’, ye ken it means ‘aye’.

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
Grampian Marquee Hire