Part of our North-East Culture Initiative, the Elphinstone Sessions are a series of videos highlighting the culture and living traditions of the North-East of Scotland. The region is home to an exceptional heritage of language, music, ballad and song, story, craft, history, and lore, which exists alongside the dynamic creativity of those who live and work here today.

Our first Elphinstone Session is of Sheena Blackhall reading her poem 'Allt Darrarie'. Sheena Blackhall is a multi-award-winning writer, North-East Makar, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Elphinstone Institute. 

Discussing the inspiration behind the poem, Sheena says:

Fin we bedd in Ballater ower the simmer months, faither either drave us up Glen Muick or Glen Gairn on a Sabbath. He'd a great belief in the health giein properties o Glen air... hence haein tae drink roostie tastin Pannanich spa watter richt aff the knowe...

Onywye, aside the Glen Muick parkin airt is the Allt Darrarie, burn o the stunnin/rattlin noise... The watter skinklit like Amber Cairngorms, or Deeside hinney. A favourite faimly picnic place fur paiddlin, dookin, an guddlin fur bandies.

Elphinstone Sessions

Sheena Blackhall reads her poem 'Allt Darrarie'.