Hamish festival plans
Events shape up for festival
The final preparations are being put in place for the inaugural Hamish Matters festival which takes place in Blairgowrie over the weekend of November 10 to 12.
The celebration of Hamish Henderson - the renowned Scottish poet, writer and folk archivist who was born in Blairgowrie on November 11, 1919 - will include a ceilidh in Blairgowrie Town Hall on Saturday, November 11, which will recall the People’s Ceilidh of 1951.
Hamish was introduced to folksong from an early age by his mother who brought him up to speak Gaelic.
As well as being a decorated soldier in the Second World War, and a major figure in the Scottish Folk Revival, Hamish travelled throughout Scotland with the renowned American folklorist, Alan Lomax, which culminated in the legendary 1951 People’s Ceilidh which took place in Edinburgh.
Henderson and Lomax brought together and recorded performers from the various traditions of Scottish music, in particular the Gaelic singing of the Western Isles, Aberdeenshire bothy ballads and Border ballads.
And Henderson, working with Blairgowrie writer Maurice Fleming, became renowned for recording the music of the Travelling people of Strathmore, most famously the Stewarts of Blair.
The weekend’s celebrations will include choir singing by local primary schools in Blairgowrie Library where there is a bust of Hamish; a showing of Robbie Fraser’s highly acclaimed documentary ‘Hamish: the story of a Scottish Cultural Icon’ in Rattray Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, November 11, and the ceilidh on Saturday evening, featuring Perthshire’s acclaimed two-piece Mad Ferret, Iona Fyfe, one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers, Gaelic singer Aileen Ogilvie and the Perthshire Gaelic Choir as well as local performers such as Hamish MacGregor and young piper Callum Douglas.
The evening will be will be compered by poet and Hamish afficionado, Jim Mackintosh.
Further details are available on the ‘Hamish Matters’ Facebook page.
Tickets for the ceilidh, which gets under way at 7pm, cost £10 or £6 for concessions and are available from Blairgowrie Library on 01250 871305 or from Rattray Community Connect on 01250 871538.
Stovies are included but bring your own drinks.
The festival has been supported by a small grant from the Perth City of Culture Funding and organised by a group comprising of members of Blairgowrie and Rattray Community Council, Strathmore Arts, Perth and Kinross Council, Culture Perth and Kinross and local fans of Hamish who hope that this will raise his profile in his home town.
Celebration Blairgowrie-born Hamish Henderson