One of Scotland’s finest entertainers Robbie Shepherd, who died last night, wrote a weekly column for The Press and Journal in his native Doric tongue.
As a mark of respect for the huge contribution the 87-year-old made to the language, we are sharing his first, and last column with readers.
The columns were published in a book back in 2006, and apart from a “short break” when readers demanded the column be brought back, Mr Shepherd has faithfully submitted a column every week.
His last was sent on July 15 with a short note with an apology for it being slightly late.
It was in the newspaper every Saturday, but until now have not appeared online.
The Press and Journal reported the news of his death earlier today.
First column in April 1993
The first column was on Monday April 16 1993.
It is called “Keep Cultivating the Culture”.
Final column submitted on July 15 2023
Here aroon the ingle bleezin
Wha’s sae happy an sae free
In Freenship’s Name
As Sung by Willie Scott
Noo dinna get the wrang meanin o the wird ‘bleezin’ in at snatch o the sang, In Freenship’s Name, made popular bi the singin o Border Shepherd, the late Willie Scott, such a lovable man an great guest at Folk Festivals who sadly died in his early nineties in 1989. Na, it’s an aal aal ballad an tells o a bourachie o freens an neebors meeting at een anither’s hooses for halesome entertainment in front o the ingle bleezin wi a gran supply o a birn o peats, sticks an coal. Weel a drammie or twa micht o been taen.
At’s foo I think o es column as a meetin place wi the chance tae hae a news ower es an at and it’s your responses at maks it for me sae lat’s yoke wi es email fae Joe McGrane on Bob Mitchell, fa I wis reezin oot on’s poem,The Shoppie Mannie, as a winner at es eer’s Strichen Festival a wikk or twa syne.
“I read with special interest your column in Saturday’s P&J. I moved up to this part of the world (near Maud) a few years ago from East Lothian. I knew Bob Mitchell well; he was the chair of the local Day Centres Association and I was the treasurer. I am now the Treasurer of New Deer Community Association and am helping an old friend of yours, Sandy Ritchie, publish his book “New Deer an Roon Aboot”- A History. As you can imagine much of it is in Doric and my old friend Bob Michell was very helpful when I came to the editing.”
Thanks Joe, guid luck an aa the best Sandy, We’ll keep ye aa postit as we wyte for publication date o the beukie.
Meevin on here’s ma gweed freen Gordon Casely addin tae the prood appearance o the Men o Lonach at the celebrations surroundin the presentation o the Honours of Scotland to King Charles111:
‘Ee micht be interestit tae ken aat Lonach Pipe Band hes a third-generation Laing as Pipe Major. Michael teen ower fae his faither Alastair earlier es eer (Alastair marchit hes first Lonach in the band hine awa 1959), an Michael’s grandfaither Johnnie(ex Gordons) wis a nigh legendary PM fin ee an me marchit wir first Lonachs’.
Bringing back sae mony happy days, an thanks Gordon – Ho! Ho Lonach.
Bit a bit o sad news noo wi the passin o a pal o BBC days, Roy Gregor whom mony will mine fae’s days as fairmin correspondent on BBC Radio Scotland. He an his counterpairt on TV, Ross Muir, were gran convivial company at the BBC Club, sadly nae langer ere an my sympathy tae Roy’s wife Dot fa wis secretary tae the fairmin unit an aye foo o life.
Weel in fairmin terms we hae cover’t a lot o grun the day an tae add tae the variety lat’s gie ye a new wird for the wikkeyn. It comes fae regular reader Margaret Moir o New Byth winderin if I kent if there wis anither proper name for a turkiss. She kens fit the implement is an tells me mair bit I’ll leave ye in suspense. Fit is’t an fit’s it’s proper name? Turkiss.