News ... Naidheachd
10 February 2014Into a New Year
Oops! We have been chided for not updating this News page! So here goes.
We met on Monday 6 January for our usual New Year house ceilidh. A cheery evening as usual, with a good feed and a bit of a singsong – there’s never enough time! Eleanor and Frances, who share a birthday, blew out their candles with aplomb – only one each otherwise it would be a fire hazard! Click here for pics.
We had a full house for our first practice the following week. It was good to get back together again after a long break. Pics here.
Our first performance of the year was 15 January at Lochwinnoch SWRI. They were a great audience, and the evening really took off. Rhona's tummy felt a bit queasy because of the twisty roads, but she recovered enough to sing. And Eleanor sang like a lintie despite having had a wisdom tooth out that day! Two real troupers! Homeward bound, Frances dropped off Christine and Hermie, then took Margaret way up to the top of the hill, stopped outside her house – EEK! Margaret let out a screech! “My car is down in Houston St!” And indeed it was, where she and Frances had arranged to meet earlier! So away down to the bottom of the hill again! Good job she remembered in time!
Next we had a trip to Renfrew to perform for Trinity Guild; then on home territory with the Ripe Bunch, who meet in the McLean Museum in Greenock. They are a lovely bunch of ladies, and very civilised, giving us a cup of tea both before and after our performance! A complimentary vote of thanks: "a very professional performance, entertaining and informative".
Frances was invited to "appear" on Dunoon Community Radio, basically to talk about Gaelic song. "Bring some CDs", they said. So it turned into somethng of a "Desert Island Discs" session, with a good sprinkling of waulking songs, of course, and a good plug for Sgioba Luaidh! Click here for pics.
Four of Sgioba Luaidh ventured up to the big city to see a show at Celtic Connections. Fiona J MacKenzie was presenting her programme “A Little Bird Blown Off Course” at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. It was a very evocative presentation of the songs collected by Margaret Fay Shaw, mainly on South Uist. Wonderful to hear some of the really old recordings. Pic here.
Dates coming up: we will be at the Back House in William St, on the morning of the 12 February, when there will be an exhibition in the Dutch Gable House, showcasing the work of local heritage volunteers.
On Saturday 22nd we’ll be doing a lunchtime performance as part of the Sphere programme at Renfield St Stephen’s in Glasgow. https://www.facebook.com/SphereRSS
Then we are into March with an afternoon concert at Wellpark Mid Kirk, Greenock.
31 December 2013Sùil air ais.
2013 has been another busy and eventful year for Sgioba Luaidh, since our performance during Hogmanaday in George Square, Glasgow. (Strictly speaking, that was still 2012!)
Click here for some pictorial highlights of 2013.
During the past year we were thrilled to have the chance to waulk not one, but two new tweeds! At Auchindrain in May we waulked the beautiful “Bluebell” tweed specially woven for us by Christine MacLeod on the 200-year old handloom at the Weaver’s Cottage, Kilbarchan. During Mòd week in October we spent a day in Paisley Museum waulking three lengths of tweed woven by Dan Coughlan on a reconstructed handloom. What a brilliant day we had – and they have asked us back! (Always reassuring!)
By the same token, we were delighted to be invited back to Strathearn Wool Tryst. A lovely day out in beautiful autumn weather. Memorable for the burgers and cakes, and the sheepdog demonstration.
New events for us were Gourock Garden Party, and Inveraray Games, where we shared Auchindrain Township’s wee marquee.
One part of our activities which we consider very important is working with schoolchildren, and we were not slack in that direction this year. We visited schools in Irvine, Mull (yes, Mull!), Strachur – where Frances spent a day coping with pupils from three Argyll primary schools. As part of Paisley’s preparations for the Mòd we led two days of workshops for schoolchildren in the Museum. Locally, P2 pupils from St Ninian’s Primary spent a day with us in the Back House. Our thanks to young Matthew who recommended us for Gourock Garden Party! (His mummy is on the committee.)
The Back House (the oldest house in Greenock) has become one of our favourite venues – very atmospheric. We had a memorable day there at the inauguration of the town’s new Heritage Trail. We had a visit from James Watt and Abram Lyle (Provost of Greenock 1876-1879). And the present-day Provost, who waulked with us.
It’s always a pleasure to go back to Auchindrain. This year, for various reasons, we didn’t manage as often as we would have liked. But one outstanding memory is taking part in the Woolly Connections event, when the Township was invaded by crafty people from Iceland and Slovakia.
As has become usual, we kept really busy during the summer, with our now regular visits to Benderloch, Lismore, Mull and Ulva. Catastrophe! Coming off the ferry from Lismore our chanty got dropped and lost its handle! But superglue is wonderful stuff, and the poit mhùin is now as good as new. And here's the proof!
We were overjoyed to have our first ever gig on Skye, to take part in the Lamb to Loom event at Portnalong.
Some other highlights that stick in the memory were the Weaving Truth with Trust event in the Atmospheric Old Govan Parish Church; an adventurous journey to Colmonell down in deepest Ayrshire, through snow and floods; and Digby, the waulking dog at Greenock Writers’ Club.
All this in addition to the Guilds and other organisations which are our bread and butter.
It has been a great year. Here’s to the next one! Click here for some pictorial highlights.
Bliadhna mhath ùr dhuibh uile.