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The Stanley Ceilidh


The 32nd Stanley Ceilidh took place in its usual venue, the Tayside Hotel, Stanley over the weekend of 5th-7th November 2010. From our arrival at the hotel around 2pm on the Friday until our departure around 5pm on Sunday it was all action, non-stop music, fun and frolics.

Regular visitors to the Ceilidh will be aware that Stanley is bereft of accommodation, with the Tayside being the only local hotel. All rooms in the hotel are sold out months in advance; such is the popularity of this annual event. Throughout the weekend we were attentively hosted by Jo Hardy and her staff. Jo and her husband Neil bought the hotel over two years ago and have made us feel very welcome on every visit. We are very lucky to have such excellent hosts and especially given their willing co-operation and assistance.

The Tayside Hotel circa 1910, [100 years ago!]

The doors opened to the public for our main event on Guy Fawkes Night at 7pm with the fireworks getting underway shortly after 7.30pm. It was traditional Scottish music all the way for the next 6 hours until the final strains of the stramash signalled the dying embers of the musical bonfire and the end of the night (or should I say morning). Without counting, I’d imagine there would have been something in the region of 30 different artists/bands on the stage that night, with the standard of musicianship attaining the usual exceptional level. Absolutely terrific value considering there is no entrance fee. However, as is traditional, we had a fantastic raffle and our annual collection in aid of children and families in Scotland who have the grave misfortune to require the services of the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland [CHAS].

One of our greatest supporters, Edmund MacKenzie from Plockton made the long journey from Wester Ross to enjoy his weekend with us. Edmund’s craft shop in his home village is a Mecca for Scottish music enthusiasts. Throughout the year Edmund accepts donations from his customers and we were once again delighted to accept his donation of £300 towards CHAS. A magnificent sum of money which bolstered our own profits for the weekend to the excellent sum of £1,750.

Niall Kirkpatrick

Over the course of the year since the last Ceilidh we have been selling copies of our latest CD release, the Stanley Ceilidh – Volume 2. The CD has sold fairly well, however we still have a long way to go to clear our initial stock. If anyone is interested in buying a copy, or assisting with sales, please give me a call or send me an email. Having said that, sales of the CD to date enabled us to add the sum of £2,250 to the Ceilidh’s 2010 takings and send a cheque to CHAS for £4,000. There is a lot of hard work that goes into raising such a sum, from the initial recording and editing, production, ticket sales, organisation, paperwork etc, but the greatest thanks definitely go to the public and musicians who contributed their music, time and money to enable us to donate such a sum to a very worthy organisation. Thanks to all.

Lynne Christie Band

So, to the music. Around 50 different musicians took to the stage at one time or another during the course of the weekend and provided a variety of differing styles, tempos, interpretation and tastes which collectively created this year’s Stanley Ceilidh mix. In alphabetical order, those who entertained us were as follows:

Ian Adamson Springfield Drums
Iain Anderson Gartocharn Accordion
Graham Berry Newburgh Piano
Bill Black Stanley 3 row Accordion
Colin Brown Buntisland 5 row Accordion
Gordon Brown Kelso Accordion
Iain Cathcart Law Accordion
Lynne Christie Aberdeen Accordion
James Coutts Dysart Accordion
Brian Cruickshank Lumphanan Bass
Jennifer Cruickshank Lumphanan Accordion
Karen Ferguson Dunlop Accordion
Marie Fielding Rumsford Fiddle
Shauna Flockhart Fenton Barns Piano
Colin Garvin Livingston Accordion/Piano
Bill Gillie Kelso Drums
Scott Gordon Westhill Accordion/Drums
Susan Gordon Westhill Fiddle
George Gray Alloa Drums
Mabel Gray Alloa Drums
Joe Hunter Brindister Drums
Ian Hutson Blairgowrie Accordion
Pauline Irvine Westhill Fiddle
Astryd Jamieson Edinburgh Piano
Charlie Kirkpatrick Giffnock 3 row Accordion
Niall Kirkpatrick Mull of Oa Accordion
James Leask Lerwick Accordion
John Leask Lerwick Drums
Scott Leslie Bathgate Accordion
Hamish MacDougall Muir of Ord 2 row Melodeon
Susan MacFadyen West Kilbride Accordion
Fraser MacInnes Tobermory Drums
Alasdair MacLeod Crofthamie Accordion
Nicol McLaren Blairgowrie Accordion
Robert Menzies Glasgow Accordion/Fiddle
Gordon Middler Aberdeen Piano
Alex Morrison Borve 3 row Accordion
Ross Muir Edinburgh Fiddle
Owen Muir Perth Piano
Graeme Munro Fenton Barns Accordion
Scott Nichol Pathhead Accordion/Piano
Alan Nicolson Brindister Accordion
Callum Nicolson Brindister Accordion
Tom Orr Aberdeen Accordion/Piano
Ian Robertson Aylesbury Accordion/Fiddle
Mary Rutherford Aberdeen Fiddle
Davie Scott Dunbar Drums
Lindsay Weir Livingston Accordion
Angela Young London Piano

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.

Some highlights of the weekend for me included the hidden talent of Ian Robertson who played a few tunes on the fiddle then strapped on an accordion to provide a very accomplished performance. “Not just a fiddler, but a musician as well”, was one comment overheard at the bar. Some fantastic playing from Callum Nicolson from Shetland wowing the audience twice over the weekend and who could forget Robert Menzies leading on accordion at an unearthly time of the night played some finger busting reels and jigs with apparent ease.

It was nice to see some first time visitors to the Ceilidh once again, this time we had debut performances from Charlie Kirkpatrick on 3 row Shand Morino and a few sets from the glamorous pairing of Mary Rutherford and Astryd Jamison from Shetland who are both studying at University on the mainland. Mary and Astryd make up two-thirds of the all girl band Kollifirbolli who are fast making a name for themselves on the traditional music scene. Incidentally Kollifirbolli is Shetland dialect for “Head over Heels”. Surely these young ladies must be the best looking double act to grace the Stanley Ceilidh stage since Coutts & Cathcart in the early 90s….!

Astryd Jamieson & Mary Rutherford

Many thanks to all who contributed raffle prizes, none more so than the donors of the main prizes of food and drink hampers for each of the two evenings. Dave & Lil Millward, Robert & Jenny Campbell and James & Sheena Cathcart. Both hampers were a fitting grand prize and went to regular Ceilidh attendees from opposite sides of the country. In addition a few “odd” prizes made their way into the hands of our visitors, none more so than James Leask from Lerwick walking off with a fantastic Double LP of Sydney Devine. A real treat.

James was one of over twenty Shetlanders who made the long trip by air, sea and road to be at the Ceilidh. A huge thanks to Peter and Fiona Leask who arranged the travel for the thirsty crowd. Thankfully no pillaging this year from the Norse contingent, only good fun, great music and fantastic company. Great to have you back again.

Colin Brown & Robert Menzies

From within the Shetlanders’ midst we were delighted that Marina Bruce from Lerwick made another return trip to Stanley. Her raffle selling technique and results are second to none; many thanks for your continued support Marina.

This year’s Saturday night dance was to Tom Orr and his band. They provided us with almost five full hours of controlled, swingy and faultless playing. Superb arrangements played by six musicians who complement each other to create an exciting vibrant sound which is unique in our music scene. They were; Tom Orr on lead accordion, Marie Fielding on fiddle, Scott Nichol on second accordion, Gordon Middler on piano, Brian Cruickshank on bass and Fraser MacInnes on drums. The band fully enjoyed their evening and it was echoed by the enthusiasts and dancers who were lucky enough to hear this full six piece band in great form. Fantastic!

Tom Orr Band

The youngest visitor to the Ceilidh this year was our own four week old daughter, Elizabeth. She was a bit bemused by all the attention and fuss not to mention the loud noise she has learned to sleep through. Family duties this year denied Shirley her usual job of ensuring all players got the chance to have a tune. I am indebted to Dave & Lil Millward from Kilmelford near Oban who help out every year with the Ceilidh, but none more so than this year when they both took on extra duties to ensure we ran smoothly all weekend. Thanks guys.

Pauline Irvine, Scott Nichol & Alasdair MacLeod

Thanks also go to Shirley for her hard work in the lead up to the Ceilidh by way of selling dance tickets and ensuring many of the preparations were in hand easing the burden during the course of the weekend. Her hardest job being keeping me in line, which I hope she managed without too much effort.

Next year’s Stanley Ceilidh will be back at the Tayside Hotel over the weekend of Friday 4th to Sunday 6th November 2011. The Saturday night dance will be to Iain Anderson and his band from Gartocharn. Tickets will go on sale from Shirley Cathcart from 1st September 2011. All details will be on http://www.iaincathcart.com/stanley.htm

We look forward to welcoming you to the Stanley Ceilidh 2011.

Iain Cathcart
November 2010




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