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The Stanley Ceilidh
2006

The 28 th Annual Stanley Ceilidh came to a close shortly after 4.30pm on Sunday 5th November 2006 . During the previous three days anyone who came into the function suite of the Tayside Hotel in Stanley would have been entertained by some of the very best in Scottish Dance Music. In total, Sixty musicians took to the stage during the weekend to entertain the many listeners and enthusiasts who had travelled from as far afield as England , Northern Ireland , Shetland and even Canada .

Shirley & Iain Cathcart

In terms of visitors and musicians attending the event, the Ceilidh is definitely on the increase, both in size and reputation. Almost all of those whom I spoke to during the weekend have already marked off the weekend of Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November 2007 in their diaries for next year's event.

As to the quality of musicianship of those who performed this year, one only has to read the names of those who so freely gave their time and tunes. The list reads like a who's who of the current Scottish Dance Band scene.

Here goes, in alphabetical order:

Ian

Adamson

Drums

Cupar

Stuart

Adamson

Accordion

Newcastleton

Iain

Anderson

Accordion/Piano

Gartocharn

Graham

Berry

Piano

Newburgh

Jim

Berry

Accordion

Newburgh

Bill

Black

Accordion

Stanley

Duncan

Black

Accordion

Edinburgh

Iain

Cathcart

Accordion

Law

Shirley

Cathcart

Accordion

Law

Lynne

Christie

Accordion

Aberdeen

Joanna

Cockburn

Piano

Dunbar

James

Corbett

Accordion

Lairg

Brian

Cruickshank

Bass/Fiddle

Lumphannan

Calum

Cruickshank

Accordion

Lumphannan

Jennifer

Cruickshank

Accordion/Piano

Lumphannan

George

Darling

Drums

Rosewell

Bobby

Dowds

Accordion

 

Marie

Fielding

Fiddle

Falkirk

Shauna

Flockhart

Piano

Alloway

Neil

Galloway

Accordion

Cupar

Graeme

Garrick

Accordion/Drums

Lerwick

Colin

Garvin

Accordion/Piano

Livingston

Bryan

Gear

Fiddle

Tingwall

Scott

Gordon

Accordion/Piano/Drums

Westhill

Susan

Gordon

Fiddle

Westhill

Mable

Gray

Piano

Alloa

Andrew

Gregory

Accordion

 

Robin

Hamilton

Accordion/Piano

East Fortune

Martin

Henderson

Piano

Lerwick

George

Hood

Accordion

West Lothian

Ian

Hutson

Accordion

Blairgowrie

Ian

Imrie

Drums

West Lothian

Willie

Johnston

Fiddle

Perth

Andrew

Knight

Fiddle

Newtongrange

Ann

Law

Piano

West Lothian

James

Leask

Accordion

Lerwick

John

Leask

Drums

Inverness

Christine

Legge

Fiddle

Edinburgh

Louise

Leslie

Piano

Uphall

Scott

Leslie

Accordion

Uphall

Hamish

MacDougall

Accordion

Muir of Ord

Angus

McKinnon

Fiddle

Canada

Nicol

McLaren

Accordion

Blairgowrie

Robert

Menzies

Accordion/Fiddle

Park

Graeme

Munro

Accordion

East Lothian

Johnny

Murray

Accordion

Alnwick

Scott

Nichol

Accordion

Pathhead

Tom

Orr

Accordion/Piano

Hyndford Bridge

Brian

O'Sullivan

Piano

Glasgow

Seamus

O'Sullivan

Accordion

Glasgow

Bruce

Peebles

Accordion

Forfar

Tam

Rankine

Drums

 

Richard

Ross

Accordion

Dalry

Ivor

Scollay

Accordion

Gulberwick

David

Scott

Drums

Kellas

John

Stuart

Accordion

Fife

Alan

Sutherland

Drums

Cupar

Gary

Sutherland

Accordion

Cupar

Vaila Tait Fiddle Edinburgh

Lindsay

Weir

Accordion

Livingston

The Friday night's entertainment commenced around 7.30pm with a few tunes from my own band and finished some 5½ hours later with a final set of tunes from Duncan Black and friends. In between we were treated to a marathon of the best in Scottish Dance music, which kept the audience spellbound. One lasting memory for me was of Jock Loch, the well known Ayrshire shepherd, story teller and box player of renown who sat all evening chin on hands utterly amazed at the feast of music before him. So much so, that to our dismay, Jock decided that he'd just “leave the box in the case”. Hopefully we'll prize a tune or two from Jock next year…..

One of the many highlights of the evening included a great set from surely the finest and most admired fiddle player in the country, Bryan Gear from Tingwall in the Shetland Isles. Bryan was in Stanley as part of our guest band for the Saturday night dance, however it was great to hear him play a few solo sets.

Bryan Gear from Tingwall

Our guest band for the weekend was none other than the Cullivoe Dance Band. We were delighted when Ivor and the boys accepted our invitation to make the long trip “Sooth”. Not only did they dazzle the audience with their skill and professionalism, they brought with them a modesty that was far removed from their obvious talent. All who encountered the Cullivoe Dance Band over the weekend were most definitely the better for it.

We had a few Stanley debutants this year, none more so than ten year old Calum Cruickshank, who entertained us with a couple of sets backed with a six piece band, carefully supervised by his sister Iona who took to the stage to help Mum with the piano. Not a bad line up either, featuring Mum and Dad, Jennifer & Brian, Tom Orr, Susan and Scott Gordon . You couldn't wipe the smile of Calum's face all night.

Calum Cruickshan and his Scottish Dance Band

Another first timer to the Ceilidh was Angus Mackinnon all the way from Canada who treated us to some fine fiddle playing.

Stanley debutant, seventeen year old Robert Menzies from Park, near Dumfries wowed the audience by starting with a finger busting set of reels. Such mature playing from one so young and with the confidence that comes with youth, definitely a future star. I was only glad that the bar staff didn't pick up on my faux pas by announcing Robert's age…..

We held the traditional charity collection, which in a way makes up for the fact that all attendees are not charged at the door on the Friday night. The total proceeds over the weekend were just short of £1,000 with the collection and prize raffles on both evenings. The star prizes in each raffle were hampers donated by Dave & Lil Milward, Jim & Sheena Cathcart and Robert & Janet Campbell. Dave & Lil help with the Ceilidh each year and are valued friends who are always on hand and willing to assist with the weekend duties. Jim, Sheena, Robert & Janet are the parents of Shirley and myself and great to have them with us for the whole weekend.

Again this year, by popular demand, the proceeds will be donated to the Childrens Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

With the Saturday night's dance tickets on sale from 1pm on the Saturday afternoon, we had close to a full house for what has become one of my favourite parts of the weekend. Again, no charge was taken at the door with tunes starting at noon . Much more of the same again all the way through until after 5pm when we called it a day and made our way back to the various hotels, B&Bs, travel lodges, caravan parks to get fed and watered before the dance.

Some of the highlights of the Saturday afternoon again included Bryan Gear who delighted the audience by dueting with another fantastic fiddler, Marie Fielding. It was a great unrehearsed “off the cuff” set, tremendous playing.

Marie Fielding, Bryan Gear & Martin Henderson

As if this wasn't enough for a quiet Saturday afternoon, we were amazed and delighted to welcome Bill Black, the man who initiated the whole concept of the Stanley Ceilidh. Only a number of weeks after Bill suffered the horrific accident in which he lost his right index finger, Bill appeared with his trusty 3 row which he has been re-learning from scratch. Utter disbelief followed as Bill took to the stage with his band and played a set of waltzes. Amazing in itself, but he went on to play a set of 2/4 pipe marches and finished with a set of reels including the tricky Miss Jane of Violet Bank. I don't think I've ever heard the Stanley crowd make such a cheer at the end of a set. Everyone was willing Bill to success and by the smile on his face at the end, I think he was quite pleased with the performance. Bill has probably played his Shand Morino in public thousands of times, but I think he was as nervous as any time in the past. No need for nerves though, the Black swing was definitely there in abundance and although a finger short, the sound was definitely his unique style. Great to have Bill back on the stage once again.

Bill Black SDB

Another plus of the Saturday afternoon is that many musicians who cannot manage to come along on the Friday night are able to manage along for a tune during the day. It was great to have the likes of Scott Leslie, Graeme Munro, Bruce Peebles & Nicol McLaren. Nice to get a visit and some recognition from the National Association Chairman.

And to the dance. A capacity crowd gathered, early as usual, eagerly anticipating the great night of music and dance that lay ahead. Between 7.30pm and 12.30am the Cullivoe Dance Band played a real feast of tunes and dances with a well thought out programme, which suited the dancers and listeners to a t. The band consisted of Ivor Scollay on accordion, Bryan Gear on fiddle, Martin Henderson on piano and Graeme Garrick on drums. A top quality, instantly recognisable sound was enjoyed by all who were lucky enough to be there. The band's repartee with the crowd and musicianship have only succeeded in making them a definite favourite at Stanley . At one stage during the dance Ivor asked what time they were to finish, a wag from the audience shouted somewhere around 4am will be just fine, the boys were delighted with this response and would only have been too happy to oblige. Sadly for us, the bar licence demanded an earlier finish.

The Fantastic Cullivoe Dance Band

Thanks are also due to North Link Ferries for subsidising the band's trip and also to R G Jamieson & Son of Cullivoe who provide the boys with a mini-bus free of charge for the weekend. Much appreciated, and effectively a direct donation to CHAS from both companies.

A new idea for this year's dance was the supply of stovies at half time, which went down very well.

Sunday afternoon's music was it's usual wind-down for the weekend with again a great afternoon of music played by many of the weekend's entertainers. At approximately 4.30pm we finished up for 2006 and thanked all who had attended, helped or donated in any way.

The Ceilidh had been an undoubted success and we are glad to see the level of support remain buoyant.

My personal thanks are due to my wife Shirley for her help in organising not just me, but all the bands who were always lined up and ready to go on next. To Scott & Susan Gordon, Lynne Christie, Dave & Lil Millward for all their help over the weekend and to Graham Berry for his assistance with the PA and recording equipment. Alan and his staff at the Tayside Hotel were again eager to please and made the running of the weekend a lot easier. Our raffle prize “runners” this year were Rhona & Struan Legget and Jamie & Stephanie Ross, thanks kids….!

As an aside to the Ceilidh we released “The Stanley Ceilidh – Volume 1” on CD, which was recorded at last year's Ceilidh (2005). We hope to raise a substantial sum of money from this venture, which I initially funded. Sales of the CD so far have been extremely encouraging.

 

Recordings were made again this year and Volume 2 on CD is a distinct possibility.

Next year's Stanley Ceilidh will be held in the Tayside Hotel, Stanley over the weekend of 2 nd – 4 th November 2007. Full details will be available soon at www.iaincathcart.com or by calling myself on 01555 771021. Our guest band for 2007 is none other than Ian Muir and his Scottish Dance Band from Prestwick, a popular choice and one which will be eagerly awaited by all.

Until then,

Cheers

Iain

 

A Few other pictures from the weekend.......

Lynne, Graham & Shirley

James "sniffer" Leask and his foxy red panties.....

 

Andrew Knight and his Industrial Estate Band

Stanley Regulars Seamus & Brian

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