- 1. Robin's Readings - Paddy McQuillan's Christmas in Belfast Duration: 07:38 His Christmas Day - His Trip to Glasgow, Part 1
- 10. Robin's Readings - Paddy McQuillan visits Miss Norris Duration: 06:18 His Courtships
- 11. Robin's Readings - Paddy McQuillan meets Maggie Patten Duration: 08:49 His Courtships
- 12. Robin's Readings - Paddy McQuillan gets engaged Duration: 06:33 His Courtships
- 13. Robin's Readings - Paddy McQuillan's wedding plans Duration: 06:32 His Wedding - His Wee Paddy - Tha Chrisnin'
- 14. Robin's Readings - Paddy McQuillan gets married Duration: 06:24 His Wedding - His Wee Paddy - Tha Chrisnin'
The Adventures of Paddy McQuillan
"Robin's Readings" were first performed in the 19th century as a series of humorous monologues.
They were created by the County Down writer, WG Lyttle who was born in 1844. After his death in 1896, he was buried in the grounds of Bangor Abbey where his memorial describes him as: "… a brilliant and graceful writer… and a true son of County Down".
As well as being the author of ‘Daft Eddie’ and ‘Betsy Gray’, Lyttle was above all an entertainer. He most often appeared at social gatherings in the guise of his alter-ego "Robin", a jovial country farmer from the fictitious Ballycuddy in County Down, who regaled his audiences in Ulster-Scots. The scripts from these performances were subsequently collected and published in 1879 as ‘Robin’s Readings’.
The stories recount the adventures and mishaps of Paddy McQuillan, a cheerful but unfortunate farmer.
There’s a real warmth and humour in these stories - even though they're about 150 years old. What comes across is the sense of a close, rural community sharing in each other’s joys and troubles.
Lyttle wrote in authentic Ulster-Scots, which was spoken throughout the Ards Peninsula - and many of the participants in this radio series are native Ulster-Scots speakers who bring the language to life again.
Recording Robin's Readings
In total, 23 people have been involved in recording the various parts in Robin's Readings - the majority of whom are from County Down where WG Lyttle based his stories.
Most of the recordings were made in people's homes and warm thanks are due to the following for their hospitality:
Ivan and Barbara McFerran - Glastry
Will McAvoy - Newtownards
Paddy and Irene McAvoy - Greyabbey (and particular thanks to Irene for the home-baking!)
Mark and Hilary Thompson - Ballyhalbert
Jackie and Valerie Thompson - Comber
Wilbert and Mrs Magill - Newtownards
and Ruth Hamilton - Greyabbey
Many thanks are also due to Anne Smyth for providing a digitised copy of Robin's Readings.
The Belfast Newsletter, Friday 9th July, included a feature on the forthcoming series.
The Low Country Boys
The music in the series is provided by the Low Country Boys who are all based in County Down.