Series 10 Programme 6
Liam Logan and James Fenton are visiting Mary Morrison at her home in Lisnagunogue, north Antrim. Mary originally comes from Carrickarede and is a native Ulster-Scots speaker. She reminisces about her father and Jim tells an anecdote about splitting the atom. Jim and his friend Bob McKay used to attend dances in the Lisnagunogue area and he recalls one episode when he was leaving a wee girl home…. There’s music with Robert Burns’ song to Mary Morrison, sung by Rod Patterson.
Scottish radio presenter and well known author, Billy Kay, has just published a new edition of his book ‘Scots: the Mither Tongue’. He tells Liam that he wants Scots people to find out more about their own history and language - and about the changes there have been over the past twenty years since the book first came out, not least of which is the new Scottish Parliament. Billy has included a chapter on Ulster-Scots in his book and he tells Liam how it was his County Antrim friend, Linde Lunney, who made him aware of the similarity between the Antrim and Ayrshire dialects. Billy says some Scots words that have survived in Ulster have actually died in Scotland: and he also talks about the unifying influence of the language. Liam and Billy discuss the lack of a ‘language strategy’ in Scotland.
Liam talks to Vanessa Wilson, recently appointed Director of Culture at the Ulster-Scots Agency. Vanessa has always been interested in Ulster-Scots culture, particularly the accordion. She says culture includes music and dance as well as history, drama, visual arts and patchwork quilting. She wants to conserve Ulster-Scots heritage sites and trails - eg Presidential homesteads - and is currently looking at a Hamilton and Montgomery trail; and she also hopes to see growth in drama.
Scots author, folklorist, historian, storyteller and singer, Stuart McHardy, has published a new book called ‘Tales of the Picts’. Stuart tells Liam more about who the Picts were - and about his book which pulls together folklore about the ‘Pechts’ from all over Scotland. The book is available from Luath Press; and Stuart reads us a story about ‘Nora’s Mound’.