Audio samples of Ulster-Scots speakers

audio transcript

In January 2005, Elizabeth McLeister interviews 82 year old JOHN ATKINSON at his home in Ballymoney. John recalls his farmwork - threshing and baling all round County Antrim, as well as pulling lint. His own father's eldest siblings were able to remember the Great Irish Famine of the mid-19th century; while some of his uncles emigrated to America and worked on the railways.

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Elizabeth McLeister interviews ALEX WORKMAN, born 1910, at his home near Cullybackey. He talks about working as a Stone Breaker in Cullybackey Quarry and then working at Morton & Simpsons (Pork). He recalls a visit to Canada and reminisces about his school-days at the Craigs School, as well as attending local dances. Alex also remembers threshing and his father using a hand flail. Recorded on 6th April 2001.

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ANDY BROWN of Dunover, near Ballywalter talks to Willie Cromie and Will McAvoy, about growing up on a farm in County Down. He shares his memories of butter-churning, good home-baking, townland and field names, and visiting family on Sundays.

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10th April 2003. On Inch Island in County Donegal, Elizabeth McLeister interviews BERTIE BRYCE. Born in 1920, Bertie farmed all his days and is a well known story-teller and raconteur. As well as the following humorous story, Bertie introduced and recited four poems for Elizabeth which we are also including as separate files.

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audio transcript

10th April 2003. On Inch Island in County Donegal, Elizabeth McLeister interviews BERTIE BRYCE. Born in 1920, Bertie farmed all his days and is a well known story-teller and raconteur. Here, Bertie talks about the Irish Border and the Customs Men who ensured that no goods were smuggled between Northern Ireland and the 'Free State'. Following this introduction, he recites a poem called 'The Free State Farmer', written by Tom Molloy of Burnfoot, County Antrim.

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audio transcript

10th April 2003. On Inch Island in County Donegal, Elizabeth McLeister interviews BERTIE BRYCE. Born in 1920, Bertie farmed all his days and is a well known story-teller and raconteur. Here, he recites a poem called 'Our Son', written by Reverend WF Marshall, 'The Bard of Tyrone'. Please note that Bertie deviates very slightly from the original poem, although largely gets it right.

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audio transcript

10th April 2003. On Inch Island in County Donegal, Elizabeth McLeister interviews BERTIE BRYCE. Born in 1920, Bertie farmed all his days and is a well known story-teller and raconteur. Here, he introduces and recites the haunting tale of Stumpie's Brae, written by Cecil Frances Alexander, the famous hymn-writer. Please note that Bertie deviates slightly from the original poem, although largely gets it right.

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audio transcript

10th April 2003. On Inch Island in County Donegal, Elizabeth McLeister interviews BERTIE BRYCE. Born in 1920, Bertie farmed all his days and is a well known story-teller and raconteur. Here, he introduces and recites a poignant poem called 'The Lad', written by Reverend WF Marshall, 'The Bard of Tyrone'. Please note that Bertie incorrectly calls the poem 'The Drunken Scutcher's Son'. He also deviates very slightly from the original poem, although largely gets it right.

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audio transcript

In 2002, Elizabeth McLeister interviews BERTIE CONNOLLY in County Antrim. He recalls growing up and working on his grandparents' farm - ploughing with horses, pulling flax and making drains before sowing the potato crop. He also remembers saving up for his first motor car.

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Elizabeth McLeister interviews Dervock man and poet, CHARLIE GILLEN, in 2001.

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Elizabeth McLeister interviews 85 year old Antrim man, DAN McCONAGHIE (born 1918) at his home on Causeway Road, Bushmills. The interview was conducted in January 2003 and Dan recalls making shilelaghs, working in the family shop at the Giant's Causeway, the Christmas Rhymers, riding the bicycle and helping out on the family farm.

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Willie Cromie and Will McAvoy interview DOROTHY DUNBAR on 5th March 2002. Born Dorothy Taggart in Greyabbey in 1914, Dorothy moved to Ballywalter after her marriage. Note that there is a hissing noise throughout this interview. Dorothy recalls dancing on the road in her youth, and the gypsies coming round to sell clothes pegs and tins. She and will remember the Boy Scouts camping on an island in Strangford Lough, and Dorothy remembers a 'character' from Greba. They talk about how times have changed - in terms of neighbours, food, bathing etc.

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Interview with ELLA TAYLOR of Greyabbey, conducted by Willie Cromie and Will McAvoy on 19th October 2002. Ella was born about 1930. They talk about smuggling butter over the Border during the War, preserving fish and eggs, the pig-killer, eating pigs, and pranks in the local Concert Hall.

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FLORRIE DINES (nee McMaster) born 1917, talks to Willie Cromie and Will McAvoy at her home in Ballydrain Road, Comber on 26th August, 2003.

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In this piece, County Antrim poet and author, JAMES FENTON, talks about 'Lint' - growing it, retting it, drying it and taking it to the lint mill. This piece appears in his collection, "Thonner An Thon", published by The Ullans Press in 2000.

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JAMES McKAY of Clough is interviewed by Elizabeth McLeister in 2001, at which time James is 80 years old. James recalls growing up on a farm, and then meeting his wife at a dance. As a member of a band, James played at dances around the country halls, travelling to them on his bicycle. He sings the song 'The Flower of Corby Mill' and talks about working with flax and cutting peats, as well as recalling his mother baking on the fire and the good foodstuffs of his earlier life.

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audio transcript

On St Patrick's Day, 17th March 2003, Elizabeth McLeister and her husband interview MARGARET McCURDY at her home in Broughshane. A retired schoolteacher, Margaret recalls the escape of a raging bull when she was a wee girl. She talks about her career and the difficulty of driving to Larne in bad snowy conditions. Margaret also remembers having her sprained leg 'charmed' by a local healer.

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On 19th March 2002, Elizabeth McLeister interviews MINNIE McKILLEN of County Antrim. They chat about Minnie's schooldays, taking a 'piece' for lunch, the food they ate, observing the Sabbath, Minnie's work days when she was 'hired out', recycling flour-bags, domestic housework and breeding pigs.

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In this clip, WILL McAVOY, originally born and reared on Mid-Isle, an island in Strangford Lough, near Greyabbey (Greba), reminisces about various subjects including his schooldays, games he played in the 1920s and 30s, trying to judge the tide when out 'coortin'', washing blankets, milking cows, killing pigs, lifting potatoes and hay threshing. This is part of a series of recordings made by Will for the Ulster-Scots Language Society, and produced in cassette form as "Hairts o Greba".

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WILLIAM CARSON (born Greyabbey, County Down in 1930) talks to Willie Cromie and Will McAvoy in February 2003. He recalls his days working at Black's Egg Packing Factory in Newtownards and talks about an unusual old character from Greyabbey.

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In 2002, Elizabeth McLeister interviews ATCHESON ARMSTRONG in the townland of Drumaird, Broughshane, County Antrim. Also with them is William McCrory of Racavan. The men recall the superstition of strangers putting ‘the blink’ on the churn and on animals. They talk about a sow who gave birth to 26 piglets, and remember the old farm tasks of threshing and flailing.

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Four audio samples from James Fenton's Ulster-Scots Collection "Thonner an Thon":

Lade

Thonner an Thon

Minin Bab

Hare

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