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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail / The Royal National Mod 2012

dunoon That time again!  After all the work put in over the last year the choir was off to Dunoon to compete for the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield. dunoon castle house museum

Here are just a few views of the town.  Above is the view from the south end looking towards the town centre, and to the right is the Dunoon Castle House Museum in its rocky gardens.dunoon old pier

Here’s the old pier, left,  and below, is the war memorial and the Queen’s Hall where our competitions were to take place.dunoon queens hall

dunoon highland mary Dunoon is where one of Robert Burns’s paramours, known as   Highland Mary, lived, and here she is, on a pedestal near the museum gardens, complete with feathery headgear at that moment.dunoon seafront

and a view looking north along the coast towards Dunoon suburbs, Kirn and Hunters Quay.

dunoon clyde view This is the view from the hotel we stayed at, looking down the Firth of Clyde.

The Gaelic Mod, as I probably said last year about this time, is the Scottish Gaelic equivalent of a Welsh Eisteddfod , a festival of Gaelic music, song, language and culture, with competitions for young and older!

It’s a chance too to meet friends from other areas, and I’m really quite surprised at the number of people I know in other choirs – and this is only my third Mod!

When Rena, my fellow 2nd alto – there are only the two of us - and I arrived on the Thursday we got tickets to hear some of the rural choirs in their competitions.  dunoon tarbert choir Tarbert choir, conducted by Hilary was a worthy winner.  She and husband Neil - almost hidden in the back row - are cousins of mine, Neil being the one who, several years ago, suggested I join the Lothian choir.  dunoon carloway choir

Carloway choir did well too.  They were the choir who were formed just last year, and although they come from the Carloway district  in Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (Heb-rid-eez) they live scattered over a wide area of the country now, and learn their songs by practising with their conductor on Skype.

Well, in the first competition we sang in, the following day,  we ended up with three choirs below us,  - which sounds great….but wasn’t really!  They all tied at just one point below us!  The L&T wasn’t to be ours either – as we knew it wouldn’t – not when we were competing with the choirs of Dingwall, Glasgow and Islay for example!  Anyway, at least we weren’t actually in last place in either competition.

dunoon mod and benmore 025 On the final morning of the week-long Mod, the choirs, led by a pipe band, all parade through the host town to gather at some large open area for a massed choir sing. dunoon mod and benmore 023

Before long the arena, to the left here, would be filled with singers.  dunoon jennifer carloway

Jennifer from Carloway, right, with  Tarbert Loch Fyne (and cousin Neil with his “blue book” in his pocket) below.dunoon tarbert parade

Here are some of the Edinburgh choir, below……. yes, I do know her!

dunoon edinburgh parade



and here are some of the Lothian choir membersdunoon lothian parade

Rena’s on the right, with Catriona, in the sunlight in front of her.  She’s our Gaelic tutor, who hails from the island of Eriskay, where her family were involved in the real life “Whisky Galore” when HMS Politician ran aground in 1941, carrying a cargo of whisky bound for the United States.  Compton Mackenzie wrote a comic novel based on the event, which was made into a film in 1949. (“Tight little Island” in the U.S. )  Catriona is 91 years old, and still teaches Gaelic.  She reckons she is the only 91 year old still to be earning a salary!

dunoon hilary conducting Here’s Hilary conducting the massed choirs in one of the songs,  the first one in the links below.  It was fun!







And after the sing, and some speeches, everyone dispersed, some for soup and sandwiches in the hall before heading off home to whatever part of of the country they had come from.  Rena and I had decided that as the weather was fine we’d have a visit to Ben More Botanic Gardens before leaving the area, but more of them next time.

Talk again soon.


Lorraine Wacob S. said...

What a wonderful day that must have been. I'm learning so much about Scottish history from you, Katrina and Margaret and it's fun! Thanks.

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Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Thanks Lorraine. Glad you are enjoying learning about our history. Hope you got through the Sandy episode unscathed. Take care.

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Thanks Lorraine. Glad you are enjoying learning about our history. Hope you got through the Sandy episode unscathed. Take care.

Katrina said...

That looked like good fun and you were so lucky with the weather. Dunoon looks better than it did when we went there a few years ago, it seemed really sad and run down then.

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Hi Katrina. It WAS fun after all my angst!The weather wasn't brilliant until the Saturday and thankfully it stayed fine for the parade and the big sing!

Have to say we noticed the run down look of some of the buildings too. Such a shame.

Peggy said...

Voices from Heaven!