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2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett

Gallus Moll 31 Jan 18 - 06:15 PM
Gallus Moll 31 Jan 18 - 06:20 PM
andymac 01 Feb 18 - 06:48 AM
Gutcher 01 Feb 18 - 10:59 AM
Gallus Moll 01 Feb 18 - 01:45 PM
Gutcher 01 Feb 18 - 04:12 PM
Gallus Moll 01 Feb 18 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,SCORGIE 06 Feb 18 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Andymac 06 Feb 18 - 09:25 AM
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Subject: Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 06:15 PM

His formal name was William James Jennett but everyone knew him as Jimmy (Seamus). Jimmy passed away peacefully at home on 23rd January 2018 at the age of 90.
He was the last of The Inverscotia Nomads, a group whose friendships began in boyhood, lasted through the years of WW2 and continued throughout their lives till gradually they began to slip away to Tir nan Og's far shore.
They were all at home in the hills and mountains of Scotland, particularly those of the West.
Passionate and knowledgeable about the history, culture and heritage of their native land, they sang and harmonised a range of songs from traditional to humorous - plus some they composed themselves.
Seylan Baxter did a study of The Inverscotia Singers as her thesis at RSAMD, worth seeking out for more information (Scottish Republican and Socialist Movement: Hillwalkers, Long Distance Melodeon Players and Gangrels)
I first met some of them in Ardentinny many years ago - tho they did not all come to Cowal Highland Gathering! (eg Seamus McNeill)- and we had many wonderful sessions there over the years, also at Whistlefield at Loch Eck.
Gradually their numbers diminished, some too soon - but the funerals were always great, ceilidhs and reminiscing, keeping alive the songs that had been personal to the one who had passed.
In the end there was only Jimmy - and eventually he became too frail to leave home. But still we sang his songs at Ardentinny at the end of August, drank a toast to him - and to all the absent friends who so enriched our lives.
Now they are together again, they have sailed the golden currach and are singing round a campfire, dossing in the snow, on Tir Nan Og's far shore.
It was a privilege to have known them - The Inverscotias!   


The Soldiers Road   by Jimmy Jennett

When we walked to Bridge of Orchy
In the moonlight long ago
When the soldiers road was frozen
And the peaks were white with snow

We had tales and songs between us
And our souls too young to fret
But we had hopes and visions
That the heart remembers yet
When we walked to Bridge of Orchy
In the moonlight long ago
When the soldiers road was frozen
And the peaks were white with snow

Now the wind came off the clachlead
It blew round us as we stood
But we were warm and merry
On that freezing-broken road
There was shining lochans round us
To the south and east and west
And we saw the full moon shining
On Ben Dorans distant crest

Now the moon is still as radiant
And the Rannoch Hills remain
But the magic of those weekends
We?ll never know again
For we were boyish dreamers
In a world we did not know
When we walked to Bridge of Orchy
In the moonlight long ago

There was Randolph always singing
And MacGregor looking grim
There was Seamus at the canntaireachd
And lecturing Wee Jim
There was Rab and Roy and Terry
Who could always sing a stave
When you heard the moothie playing
You knew it was Big Dave

But now the song is ending
For the heroes are no more
Some have sailed the golden currach
To Tir nan Ogs far shore
Where theyre singing in around a campfire
Or dossing in the snow
As we did at Bridge of Orchy
In the moonlight long ago

(song of the Inverscotia Singers)

Their legacy lives on in The Tryst, a group of like-minded singers and musicians some of whom had been invited to the Inverscotia's annual gathering and who are now carrying on the tradition .


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Subject: RE: Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 06:20 PM

Jimmy donated his body to medical science so - no funeral.
His family has arranged a get together at The Club, Newarthill, Motherwell on Friday 2nd February from 17.00.

I anticipate there will be other gatherings later in the year to celebrate and commemorate the Inverscotias and their songs - stay tuned!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: andymac
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 06:48 AM

Gallus one,

Was Jimmy one of the "lads" who would turn up at Aucthermuchty and elsewhere on occasion, often in tartan trews, and regale us with a song? If so then it truly is the end of an era. I recall Geordie McIntyre telling me reverentially on one occasion that the older of the pair was "one of the original weekenders".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gutcher
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 10:59 AM

Andymac--Gallus Moll

Did one of the pair have Girvan/Ailsa Craig connections?.

ie. The pair who turned up at Auchtermuchty.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 01:45 PM

the original Inverscotians were:

Macgregor Kennedy

Randolph (Kennedy?) - I think he was MacGregor's brother, but he was banished for a misdemeanour I believe!

Seamas McNeill (College of Piping Otago St) - he never came to the Cowal gatherings

Rab (Sharples?)

Roy (Campbell?)

Terry

Dave

Jimmy Jennett

I thought there were nine, reduced to eight - but maybe I was wrong? - am waiting for Iain Ingram, to correct me and tell me surnames which once I knew but have forgotten.
The Inverscotia Singers made an album, I think around the time they performed on stv in the very early days of that station - MacGregor Kennedy kindly made me a copy in cassette form. No idea whether it is possible to find the vinyl, how many were produced / by whom -- perhaps Nigel Gatherer's site has info?

What info I have is from memory -- and my memory is cr*p!
So - the group went on expeditions most or every weekend, from when they were young - off to the hills and the bothies, maybe youth hostels? They learned and shared and sang songs of Scotland, of the hills - and I think they composed at least one or two? Some of them played moothies and they all sang, harmonised.
Once a month they would gather at Otago Street for a dinner, each bringing a dish for the table -- but no-one ever co-ordinated this so on occasion there would be too many soups and puddings and insufficient - or no - mains!
They were members of The Scottish Patriots Club(?) and met like-minded people with whom Scottish affairs/politics/history and culture were discussed.
The Inverscotias held an annual dinner which would be organised each year by a different pair of them; the guidelines were the venue had to be North of the Highland line (unless it was Tibbie Shiels Inn)be no more than a certain price for dinner bed and breakfast (£45.00 at the time of speaking to me)the bar to stay open till the last man went to bed (all night!!)and no women to be present after the meal served (chauvinist pigs that they were!!!)and - any man who did not respond to the dinner invitation would never be invited again - no excuses accepted!
Everyone knew to meet at the toilets at Anniesland Cross on the Saturday closest to 9th December at (oops I can't remember what time?)where that year's organisers would issue them with coded instructions - precursor to car treasure hunt! Individually they had to work out the route and the venue then make their way -- no following anyone else! Early arrivals would have their choice of rooms, and be established in the bar awaiting the stragglers. After the dinner a memorable evening of songs and drams and toast would continue into the wee sma' hoors.
As the years went by and other singers and musicians came to know the group invitations would be extended to a select few; so the dinner numbers grew to perhaps forty or fifty - with the proviso that if the invitation was not accepted, or on any future occasion the person did not attend - they would never be asked again!
The dress code for all events was kilts or tartan trews, I think even for hillwalking? As they got older, some began to use camper vans rather than tents, walked up the paths and ridges rather than climbing faces - - but their bothy culture and songs were always in their hearts.
An annual Tryst continues, organised by the 'younger' generation (many of whom are grey or white haired themselves!) and keeping the singing tradition alive. For a while there were still a few originals with them, but Jimmy was the last of them and he was no longer able to attend events in the last few years.
I think the 'tartan trews' pair would have been Jimmy Jennet and Jim Cameron? Perhaps Graham Irvive or Rab Collinson could confirm? I think Jim Cameron was one of the additions to the original group, he had dark hair and sang some Gaelic songs as well as Scottish -- and he had developed great skill as a hobby leather worker, made traditional pouch sporrans (capable of hauding a whisky flask) with a leather whangie that held it on rather than the modern buckled chain thing Jim also made beautiful kilt belts - his work was very distinctive, and he donated a sporran annually to the dinner -- not sure if they raffled it or awarded it?
At Jim's funeral the family invited volunteers to take on the leather craft tools and materials - and Tom Hill took up this offer, carries on the tradition.
Re Girvan connections - again Graham and Rab will know! Not sure if they look at Mudcat tho - -? - - -


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Subject: RE: Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gutcher
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 04:12 PM

Hello G.M.
Not Jim Cameron, sorry to hear he is no longer with us, we used to meet Jim in Mull at the end of April where he would sing in the Bellachroy on a Sunday afternoon.
The reason I mentioned Girvan/Ailsa Craig was a film I saw, must have been on youtube as I do not have a T.V., which showed one of the pair visiting Ailsa Craig where it seems his parents had lived when the quarrying for curling stones was still in operation.


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 07:39 PM

Hi Gutcher - well as they all wore tartan trews when not in 'casual' kilts i.e. for hillwalking not weddings.... I know Rab C lived and worked down Ayr way for many years before moving to Aberdeenshire so he may well know- - there's a sort of core of characters who turn up at most festivals and sessions all over the place and they all ken ane anither!
Meantime, Iain I has texted me a possibly corrected list of who was who(m):
INVERSCOTIAS
Seamus McNeill
MacGregor Kennedy
Randolph Kennedy
Roy Campbell
Terry MacDonagh
Jimmy Jennett
Dave ??

POSSIBLE INVERSCOTIAS:
Rab Sharples
Hugh MacDonald
Sinclair Little
Findlay MacNeil

FRIENDS of INVERSCOTIAS
Norrie Owen
Jim Cameron
Jimmy Bennett
Jack Scorgie
Norrie Mushett

Maybe Jimmy Jennett's family will be able to confirm who was / actually in which category? Or if anyone else has knowledge of the history of the 'Scotias and their wider circle?
Does anyone have the album with sleeve notes?!
The Inverscotias were long established before I encountered them at Ardentinny back in the '70s---
Iain Ingram was one of those who got invited into the annual dinner circle and various other events - like Jack Scorgie's 70th birthday at his farm in Appin; Iain was inspired by the early morning scenery and the camaraderie of the weekend to write The Braes o' Appin, a love song that has been picked up by several people.

One other point - in an earlier post I said Seylan had studied the Inverscotia Nomads for her thesis - it seems it was for a radio programme! oops -- - still worth seeking out.


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: GUEST,SCORGIE
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 07:37 AM

so sad about Jimmy an amazing gentleman i have many fond memories.
My dad said that Dave's second name is Campbell and he has been saying that there was another Inverscotia called Colin in the very beginning
I am so glad i was privileged enough to have spent time in there company
Tina Scorgie


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: GUEST,Andymac
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 09:25 AM

Thanks for all that info GM. It's a fascinating window into a near vanished scene. From the details, I'm sure it will have been one of the Inverscotia on those occasions at Muchty.
May their fire always be lit...


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