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2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads 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
GUEST,Bob Sharples 15 Dec 18 - 11:45 AM
Gallus Moll 15 Dec 18 - 05:57 PM
Gallus Moll 15 Dec 18 - 06:15 PM
Gallus Moll 15 Dec 18 - 06:18 PM
Gallus Moll 15 Dec 18 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Andymac 16 Dec 18 - 04:26 AM
GUEST,Andymac 16 Dec 18 - 04:31 AM
Gallus Moll 16 Dec 18 - 10:38 AM
Gallus Moll 16 Dec 18 - 02:02 PM
Gallus Moll 16 Dec 18 - 04:48 PM
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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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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: GUEST,Bob Sharples
Date: 15 Dec 18 - 11:45 AM

My dad was Rab Sharples, a founder member of both Inverscotia Singers and Nomads. Davie was Davie Campbell Smith. Terry was Terry MacDonough. After they had settled down, they used to meet at our house in Old Drumchapel before setting off for their weekends, regaling us with tales and banter . My brother still has an original copy of their vinyl album


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 15 Dec 18 - 05:57 PM

aaarrggghh I've only just looked at this thread - first time since 1st February!!
Tina, was it your dad's 70th birthday that they all came to at the farm (in Appin?) a few/good few years ago, that's when Iain Ingram composed The Braes O' Appin, not sure if he'd slept in the car or on a settee but he'd gone out in the misty morning after and been inspired!
Sorry I don't know how to include the lovely tune - Joe Offer has said he'd do this for me but I need to find an online recording first!! - Think a couple of people have posted versions on youtube but - you really need to hear Iain's version. Or - - look out for Jim Jack and John Graham, they are touring a lot in West of Scotland (check their facebook -page) and include several of Iain's songs - including Braes O' Appin.
Or - if you are ever in Glasgow give me a shout and I'll round up Iain to sing it for you - or sing it myself 'cept I do it without guitar!

1 THE BRAES O APPIN

Wi the darkness o winter drawing near
When autumn leaves are falling
And the swallows disappear
When the love o a night is the fire glow
Like setting suns remembered
When we baith were young and free
Tumbling doon the braes o Appin
Tae the sea.

Chorus
On the braes, the braes o Appin
Ah fell in love wi you
Love ah thocht would last a summer
Never dreamt a lifetime through
Laughing children
That once was you and me
Tumbling doon the braes o Appin
Tae the sea.

In Lochaber aroon by Aonach Mor
We met as strangers walking
Heading doon Loch Linnhe’s shore
Shared the sunlight, the mist, and early dew
Ah sang o love and beauty
Tae the girl entwined wi me
Tumbling doon the braes o Appin
Tae the sea.

Chorus

In the shadows o Morvern nestled doon
Ower Mull the sun was sinking
At the rising o the moon
n the morning awoke tae seagull cries
A smir was clouding Lismore
Ah recall as you and me
Tumbled doon the braes o Appin
Tae the sea.

Chorus.

NOTES
In the summer of 1995, I travelled to Appin with a group of friends for the 70th birthday celebration of an old crony by the name of Jack Scorgie.
The evening’s entertainment took place in a barn on Jack’s farm.
The following morning I remember looking out over the sea to the islands of Mull and Lismore. Although the weather was dull and misty, I thought it was one of the loveliest places I had ever visited. I wrote this song for Jack in December of the same year.

NB these notes from Iain's cd Words O' Fiction


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 15 Dec 18 - 06:15 PM

Bob - great to hear from you! Do you and / or your brother sing? Are you in Scotland? maybe you should be members of The Tryst which is the follow on from Inverscotias....I need to introduce you to Iain!
I have photos from the Ardentinny sessions of Rab and the rest - well, the ones who came to Cowal - in Ardentinny Hotel, singing, playing moothies etc!
You would really like Seylan's piece (see earlier posts) - not sure if it is online but I expect we can get you a copy. Seylan knew the ones who came to the Corbie Ha' ceilidhs after Iain Ingram moved to Bearsden, and she did her study when she went to RSAMD Traditional Music course
Oh how I wish I had the album! Guess it was a limited edition -- I did see them perform on STV way back in the early years - and then again in the wee sma' hoors o' a Hogmanay which was the (30th? some..) anniversary of the launch of STV. They were all kilted and singing in harmony -- wonderful!.
I tried to buy a copy of that programme a few years later but as I didn't know the date / year/ what time shown I managed to get incorrect one - they allowed me to return it and be refunded but - I would really love someone to tell me the exact details so I could have my own copy of the correct programme! (They may have performed in several? It was one of those 'scottish' series)
Annoyingly I recorded quite a lot of interviews with some of Inverscotias at Ardentinny - not so much the singing but the background to their folk songs and Scottish patriotism, country lore, stuff about their expeditions ---I was doing some background research for Archie Fisher's 'Parade' series but as a novice amateur researcher I didn't think to make a copy cassette to keep - - so whether the tape still exists in a box in an attic or shed somewhere or got dumped I'll never know. some of the stories are still in my head- - but oh to have their voices recounting their exploits - - -


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 15 Dec 18 - 06:18 PM

-- I was at MacGregor Kennedy's cremation in Greenock a few years ago - would terry still have been alive then? Did he wear a hat? Somewhere I have pix of some of the people waiting to go in to crematorium --


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads RIP Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 15 Dec 18 - 06:22 PM

Andymac - - apologies I've not spoken to Graham Irvine or Rab Collinson in a while -- been hors de combat for a number of months but really must make contact with them to discover who the 'Ailsa Craig' one was and / or the 'Muchty ones?
- If you look for Graham on youtube you could maybe contact him yourself - - he posts a lot of videos of himself playing sets of tunes - wonderful button box player! Actually he was one of those folks who could pick up absolutely any instrument and knock a tune out of it, from his teens!


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads Jimmy Jennett
From: GUEST,Andymac
Date: 16 Dec 18 - 04:26 AM

Thanks GM.

I saw both Graham and Rab at Kirrie a few months back but never thought to ask them. oh and you're right about Graham's playing!
Iain's Corbie Hall ceilidhs- that takes me back.
I've also a lovely memory of driving down Loch Lomondside a few years back and seeing two "old boys" brewing up over an open fire as they must have done for decades before.
If you ever come across across a recording of Seylan's show, please let me know. The entire era and the cross-currents between song, weekending and political activism back then still fascinates me.

Andy


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads Jimmy Jennett
From: GUEST,Andymac
Date: 16 Dec 18 - 04:31 AM

One other thing, Gallus yin! Was Jimmy's brother Jackie Jennett? Jackie was a fine singer and his version of "Willie's drooned in Yarrow" was absolutely beautiful.
Andy


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 16 Dec 18 - 10:38 AM

Andymac - gggrrr I thought I posted a reply via my phone but -- seems to have disappeared! Now I canny remember whit all ah said- -
I will ask Seylan -- but you should be able to find her yourself on facebook or via website(s)? She is Seylan Baxter, cellist. Is/was in Celloharp, also Tattiejam. Think she does a lot of solo work now?

Also if you look up that title:-

Scottish Republican and Socialist Movement: Hillwalkers, Long Distance Melodeon Players and Gangrels) by Seylan Baxter

you might be led to more info? Think I have a printed version, not recorded.....

When did you go to Corbie Ha' ceilidhs, and did you attend any of the Burns Suppers? Do you play and instrument? Recite? Sing? What songs would I remember you for?! When Iain started them he was recreating the folk nights we had in Dunoon.
- I love that the younger generation of Inverscotias are posting on this thread, and have albums / songs / stories/memories - -- maybe we should be trying to have a gathering of 'descendents of Inverscotias'?
I have quite a few photos of the ones who came to Cowal Gathering - so not all of them but as far as I remember Jim Jennett, Rab Sharples, Roy Campbell, MacGregor Kennedy way back in early days; also Jim Cameron, Norrie Mushet (they stayed at his house!)and there were others from the extended group----I need to dig out the pix.
We were so fortunate to have shared some of their sessions - and the tradition continues as The Tryst with an annual meet in early December. HOWEVER - they still have the 'nae weemin' rule (tho there have been exceptions) so I am considering hosting a rival event in a nearby venue ....hahahaha!!!


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 16 Dec 18 - 02:02 PM

Bob - Iain Ingram tells me Davie (Davey?) Smith was a blacksmith out at Milton of Buchanan near Drymen. He was famous for making Scottish broadswords!


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Subject: RE: 2018 Obit: Inverscotia Nomads Jimmy Jennett
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 16 Dec 18 - 04:48 PM

I checked out Seylans thing via google (tho probably I should just ask her!!)and found it is in an e-book?? by Ewan MacVicar - so I am hoping he sees this thread and enlightens us! Apparently there is an accompanying cd too - - -
ALSO- - for Tina Scorgie! Don't know if you can get to Glasgow on 16th February, but Jim Jack and John Graham are performing at Milngavie Bowling Club (very close to Milngavie rail station) that evening - and they will be doing several Iain Ingram songs, have got Braes O' Appin in their current repertoire - - -Not only that but Iain Ingram and probably quite a number of the Corbie Ha' regulars will be there too!! (Andymac take note!!) So you will hear the song inspired by your dad's 70th birthday -- bring a recorder!! (or even - buy Iain's cd!)
(The salutary thing is - we've all been hitting 70 this year ourselves---- eeek!)


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