Successful Evening!

After many weeks of rehearsing, Friday 12th May dawned. Several of our members took part in a local community event, ”I Love a Lassie”. This variety show was to commemorate the centenary of the death of Sir Harry Lauder’s son, Captain John C. Lauder, who, like so many of his generation, was killed in WW1.

In front of a full house in Strachur Memorial Hall, tutor Mairi Voinot and three of our junior fiddlers entertained the audience with a lively set of tunes. The adult beginner group, who started classes eight months ago, followed and were amazing! They played a set of four Gaelic tunes. These two groups received loud applause from the audience. Finally, with the able assistance of   Jean-Ann Calendar, the mixed ability group played ‘’The Lauder Medley’’ (arranged by Jean-Ann). Well done to all who took part, thank you for supporting your workshop and helping to raise the profile of LFW.

A special thanks to Alison Diamond who played harmony throughout the medley and to Alison Duncan who prepared the entire script for the show and acted as narrator throughout.

Many of us didn’t get to see the entire show but here is a report from a member of the audience (my husband!)

On 12th May the Lauder variety show “I Love a Lassie” played to a packed house at Strachur Memorial Hall, marking the centenary of the death of Sir Harry Lauder’s son Capt. John C. Lauder who, like millions across Europe, perished in the 1914-18 war. Sir Harry’s grief led to his ‘hit’ songs such as “Keep right on to the end of the road”; a responsive audience sang along with feeling. The show involved all ages from impressive children’s charcoal drawings of Sir Harry to singing from the Strachur Hub (an initiative for community well-being).

The programme included a witty, ironic silent film called “I Love a Lassie” (circa 1920) set in Glenbranter, to which Sir Harry had strong emotional ties. In the film, he ran away from a sharp-horned bullock, leaving his beloved to her fate, and so losing her to another suitor and pushing him to emigrate. His romantic idealism in songs like “Roamin in the Gloamin” sits alongside his delight in such unheroic comic realism.

The local Youth Drama group staged an enactment of trench warfare, sound and light effects evoking the sky-splitting din and flash of constant shelling. The wounded and dying were tended with due military formality but also with the compassion of companions in arms. One brilliant touch was that the characters were played mutely by children, so placing the war at a remove from ordinary reality and unifying both the audience in sympathy and the entire show.

All agreed that the evening was a great success. Thanks to the sponsors Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs (FOLLAT), and for fine music from the ColGlen Chorus,Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop at Strachur, Strachur Hub, pianist Philip Norris, and young pipers Rebecca Paterson and Jamie Campbell. Also for outstanding display boards by the local History Society, to singers Alec Pollock, Jimmy MacWilliams (who travelled from Sheffield), and to Sam Smillie. Finally, to Strachur Primary School, Alison Duncan, Fiona Campbell, Graham Thomas, Gordon Neish, and Sheena Dowse; and to Evie Campbell for co-ordinating the show.

David Campbell