Dance Music and Popular Songs for everyone
Have a good time!, enjoy a great Party!
A little bit of my history
I was brought up in an orphan home with my younger brother Michael from the age of 6-15
(Orphan Homes of Scotland, later to be called Quarriers after its founder, William Quarrier). A complete village near Bridge of Weir.
The homes (as we called it), consisted of 43 detached large houses called
cottages, with around 30 children in each, with house-parent couples.
It had its own school, inclusive Infant to Senior. Fully functioning hospital,
a large church, baby maternity unit, Sanitorium, Epilepsy home, all trade
workshops, Fire Service unit, Waterworks etc.
Apparently, there were around 2.000 children and young adults in care
at the end of WW2. From late 1860's to late 1930's, more than 30.000
children were taken into care, due to parental deaths and/or family breakups. In the 1930's many were sent to work on farms in, Canada,
and Australia at the age of 11 to 14. Later, girls were put into service, nursing or childcare, while boys went into the Forces.
For girls, the home had its Brownies, Speedwells and Guides.
For boys up to 10, we had Navy cadets, 10-16 Boys Brigade.
I started my musical journey when I was in the 'Boys Brigade' as a side drummer of the pipe band. Later when I moved back to my home town of Forfar in 1954 to start my apprenticeship as a joiner/cabinetmaker,
the tradesman whom I was under, played accordion and piano with the 'Jim Sutherland Scottish Dance Band'. When he found I was always drumming my fingers and whistling, and realising how keen I was to play,
he asked me if I'd like to join the band. I jumped at the chance!. I played
with them for two years. At the same time, our workshop foreman was the Pipe Major of 'Forfar Burgh Pipe Band' and suggested I join them,
which I did with not a second thought. Both things really sent me on my
way. I then played with Clive Laings 'Angus County Dance Band' for the next five years. It was during this time, around 1960 that I was asked, at very short notice, to fill in for another drummer who was ill. Imagine my
surprise when I went to the dance hall and found it was 'Jimmy Shand'.
I could have fallen through the floor. Unsmiling Mr Shand, shook my hand at the finish saying "Ye did a'right son" and in his hand was ten bob
fifty pence in todays money, which was one fifth of a weeks wage then.
I left Forfar aged 23 after securing a job in London with a joinery firm,
as foreman in charge of making and fitting out Westminster banks, shops and private houses in London and the home counties.
After a few years having got married, and as we couldn't afford to buy a
house in the South, we moved up to Westmoreland (as it was then) and
settled down near Kendal.
The music had taken a back seat, until friends and customers in my
business of Antique furniture restoration and Cabinetmaking, heard what
I had done previously regarding music, and encouraged me to take it up
again. So, at the age of 50, I got myself back into the music scene.
I now play on a regular basis for various functions, tho' mainly solo.
Playing with musicians whom I've known for many years, for Ceilidhs when the occasion arises. The Bands; 'Front Parlour Band' & 'Hard Times'
Members:- Laurie and Gordon Johnston augmented when required by
other local experienced musicians.