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TITLE
Brodie of Brodie talks to Sam Marshall (5 of 16)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_BRODIE_05
CREATOR
Montague Ninian Alexander Brodie
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1592
KEYWORDS
castles
stately homes
clans
Brodies
NTS
audio

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Montague Ninian Alexander Brodie (1912 - 2003) became chief of Clan Brodie on 15 February, 1943, the 25th Brodie of Brodie. Educated at Eton, he went on to join the acting profession and it was during his time with the Perth Repertory Company that he met his future wife, Helena Budgeon. Later in his life he gave up the theatre and helped his mother run the Brodie Estate. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Artillery and later held the offices of Justice of the Peace for Morayshire, and Deputy Lieutenant of Nairnshire. In 1978 he was forced, through financial circumstances, to hand Brodie Castle over to the National Trust for Scotland.

In this audio extract from the Moray Firth Radio programme 'Marshall Meets' Ninian talks to Sam Marshall about his mother, Helena Budgeon.

Interviewer: What about your mother? She was a most interesting character.

She was a very difficult woman in many ways; she had very many good qualities. She was quite unpredictable; she was completely conventional in many ways and completely eccentric in others. She was a most extraordinary person. She could be extremely bad tempered and she could be as sweet as anything and was frequently extremely generous. She was more artistically inclined. I think, in a way, she never fitted into the country life although she was, she was a Lowland Scot - she was a Hope of Luffness - which is virtually in the country, it's at Aberlady in East Lothian - but I think she was much more a town dweller really because her heart was in music, mainly opera, and, and the arts.

Interviewer: She had some interesting pets, didn't she?

She did, yes. She had frogs and toads which she kept in sort of aquariums as pets. It was typical of her, somehow, because she tended to like things that other people didn't like and dislike the things that were popular, you might say. I mean, her dogs - the first dog that I remember was a French Bulldog which was not one of the popular breeds. She thought things like Cairn Terriers were very vulgar and so were Labradors and such like. And then she went on from that to a Pug, and then a Pekinese. The Pekinese, or course, were popular but she, she professed to like the flat faces of the Bulldogs, and the Pugs and the Pekes.

Interviewer: How true is it that she once had a crocodile?

That is quite untrue. I deny that absolutely. She did have - oh she loved, loved crocodiles in zoos and things like that - she did have an Italian grass snake once but I don't think it lasted very long.

Interviewer: What sort of view did her family take of these strange animals?

Oh we tolerated them; we rather liked them. I mean, toads, I think, particularly had great personality. I can remember once one which we called the 'Old Lady'. In fact her name was 'Volumnia'. Volumnia was once - flies used to be caught in a sort of butterfly net and stuck into the aquarium - and once there was a wasp among them and out came Volumnia's tongue and she swallowed the wasp which proceeded to buzz inside her. It didn't seem to worry Volumnia in the least [laughter]

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Brodie of Brodie talks to Sam Marshall (5 of 16)

castles; stately homes; clans; Brodies; NTS; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Brodie of Brodie

Montague Ninian Alexander Brodie (1912 - 2003) became chief of Clan Brodie on 15 February, 1943, the 25th Brodie of Brodie. Educated at Eton, he went on to join the acting profession and it was during his time with the Perth Repertory Company that he met his future wife, Helena Budgeon. Later in his life he gave up the theatre and helped his mother run the Brodie Estate. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Artillery and later held the offices of Justice of the Peace for Morayshire, and Deputy Lieutenant of Nairnshire. In 1978 he was forced, through financial circumstances, to hand Brodie Castle over to the National Trust for Scotland.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the Moray Firth Radio programme 'Marshall Meets' Ninian talks to Sam Marshall about his mother, Helena Budgeon.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What about your mother? She was a most interesting character.<br /> <br /> She was a very difficult woman in many ways; she had very many good qualities. She was quite unpredictable; she was completely conventional in many ways and completely eccentric in others. She was a most extraordinary person. She could be extremely bad tempered and she could be as sweet as anything and was frequently extremely generous. She was more artistically inclined. I think, in a way, she never fitted into the country life although she was, she was a Lowland Scot - she was a Hope of Luffness - which is virtually in the country, it's at Aberlady in East Lothian - but I think she was much more a town dweller really because her heart was in music, mainly opera, and, and the arts. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: She had some interesting pets, didn't she?<br /> <br /> She did, yes. She had frogs and toads which she kept in sort of aquariums as pets. It was typical of her, somehow, because she tended to like things that other people didn't like and dislike the things that were popular, you might say. I mean, her dogs - the first dog that I remember was a French Bulldog which was not one of the popular breeds. She thought things like Cairn Terriers were very vulgar and so were Labradors and such like. And then she went on from that to a Pug, and then a Pekinese. The Pekinese, or course, were popular but she, she professed to like the flat faces of the Bulldogs, and the Pugs and the Pekes. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: How true is it that she once had a crocodile?<br /> <br /> That is quite untrue. I deny that absolutely. She did have - oh she loved, loved crocodiles in zoos and things like that - she did have an Italian grass snake once but I don't think it lasted very long.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What sort of view did her family take of these strange animals?<br /> <br /> Oh we tolerated them; we rather liked them. I mean, toads, I think, particularly had great personality. I can remember once one which we called the 'Old Lady'. In fact her name was 'Volumnia'. Volumnia was once - flies used to be caught in a sort of butterfly net and stuck into the aquarium - and once there was a wasp among them and out came Volumnia's tongue and she swallowed the wasp which proceeded to buzz inside her. It didn't seem to worry Volumnia in the least [laughter]