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TITLE
The 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire' (5 of 6)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNMACDONALD_05
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
John MacDonald
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2058
KEYWORDS
ballads
diddling
audio

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The late John MacDonald of Pitgaveny, Elgin, was a ballad singer, whistler, diddler, and melodeon player. He was known as the 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire'.

In addition, from the 1940s to the 1980s, he was a correspondent for "World's Fair", a weekly trade newspaper for the circus and fairground industry. Writing under the pen name "WellWisher", he reported on events and developments in Scotland in a column entitled "Notes from Scotia".

John also made puppets and put on shows for children. In this audio extract, recorded after a performance for a crowd of children at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, John shows some of his puppets to Bill Sinclair.

Interviewer: Can you describe one or two of the things to me that you've got there? You've got a couple of cases here full of, of clowns and dolls and - Och, I don't know what else you haven't got.

The head - Ah didnae make the head of course but Ah made the rest of the body an -

Interviewer: This is a Highlander, isn't it?

A Highlander, aye. An he dances tae me diddlin, you see?

Interviewer: Very good.

An then this is the - this is a chimpanzee.

Interviewer: Well, there must be an awful lot of work even in making these puppets and things?

Och, aye. I get faces from - not now - but Ah used to get them from America, an my daughter was out in Germany an went to see all the big circuses there, an she bought faces from them an sent them home tae me an her husband, he was playing in Billy Smart's Band for a while and he got heads for me an Ah built them into puppets - far bigger ones that Ah can't carry in the cases. But Ah loan them out to people. Ah don't charge. Ah just give them to parties an that

Image Copyright - Elvis Payne. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

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The 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire' (5 of 6)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1980s

ballads; diddling; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire

The late John MacDonald of Pitgaveny, Elgin, was a ballad singer, whistler, diddler, and melodeon player. He was known as the 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire'. <br /> <br /> In addition, from the 1940s to the 1980s, he was a correspondent for "World's Fair", a weekly trade newspaper for the circus and fairground industry. Writing under the pen name "WellWisher", he reported on events and developments in Scotland in a column entitled "Notes from Scotia".<br /> <br /> John also made puppets and put on shows for children. In this audio extract, recorded after a performance for a crowd of children at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, John shows some of his puppets to Bill Sinclair.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Can you describe one or two of the things to me that you've got there? You've got a couple of cases here full of, of clowns and dolls and - Och, I don't know what else you haven't got. <br /> <br /> The head - Ah didnae make the head of course but Ah made the rest of the body an -<br /> <br /> Interviewer: This is a Highlander, isn't it?<br /> <br /> A Highlander, aye. An he dances tae me diddlin, you see?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Very good.<br /> <br /> An then this is the - this is a chimpanzee.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well, there must be an awful lot of work even in making these puppets and things?<br /> <br /> Och, aye. I get faces from - not now - but Ah used to get them from America, an my daughter was out in Germany an went to see all the big circuses there, an she bought faces from them an sent them home tae me an her husband, he was playing in Billy Smart's Band for a while and he got heads for me an Ah built them into puppets - far bigger ones that Ah can't carry in the cases. But Ah loan them out to people. Ah don't charge. Ah just give them to parties an that<br /> <br /> Image Copyright - Elvis Payne. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.