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TITLE
MusicMemory Store - Willie Mackay chooses "Grannies Heilan' Hame"
EXTERNAL ID
PC_ACG_MMS_21
PLACENAME
N/A
DATE OF IMAGE
2010
PERIOD
2010s
SOURCE
An Comunn Gàidhealach
ASSET ID
21683
KEYWORDS
music
songs
MusicMemory Store - Willie Mackay chooses "Grannies Heilan' Hame"

Willie was born in the village of Embo in 1948. He attended Embo Primary School, then on to the Sutherland Technical School (Tech) Golspie, from 1960 to 1964. He worked at Embo Mains and Skibo Farms before going to Craibstone College of Agriculture Aberdeen in 1966. He did a general 1 year course in Agriculture there and stayed on at the experimental Farm until December 1969, before Joining the Milk Marketing Board's A.I. Cattle Breeding Service in January 1970 and coming back north to Caithness in the summer of 1970 to work as an inseminator of cattle, covering a huge farming and crofting area from Wick to Tongue to Helmsdale and back up to John O Groats travelling up to 45,000 miles annually. He became best known as A.I.Willie over the years that followed, was awarded the M.B.E. in 2004 and now, as you read this, is celebrating his first 40yrs of A.I. in Caithness. He got involved with the voluntary run Caithness Branch of ENABLE for adults with a learning disability in 1994, through his wife of 10yrs Glynis. He is now the current Chairman of the local branch & Glynis is the minutes secretary. He became a Landward Highland Councillor in May 2007 and involved in public speaking, shows, Ceilidhs, concerts, galas, Burns suppers (anything!) and has never looked back. His secret he says, is his wife Glynis, who is extremely supportive of all his involvements with the local communities.

Photo: At a time of celebration, with of course, Glynis

"When I hear "Grannies Heilan Hame" it immediately stirs me into thinking of my childhood days in the village of Embo playing as kids around "Grannies". The primary school was only a few yards away from "Grannies", the beach, the village pier - all so close nearby and all within sight of "Grannies".
The words in this famous song, "Where we played as laddies a long time ago and it seems it was just yesterday" bring back all the memories of growing up in Embo.

As a teenager in the sixties my first job was at the petrol pumps at 'Grannies' and I remember the first caravan that was pulled on site by a tractor to what is now a thriving all-year-round holiday complex.
The words "Neath the shadow of Ben Bhraggie " reminds me of my four years in the "Tech" at Golspie - quite definitely beneath those shadows of a 1,200 ft high hill which we used to run up on cross country courses and played football on the pitches below. "Where the Heather Bells are Blooming" brings it all back to me.

"Just outside Grannies door" - well if ever I learnt anything about hospitality and giving people a warm welcome it's come from the words of this great song and from a wonderful upbringing in the village of Embo.

One of my biggest regrets as a growing bairn in Embo was not taking time to learn Gaelic from the locals in the village at the time (playing football in the street was more of an attraction). I welcome the Mod to Caithness and look forward to taking in as many of the events as possible during this week of Gaeldom in Caithness."

This is one of the contributions to the MusicMemory Store project which is being run as part of the build-up to the National Mòd 2010 in Caithness. A variety of local people have been asked to select a favourite traditional or Gaelic music track which has a personal meaning for them, and to share the music and the story with the public.

The project seeks to raise the profile of the value of traditional and Gaelic music within the community and its relationship to the National Mòd 2010 which is being hosted in Caithness for the very first time, from 8 to 16 October.

Copies of the albums containing their chosen track are available to borrow from Wick and Thurso libraries. A new contribution will be published each week from May until the start of the Mòd.

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MusicMemory Store - Willie Mackay chooses "Grannies Heilan' Hame"

2010s

music; songs

An Comunn Gàidhealach

MusicMemory Store

Willie was born in the village of Embo in 1948. He attended Embo Primary School, then on to the Sutherland Technical School (Tech) Golspie, from 1960 to 1964. He worked at Embo Mains and Skibo Farms before going to Craibstone College of Agriculture Aberdeen in 1966. He did a general 1 year course in Agriculture there and stayed on at the experimental Farm until December 1969, before Joining the Milk Marketing Board's A.I. Cattle Breeding Service in January 1970 and coming back north to Caithness in the summer of 1970 to work as an inseminator of cattle, covering a huge farming and crofting area from Wick to Tongue to Helmsdale and back up to John O Groats travelling up to 45,000 miles annually. He became best known as A.I.Willie over the years that followed, was awarded the M.B.E. in 2004 and now, as you read this, is celebrating his first 40yrs of A.I. in Caithness. He got involved with the voluntary run Caithness Branch of ENABLE for adults with a learning disability in 1994, through his wife of 10yrs Glynis. He is now the current Chairman of the local branch & Glynis is the minutes secretary. He became a Landward Highland Councillor in May 2007 and involved in public speaking, shows, Ceilidhs, concerts, galas, Burns suppers (anything!) and has never looked back. His secret he says, is his wife Glynis, who is extremely supportive of all his involvements with the local communities.<br /> <br /> Photo: At a time of celebration, with of course, Glynis<br /> <br /> "When I hear "Grannies Heilan Hame" it immediately stirs me into thinking of my childhood days in the village of Embo playing as kids around "Grannies". The primary school was only a few yards away from "Grannies", the beach, the village pier - all so close nearby and all within sight of "Grannies". <br /> The words in this famous song, "Where we played as laddies a long time ago and it seems it was just yesterday" bring back all the memories of growing up in Embo. <br /> <br /> As a teenager in the sixties my first job was at the petrol pumps at 'Grannies' and I remember the first caravan that was pulled on site by a tractor to what is now a thriving all-year-round holiday complex. <br /> The words "Neath the shadow of Ben Bhraggie " reminds me of my four years in the "Tech" at Golspie - quite definitely beneath those shadows of a 1,200 ft high hill which we used to run up on cross country courses and played football on the pitches below. "Where the Heather Bells are Blooming" brings it all back to me. <br /> <br /> "Just outside Grannies door" - well if ever I learnt anything about hospitality and giving people a warm welcome it's come from the words of this great song and from a wonderful upbringing in the village of Embo. <br /> <br /> One of my biggest regrets as a growing bairn in Embo was not taking time to learn Gaelic from the locals in the village at the time (playing football in the street was more of an attraction). I welcome the Mod to Caithness and look forward to taking in as many of the events as possible during this week of Gaeldom in Caithness."<br /> <br /> This is one of the contributions to the MusicMemory Store project which is being run as part of the build-up to the National Mòd 2010 in Caithness. A variety of local people have been asked to select a favourite traditional or Gaelic music track which has a personal meaning for them, and to share the music and the story with the public.<br /> <br /> The project seeks to raise the profile of the value of traditional and Gaelic music within the community and its relationship to the National Mòd 2010 which is being hosted in Caithness for the very first time, from 8 to 16 October. <br /> <br /> Copies of the albums containing their chosen track are available to borrow from Wick and Thurso libraries. A new contribution will be published each week from May until the start of the Mòd.