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TITLE
The skills of a bone-setter (1 of 2)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SARAHMORRISON_01
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
Sarah Morrison
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2211
KEYWORDS
showmen
carnivals
circuses
funfairs
puppets
puppet shows
fairgrounds
healers
bone setters
audio

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Sarah Morrison and her husband, Duncan, used to put on Punch and Judy shows in various parts of the Highlands, including Ullapool, Dornoch and Lochinver. Duncan came from a family of travelling entertainers; his grandfather, John Morrison, had joined Pindar's Circus when it was on tour in Sutherland while his father, William Duncan Morrison, put on Punch and Judy shows in and around Inverness.

In this audio extract from the late 1970s, Sarah Morrison talks about her husband's bone-setting skills.

I remember one occasion, my mother on holiday. Well, I suppose she thought I was maybe over-boasting Duncan's capabilities - ye know the sort of thing, yer always very proud an that - an this car drew up, our place in Muirtown Street. A lady being helped out. Two gentlemen - I presumed it was her sons, one either side - helped her up the steps. She couldn't walk. My husband asked her what was wrong with her. Said her legs were very stiff, she couldn't walk at all. The knee caps were off on both knees. An he worked, an he worked, an he worked. He says, 'Now, don't worry. Just relax. Sit there.' He must have been a solid hour working at that woman. The sweat was pouring off him; it was a summer's day.

When he got her sorted an he said to her, 'Now, get up.' 'Oh, I can't get up', she says. He says, 'You get up. I'll help you. Get up.' 'I can't, Mr. Morrison, I can't.' He says, 'But you've got to.' And he got her up. He says, 'Come on now.' 'I can't, I can't move.' 'But', he says, 'but you'll have to move. You can't stand there all day. You've got to move.' So he got her up an down and, when she was going away, the sons said, 'Wait, we'll get you.' He says, 'Leave her alone. She's walking down those steps.' And down she went. Made her walk round the yard two or three times. And they couldn't believe it. And that's what it was; her kneecaps were completely off. So you can just imagine what she was like. And she was a stout woman. My mother was flabbergasted. You know, I thought to myself, 'You thought I was exaggerating about his capabilities' but he really was marvellous. Came from far and near to him

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The skills of a bone-setter (1 of 2)

1970s

showmen; carnivals; circuses; funfairs; puppets; puppet shows; fairgrounds; healers; bone setters; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Travelling Entertainers

Sarah Morrison and her husband, Duncan, used to put on Punch and Judy shows in various parts of the Highlands, including Ullapool, Dornoch and Lochinver. Duncan came from a family of travelling entertainers; his grandfather, John Morrison, had joined Pindar's Circus when it was on tour in Sutherland while his father, William Duncan Morrison, put on Punch and Judy shows in and around Inverness.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the late 1970s, Sarah Morrison talks about her husband's bone-setting skills.<br /> <br /> I remember one occasion, my mother on holiday. Well, I suppose she thought I was maybe over-boasting Duncan's capabilities - ye know the sort of thing, yer always very proud an that - an this car drew up, our place in Muirtown Street. A lady being helped out. Two gentlemen - I presumed it was her sons, one either side - helped her up the steps. She couldn't walk. My husband asked her what was wrong with her. Said her legs were very stiff, she couldn't walk at all. The knee caps were off on both knees. An he worked, an he worked, an he worked. He says, 'Now, don't worry. Just relax. Sit there.' He must have been a solid hour working at that woman. The sweat was pouring off him; it was a summer's day. <br /> <br /> When he got her sorted an he said to her, 'Now, get up.' 'Oh, I can't get up', she says. He says, 'You get up. I'll help you. Get up.' 'I can't, Mr. Morrison, I can't.' He says, 'But you've got to.' And he got her up. He says, 'Come on now.' 'I can't, I can't move.' 'But', he says, 'but you'll have to move. You can't stand there all day. You've got to move.' So he got her up an down and, when she was going away, the sons said, 'Wait, we'll get you.' He says, 'Leave her alone. She's walking down those steps.' And down she went. Made her walk round the yard two or three times. And they couldn't believe it. And that's what it was; her kneecaps were completely off. So you can just imagine what she was like. And she was a stout woman. My mother was flabbergasted. You know, I thought to myself, 'You thought I was exaggerating about his capabilities' but he really was marvellous. Came from far and near to him<br /> <br /> Image Copyright - Alexander Lamont Henderson. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.