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TITLE
Morrison's Punch and Judy show
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SARAHMORRISON_03
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
Sarah Morrison
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2214
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. The Morrisons were also well-known for their bone-setting skills.

In this audio extract from the late 1970s, Sarah Morrison talks to Graeme Farnell about her family's particular version of the Punch and Judy show.

Interviewer: Just coming back to the Punch and Judy, I've been reading a bit about it, and it seems to be in other shows quite rare for the Devil to beat Punch.

Eh, oh no.

Interviewer: In your show it was Punch that -

No, no,

Interviewer: - was beaten, wasn't it, by the Devil?

It was Punch that was beaten. And it's Punch that's always beaten. You see, it's a bible story. You only go so far, and then the Devil's there in the end, to get you. I remember in Auldearn, there was a minister there - Mr. MacWilliam - and we'd been out there two or three times, and he told on one night, he says, 'You know, I thoroughly enjoy your Punchin show.' He says, 'I have been over in France', an he says, 'I've seen Punch and Judy done with live figures and it's exactly as you do it.' He says, 'It's exactly as you do it. You do the proper Punch and Judy', he says, 'All these yins with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck' he says 'are not in it at all.'

We used to have the dog, Toby, but to the Honourable Mrs. Smythe, of Ness Castle (she's dead now of course) she bitterly [dis] approved of it. But yet the dog wasn't hurt, wasn't hurt in any way, because you were talking to the, the dog and he wasn't hurt in any way. He just sat up there and Punch would speak to him and he would, 'Yow, yow, yow, yow, yow', you know, barking and that sort of thing? This was him answering Punch. But there was no ill treatment to the dog, none whatever. It took a long time to get used to without the dog, because he knew at once, whenever the things were being packed, that he was going. Left behind, rather broken hearted. In fact, he died of a broken heart. My husband was in the Second World War.

Interviewer: So was it after the Second World War that the dog was done without, or - ?

Oh no, before the war, before the Second World War started.

Interviewer: And was it because this Mrs. Smythe disapproved or was it - ?

She disapproved. She was one of the head ones of the - She was a very good friend of Duncan's and that, and thought that rather than cause any ill feeling, might as well -

Interviewer: So that must have been what, the 1930s, or something like that, was it, that the dog was - ?

Yes.

Interviewer: And he used to be always dressed up in the collar and - ?

Oh yes.

Interviewer: Yes, yes. What sort of dog was he actually?

A terrier.

Interviewer: Ah yes.

Little fox terrier.

Interviewer: Uh-huh. And it was just a case, really, of him barking when Punch was - ?

That's right, when Punch would speak to him.

Interviewer: Yes. And did he used to sit there all through the show or was it just at one part?

Yes. No, he would sit up there.

Interviewer: And he'd be on what you call the pelmet, was he?

Yes, just on the ledge that's across there.

Interviewer: On the ledge. So what happened to him at the end, d'you know, when the Devil gets Punch, what happened to the dog? Where was he?

Oh yes, that was the sort of the finish of the show. Yes

Image Copyright - Alexander Lamont Henderson. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

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Morrison's Punch and Judy show

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. The Morrisons were also well-known for their bone-setting skills. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the late 1970s, Sarah Morrison talks to Graeme Farnell about her family's particular version of the Punch and Judy show.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Just coming back to the Punch and Judy, I've been reading a bit about it, and it seems to be in other shows quite rare for the Devil to beat Punch. <br /> <br /> Eh, oh no.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: In your show it was Punch that - <br /> <br /> No, no, <br /> <br /> Interviewer: - was beaten, wasn't it, by the Devil?<br /> <br /> It was Punch that was beaten. And it's Punch that's always beaten. You see, it's a bible story. You only go so far, and then the Devil's there in the end, to get you. I remember in Auldearn, there was a minister there - Mr. MacWilliam - and we'd been out there two or three times, and he told on one night, he says, 'You know, I thoroughly enjoy your Punchin show.' He says, 'I have been over in France', an he says, 'I've seen Punch and Judy done with live figures and it's exactly as you do it.' He says, 'It's exactly as you do it. You do the proper Punch and Judy', he says, 'All these yins with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck' he says 'are not in it at all.' <br /> <br /> We used to have the dog, Toby, but to the Honourable Mrs. Smythe, of Ness Castle (she's dead now of course) she bitterly [dis] approved of it. But yet the dog wasn't hurt, wasn't hurt in any way, because you were talking to the, the dog and he wasn't hurt in any way. He just sat up there and Punch would speak to him and he would, 'Yow, yow, yow, yow, yow', you know, barking and that sort of thing? This was him answering Punch. But there was no ill treatment to the dog, none whatever. It took a long time to get used to without the dog, because he knew at once, whenever the things were being packed, that he was going. Left behind, rather broken hearted. In fact, he died of a broken heart. My husband was in the Second World War.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So was it after the Second World War that the dog was done without, or - ?<br /> <br /> Oh no, before the war, before the Second World War started.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And was it because this Mrs. Smythe disapproved or was it - ?<br /> <br /> She disapproved. She was one of the head ones of the - She was a very good friend of Duncan's and that, and thought that rather than cause any ill feeling, might as well - <br /> <br /> Interviewer: So that must have been what, the 1930s, or something like that, was it, that the dog was - ?<br /> <br /> Yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And he used to be always dressed up in the collar and - ?<br /> <br /> Oh yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes, yes. What sort of dog was he actually?<br /> <br /> A terrier. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Ah yes.<br /> <br /> Little fox terrier.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Uh-huh. And it was just a case, really, of him barking when Punch was - ?<br /> <br /> That's right, when Punch would speak to him.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes. And did he used to sit there all through the show or was it just at one part?<br /> <br /> Yes. No, he would sit up there.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And he'd be on what you call the pelmet, was he?<br /> <br /> Yes, just on the ledge that's across there. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: On the ledge. So what happened to him at the end, d'you know, when the Devil gets Punch, what happened to the dog? Where was he?<br /> <br /> Oh yes, that was the sort of the finish of the show. Yes<br /> <br /> Image Copyright - Alexander Lamont Henderson. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.