WHO WE ARE – THE TRUSTEES
The three of us who run Well Road Productions live in the village of Eckford. Retirement has given us the opportunity to explore our wider interests. Though none of us are native borderers, we have come to appreciate its unique culture and history and we are well aware that much of this story is not widely known out-with the area.
Charlie Robertson. Chairman. A retired secondary Headteacher. Born in Luss, Loch Lomondside. He has lived in Eckford for nearly 35 years. He is the scriptwriter and frontman for the productions.He is also is responsible for some of the photography and organising the away day research trips for the productions.
Norman Fraser. Secretary. A retired Agricultural Chemist, Company Owner and Managing Director. Born in Glasgow and grew up in East Kilbride. He has lived in Eckford for 42 years. He is responsible for some of the video footage and the recording of the soundtracks. He liaises and participates with Ian Lowthian on the musical score.
Bruce Kinnoch. Treasurer. A retired Senior Civil Servant. Born in Edinburgh and lived in East Lothian. Retired to Eckford 10 years ago, so he is still really only an apprentice Borderer. He is the main photographer for WRP and contributes most of the visual images. He prepares the multimedia presentations and during the performances he is responsible for the operation of the visual material, the musical soundtrack and the overall sound levels.
WHO WE ARE – THE PERFORMERS
All our performers are local and well-known in the Kelso area.
Ronnie Fleming. Grew up on a farm in Makerstoun parish in the outskirts of Kelso. He works in sales for an agricultural supplies company. He has a lifelong interest in poetry and recitation which started in his country primary school. He was an active member of the Kelso Amateur Dramatic Society. He is well known throughout the Borders for his recitations and speeches at Burns suppers.
Irene Chisholm. Was born and bred in Kelso. She is a retired secretary. Irene has been a stalwart at concerts, and other social events with her recitations, usually in broad scots. Her interest, too, started in her primary school and she fondly recalls competing against Ronnie at schools’ competitions. Irene was a leading light in the Kelso Amateur Dramatic Society for many years and excelled in comedy roles – often using dialect.
Jim Chisholm is Irene’s husband. He too was born, bred and educated in Kelso. He is a retired telecoms engineer. Jim is well known at Kelso social events not only for his recitations but also as a singer. He is a regular performer on the Burns Supper circuit. Jim’s interest in poetry started and developed through a love of the work of Will H Ogilvie. He and Irene go to Australia each winter to visit their daughter and her family and the links with Ogilvie and his Australian poetry serve to deepen this interest still further.
David Grant grew up in the parish of Eckford – lucky man! He went to school in Eckford. He is a retired Heating Engineer and lives in the village of Sprouston. David is perhaps best known for the long narrative poems that he recites from memory. He is famous throughout the Borders for reciting these poems when visiting his customers to service their boilers – indeed on some occasions the recitation preceeded the servicing! He was born in Aberdeenshire though he moved to the Borders as a small boy. Nevertheless, keen students of dialect will be able to detect a Buchan twang in some parts of his speech.
Ian Lowthian born in Galashiels and now lives in Ettrickbridge. Qualified at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he is a professional musician, composer, arranger and teacher. He has composed
and played the musical accompaniment to all our productions and on the associated DVDs. He has performed live with us at a number of venues.
OUR PREVIOUS PERFORMANCES
In 2011we held an evening in Eckford Village Hall called ‘A NIGHT WI’ WILL’ where we celebrated in speech, recitation and music, the life and work of local poet Will H Ogilvie.
In 2012 we put on a performance, held over two nights to cope with the demand, of Ogilvie’s long narrative poem WHAUP O’ THE REDE. The recitation was accompanied by a visual images and a specially composed accordion accompaniment.
In 2013 we produced WILL H OGILVIE’S CHEVIOT HILLS. Using narration, recitation, photography and film, enhanced by a professionally composed and performed musical accompaniment, we tell the amazing story of the Cheviot Hills through the poems of Will H Ogilvie. The running time of the performance is just over 75 minutes. There are three scenarios, each just over 20 minutes long. These are Cheviot Homeland, Cheviot Borderland and Cheviot Heartland.
In 2014 our production was TALE O’ TWEED. Building on the format established in our previous performances, we told the story of the River Tweed as it journeys from its source high in the Peebles-shire hills to its meeting with the North Sea at Berwick. We use the same mix of narrative, recitation, stunning photography and haunting music to illustrate a fascinating story. The running time of this performance is just over 90 minutes. The three scenarios are Upper Tweed, Middle Tweed and Lower Tweed.
In 2015 we produced WOOL FROM THE HILLS, the first part of a two-part production. This told the story of hill sheep farming in the Borders from earliest times. This built on our earlier productions but introduced singing, role play and primary sources to better illustrate our story. The three scenarios were The Sheep, The Herds and The Farming Year. The running time of this performance is just over 90 minutes.
In 2016 we produced the second part of the story of wool, WOOL TO THE MILLS. This told the story of the growth, boom and eventual decline of the woollen textile industry in the Borders. It was similar in format to WOOL FROM THE HILLS. The scenarios were The Domestic Industry, Dynamic Mills and Boom and Bust. It runs for just over 90 minutes.
In 2017 we told the story of THE BORDERS HORSE. This tells the story of, and the importance of the Horse throughout the history of the Borders. The story is told by an old ploughman who recalls with fondness his time working with horses. The scenarios were The Horse at War, The Horse at Work and The Horse at Play. This too runs for just over 90 minutes. Each of these productions incorporate narrative, poetry, song and role-play. They are illustrated by video and still photography and are underscored by a specially composed musical accompaniment. A DVD of each production is prepared so that our work can be shared with a wider audience. Our Productions are performed initially in Eckford Village Hall in November and then at up to 10 other venues across the Borders and beyond throughout the following year. We feel that we benefit the communities we visit in a number of ways
- We bring communities together to enjoy an Evening’s entertainment in
their Village Hall
- We help to educate Borderers about their Culture, History and
- We help newcomers to the Borders to learn about the area
- Our DVDs spread the story of the Borders further afield
- Our DVDs create interest in the Borders and help boost tourism
THIS YEAR’S PRODUCTION
Our current production is entitled “Will” and was produced to coincide with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2019. It is one of a series of events planned to mark the occasion. Building on the skills of our previous performances it encompasses some new, novel, and innovative touches.
Launched in Eckford in November 2018 we will be touring the show extensively in 2019 including a trip tho the “Big Toon “ Edinburgh in October.