Saltire Society branch builds on its success

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The Saltire Society completed last year’s syllabus with a wonderful evening in the company of Arran artist Avril Paton.

Speaking with great warmth and humour, attendees were led on a fascinating journey through three generations of artists on Arran, her grandfather and father, Donald and Hugh Paton, and then her own, sharing a life lived between Glasgow and Arran where, in vivid colours, she conveyed a deep sense of environment and community.

This was an event that held the very essence of why there is a branch of the society on the island-  enduring talent recognised nationwide and woven with anecdote and landscape endearingly familiar to an Arran audience.


The society’s first event  of 2018/19, in association with the McLellan Arts Festival, had to be postponed after a fencing accident and members wish musician Paul Anderson a speedy recovery.

On Wednesday October 3, to celebrate the Year of Young People, members were delighted to be given an inspired and generous programme, a blend of Scottish and modern music and song. Members enjoyed piping, a rendition of Abba’s Andante, Andante and a foot-tapping duet and group performance from fiddlers, all based at Arran High School and also contributed to by Arran Fiddle Club and Isle of Arran Music School.

A spokeswoman for the society said: ‘Special thanks must go to these talented youngsters who gave an unforgettable performance, one we shall treasure down the years as we watch them develop and further their talents, and also to James O’Neil, the music faculty leader at Arran High School, for his commitment and tireless efforts on their behalf.’

The next meeting of the Saltire Society will be on Wednesday November 14, and will be remembering the First World War – The Art of War Memorials in Scotland by stone conservator Paul McAuley, formerly Edinburgh’s conservation officer for monuments. The talk will take place at the Ormidale Pavilion, Brodick, at 7pm and everyone is welcome to attend.