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Moray and Aberdeenshire contest: Ma poem is affa fine


By Alistair Whitfield

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A Doric poetry competition is taking place again after being disrupted by the pandemic in 2020.

The Haud Er Gaun trophy for Doric poetry, which goes to the winner of the Charles Murray contest.
The Haud Er Gaun trophy for Doric poetry, which goes to the winner of the Charles Murray contest.

Usually the Keith branch of the Traditional Music and Song Association holds three contest spaced out through the year.

However, all three will be run together this time, with the same closing date of May 16 for entries.

Ian Middleton was a stalwart of Keith Festival who enthusiastically encouraged the writing of the Scots Language, particularly amongst youngsters.

The contest that bears his name has been running for the past 20 years and is open to anyone aged 12 and under

The poem can be on any subject at all, but it must to be written in Doric and be all the youngster's own work.

Charles Murray was a famous North East poet who lived in Alford during the 19th Century.

The contest that bears his name was introduced in 2014 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

It is open to two people from different generations, for example parents or grandparents and children.

The winners will receive a beautiful silver salver with a lovely image of Charles Murray etched upon the front, which was designed by local artist Joyce Thain and donated by local businesswoman Marguerite Cruickshank.

Doric poet Charles Murray.
Doric poet Charles Murray.

The third and final contest is the Aultgowrie, which was introduced in 2019 and is for adults. Back in 2019 – the only year it has been held so far – it attracted 54 entries from an age range that climbed right up to a gentleman of 92.

Joyce Dawson from the Keith branch of the TMSA said: "We look forward to receiving all your entries.

"We hope that everyone gets as much fun writing them as we do reading them."

Entries should either be emailed before May 16 to keithfestival@gmail.com or posted to Aultgowrie, 124 Moss Street, Keith, AB55 5EZ


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