The Cranston Fiddle – a multimedia project run by community group
‘Riddell Fiddles’ for the community in 2014 and 2015
This is the story of a remarkable family and a remarkable fiddle. With text and narration by Haddington based Bob Mitchell (an author and historian) this production features musical pieces composed by Donald Knox especially for the project. The true story of a ‘Scottish Brothers in Arms’ and the sacrifices made during the First World War unfolds.
This story of loss is uniquely told from the perspective of the surviving fiddle and the traditional music it played and continues to play. The Cranston story is related in terms of the music of the time.
The project features fiddlers, singers, guitarists, percussion, whistle and a small group of teenage musicians from Selkirk based Riddell Fiddles with slides put together and presented by local photographer Ian Oliver www.ianoliverphoto.co.uk . The ‘Calling doon the Line’ by Hawick singer/songwriter Alan Brydon is beautifully delivered by Ron Hastings in an emotive rendering which summarises the awfulness of the euphemistically named ‘Great War’.
The fiddle sings its story throughout in the beautiful tone it possesses.
Interwoven throughout the whole performance there is the message, out of all the sadness, of hope with the younger musicians participating and the fiddle singing in and out of the tunes.
Supported by a grant from the First World War Heritage Lottery fund, this event has toured the village halls of the Scottish Borders and South of Scotland with a real human story of a local family – telling it through music and with a fiddle which has continued to play through the years and the sadness.
23 performances later and finishing up at Cockenzie House after a packed two day sell out run at the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh the cast finished up with a meal together in Selkirk and a toast to the Cranstons.
But the fiddle plays on and on……