Reel of the 51st (and the Queen Mum)

Jim & Marilyn Healy

Message 6141 · 14 Jan 1997 14:41:29 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Joe Shelby has asked me to consider this "another day"

The story, Joe, is fairly well known and documented - the full
version was in a long newspaper article about dancing a few years
ago. It may have been the Sunday Times but I really can't
remember.

Anyway, HRH Queen Elizabeth is Colonel in Chief of The Black Watch,
the senior regiment in the then 51st Division and takes this role
very seriously. (The other regiments for those interested are:
The Cameron Highlanders
The Seaforths
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Gordon Highlanders
9th Highland Light Infantry (The Glasgow Highlanders)

Anyway, just after the war there is a demonstration of the Reel of
the 51st by members of the division at which HRH and Miss Milligan
are present. At the end, the Queen Mum - then the Queen - turns to
Miss Milligan and says, "You will be putting this in your next book,
won't you?" To which the answer was...... The Victory Book.

To develop this into the thread that interests me. Does anyone know
why Miss M or the Society suddenly took the brakes off with Book 22.
Apart from the Reel of the 51st, every dance up to Book 21 has a
reference to a 17th or 18th Century manuscript or the words
"collected in or from...." In Book 21, there are two dances with no
reference whatsoever - An' thou wert my only dear and Kingussie
Flower and then suddenly Book 22 has twelve dances devised recently.
I'm not quite sure where some of the leaflets fit into this time
frame but had the Society just run out of material? Books 24 and 25
revert to traditional material provided by Mrs Jenny MacLachlan -
was this received subsequent to publishing the "new" books?

The apparent sudden reversal of policy has intrigued me for some
time particularly as my version of Book 22 still has the statement
that "The dances published ...are traditional both in steps and
formations...." This is missing from Book 23 which has three new
Strathspey progressions - Tournee, Set and Link and Rondel.

Any clues, anyone?

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

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