Herrin an Tatties
major Scottish poet of the 20th Century Hugh MacDiarmid is the subject
of an exhibition from the archives of Duncan Glen and Akros
Publications in the University of St Andrews Library until 31 October.
The Scots Independent is featured as part of the exhibition. From the
exhibition catalogue :-
Displayed : upper part of the centre pages
of The Scots Independent, 7th August 1992, that features MacDiarmid
and prints; part of one of the Langholm photographs taken of the
youthful MacDiarmid by Eddie Armstrong; one of the portrait drawings
by Leonard Penrice; an extract from MacDiarmid's poem 'Direadh'; a
reprint of an article 'What's Wrong with Scottish P.E.N.?',
contributed by MacDiarmid to The Scots Independent, July 1946; a
reprint of the entry on MacDiarmid in Chambers' Biographical
Dictionary; an article 'Hugh MacDiarmid and Scottish Nationalism' by
Gordon Campbell; and a review of Glen's 'Hugh MacDiarmid; Out of
Langholm and into the World' by Peter Wright.
Langholm, born and bred, ( 11 August 1892
), Christopher Murray Grieve wrote under the pen-name Hugh
MacDiarmid and his masterpiece in Scots 'The Drunk Man Looks At The
Thistle' was published in the same month and year as the Scots
Independent was launched - November 1926. MacDiarmid was a founder
member of The National Party of Scotland in 1928 and an early
contributor to the Scots Independent. Although he lived most of his
life outwith Langholm, he never forgot his cauf kintra, and returned
regularly for the town's July Common Riding which he immortalised in
'The Drunk Man' -
"Drums in the Walligate, pipes in the air,
Come and hear the cryin' o' the Fair.
A' as it used to be, when I was a loon
On Common-Ridin' Day in the Muckle Toon.
The bearer twirls the Bannock-and-Saut-Herrin',
The Croon o' Roses through the lift is farin'.
The aucht-fit thistle wallops on hie;
In heather besoms a' the hills gang by."
Saut Herrin an Tatties ( salt herring and
potatoes ) would have been part of the young CMG's diet, in common
with much of Scotland. Prior to the First World War, Scotland was a
major exporter of herrings to Russia.
Saut Herrin an Tatties
Ingredients : salt herring; potatoes
( unpeeled )
Remove the heads from the herring. Wash
the herring and leave in cold water for at least one hour. Scrub the
potatoes and put them into a large saucepan. Cover with plenty water (
unsalted ) and bring to the boil. When boiling put in the herring.
Remove the fish when cooked ( about fifteen to twenty minutes
according to size ) and keep hot until the potatoes have finished
cooking. Serve with plenty of fresh butter. garnish with parsley.