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Dr Clifford Smyth and the Ulster Tartan

Ulster's Hiddlin Swaatch

Ulster-Scots Version [Dr Clifford Smyth celebrates the newly-recovered Ulster Tartan]

Updated: 14/07/2008

Quhaniver ye’r leukin ower tha hansel shaps in Embro wi tha citie graithin itsel fur Yule, yer ee’s taen wi a new tertan. It’s gye an plain furwhy: yins is fain tae prig this tertan. Aa tha wundaes is thrang wi bonnie wee drèsses, mohair scairves, inset kälts fur weemin, an tha mair dreich mats fur tha buird. Tha lassie in tha shap gies oot at this new ‘richt an wummanlie’ tertan is gye an salerife, an nae wunnèr. Wi it haein tha naem o tha ‘Präncess Diana Minin Tertan’, tha claith mints o hoo tha fowk haes an unco dint o tha puir crettèr yit, an forbye it gies a pall tae awmous giein.

Recovered VersionFrae tha fore-enn o tha 19t centurie, quhaniver tha hale o Scotlann wus kittled up tae leuk tha gate o tertan acause oweraa scrievin an fowkgates wus faur ben wi fowk agane, tha Scotch fowk wusnae sweir tae mak siller o this bät o thair bygane heirskip.

Brian Wilton o tha Scotch Tertan Owerance insensit me äntae furquhy tertan claith is sae unco:

‘It’s tha yän-yae claith we ken o at gies oot a spaik anent quha ye ir, ur whauraboots ye cum frae, ur quhilk ane o tha lede rugbie cores ye follae.’

Aye, ye hae hut it: tha Scotch Rugbie Cleek haes its ain tertan, an tha kält-makker in his shap nixt inbye tha waa-steids o Embro Kessel telt me at SRC tertan wus amang tha ten maist salerife yins, wi fans länkin tae hap thairsels in Heelan gear afore the lat blarge at tha stairt o tha nixt match agane an ootlin core.

Quhaniver Ah pit oan ma kält tae a collogue in Jeryusalem, oarthadoax Jews at tha gaitherin mintit at Joseph’s coat o monie colours wus feckit frae tertan claith. ‘The’r haverin,’ Ah thocht. In thae days, bot, Ah haed nae wut ava. Ah didnae ken ocht aboot hoo tha archaeologists haed fun tertan claith at Urumchi, oan tha wastrèn mearin o China.

Tha tertan claith haes tha cast o tha tertans at ye’ll kin fynn in a Heelan hansel shap theday, oot-takkin at tha tertan wus fun oan tha corps o Caucasian mummies, tha huils o fowk at wus booleyin thereawa aqueesht tha 11t an 7t centuries afore Christ.

Aye, tha mair tertan claith wus tae tha fore in tha auld fernyeirs, Ulstèr can craa crouse at haein yin o tha auldest pattrèns o tertan in tha hale o tha Brätisch Isles, mebbe e’en aulder nor onie tertan fun in Scotlann. Thar wud be a pattrèn in Scotlann at gaes beck tae tha Mäddle Ages, bot tha claith daesnae throch wi tha Tertan Owerance fur acause tha ‘Falkirk Tertan’ haes tha cast o a chack. Mair betoken, eftèr tha Ulstèr tertan wus screengit in tha Coontie Lunnonderrie in 19 an 56, yäns gied tha tertan a namelie siccar spier.

It pawls me tae thänk at yäns daesnae ken ocht aboot this unco fowkgates swaatch yit. Quhaniver Ah’m haein a dandèr in ma kält, fowk’s kättle tae kep me an spier, ‘Wad thon be tha Stewart tertan, ur wad it be tha MacGreegor?’ ‘Naw,’ sayes I, ‘Thäs bes tha Ulstèr tertan.’ Tha buddie spierin aye leuks kättled an prigs mair wittins, an syne Ah maun discoorse thaim anent tynin, screengin, spierin an replenishin. Thir’s tha bidin owercums o boadie-kynn at ye rän agane affen, in tha scrow o Joseph in tha Auld Wittins, ur in fowk yairns, ur Tolkein’s Laird o tha Rängs.

Ah hae wun tae Flannèrs Toonlann nixt Dungiven, quhaur the fun tha gear in 19 an 56, an wus hert-gled tae fynn oot at buddies at seen tha draain furth o tha tertan claith wi thair ain een is tae tha fore yit an is fit tae gie a siccar scrow o quhit cum aboot.

It wusnae ower lang eftèr the funn it at Auld Blaikenin Viyella at Randalstoon jynt tae pittin oot tertan claith tha like o tha yin at haed kythed. This Ulstèr tertan wus fettled wi saft din, reid, bleck an broon colours an wus ootpit in weemin’s claes, ties, kerpets an e’en kälts fur a pipe bann, bot eftèr, fowk wusnae sae fain o’t.

Atween hanns, Audrey Henshall, o tha Lede Museum o Antiquities in Scotlann, haed gat taen inowre furtae gang äntae quhit wus funn. Audrey Henshall gien oot at tha tertan haed gat flauchtit in Dunnygal, bot mair betoken, scho threapit at aiblins yäns cud soart tha tertan thawye it wud hae tha cast o tha claith afore it wus happit ower wi mool an haed beck-gane an tynit.

Restored VersionTha soartit kynn o tha tertan is tha yin Ah’m happit wi. Fur masel, it’s an ower-ocht fowkgates pictèr at mints o tynin an wunnin – maist o aa, o cumin beck frae tha deid.

Fowk’s glegg tae jube tha Bleck Waatch tertan, ur tha Drèss Stewart tertan, at the yaised fur pattrèn o tha Präncess Di tertan, trockin tha whit beckgrunn fur yin o licht byue. Still an wi’aa, bot, here’s oorsels in Ulstèr, quhaur crettèrs haes tholed sair, quhaur tynin haes cum tae aabodie’s duir, an we awe this poustie swaatch at taks yer ee an gies wittins o daeins at’s weel-hertit, hamewith an adae wi new ingangs, an we daenae jube it ur thänk weel o’t. Whit aboot biddin oor tertan come ben; eftèr bein awa this lang, tha sin at haes tynit his warl’s gear is worthie o a ‘fair faa ye’ hame. Wad this no mak a guid pictèr fur Ulstèr in tha 21st centurie?

You can read the English version of this article by clicking on the related item below.



Tha Airts Cooncil o Norlin Airlann haes hanselt Clifford Smyth, tha wye he’ll kin graith a scrievin prattick anent tha inpit o tha kält an Ulstèr tertan tae oor hamelt fowkgates.

 

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