Ballad Bus and Heritage Hairst

after the special Friday dinner marking the beginning of the third Mearns Connections Festival in the heart of Sunset Song countryside, Saturday morning sees another departure of the Ballad Bus at 9.30am from the Lewis Grassic Gibbon Centre, Arbuthnott.

Join Dennis and Lorna Collie and Marion Robson on this year’s trail with songs and stories linked to the life of artist Joan Eardley who lived and worked in Catterline - leading back to Arbuthnott for 12 noon and the start of the Heritage Hairst with a presentation by Tom, Maggie and Emma Spiers about how story-telling, ballads, music and song grew in NE Scotland, all illustrated in music, song and pictures.

A farmhouse lunch will be followed by an afternoon mix of traditional and more contemporary stories, music and songs from 2pm, reflecting the landscape and work of this area and its people, led by weel-kent story-tellers, singers and musicians Geordie and Joyce Murison, Cameron Ross, Jan and Malcolm Reavell and Danny Couper, compered by Grainne Smith.

Jimmie Macgregor is the special guest at a Saturday evening concert, and Sunday afternoon brings Sheena Wellington in conversation with Jim Brown as well as singing many of her favourite songs. All of this will combine to make sure that Mearns Connections 2011 will be another great festival with added extras.

For more details of times and tickets visit www.mearnsconnections.com or phone Isabella at the Grassic Gibbon Centre on (01561) 361668.