Betty McKellar – Local Poet
Betty was born in Edinburgh but brought up and educated in Selkirk after being evacuated from the city during the war. She moved to the village over 50 years ago where she married a local sheep farmer and stayed, teaching in the local school for 30 years. Writing began as a retirement hobby with her first poem written when she was 65 yrs old.
Raising her family in the hills above the village, the scenery, the Muirshiel, the hills, the legends, the history were always important and have been an ongoing source of inspiration for her poetry.
After retiring Betty started writing as a hobby, joining a writing group where she met lots of other people with similar interests. Now a member of Johnstone Writing Group and Lochwinnoch Writers Group the hobby has opened up a whole new world.
Sanctuary– from the 1st book, Poetry Tails Around Lochwinnoch. Written for children it was the introduction to a performance that the children organised about Lochwinnoch through the Ages. With the opening of the RSPB centre the loch has been known as a Sanctuary…. Listen to Sanctuary
Whisperer of the Breeze – the rangers at Muirshiel Regional Park do a marvellous job looking after the land and the wildlife. At one time their uniform was green, the modern day equivalent of the ‘green man of the woods’. This poem is dedicated to Peter Haig, one of the rangers who is a great friend…. Listen to Whisperer of the Breeze
Sangsters – a poem inspired by the by the wildlife of Lochwinnoch and set to music by composer Sally Beamish. It has been preformed in various places including The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall… Listen to Sangsters
Silver Slip – set to music by Gordon Rigby, a narrative in the auld scots language about a woman who died in the River Calder on her way to a ball. She is buried in the graveyard at Auld Simon. Listen to Silver Slip