News and Views from Scotland

Sir Jimmy Shand - Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Scottish Country Dancing

For a generation of Scots, Jimmy Shand was a legend. Hailing from Auchtermuchty in Fife, the accordionist was a favourite with lovers of traditional Scottish Country Dance music. The royal family liked his music and he was knighted.

Sir Jimmy died in 2000 at the age of 92 and recently his son has sold his archive in a sale that attracted bidders from all over the world.

The archive included 13 antique melodeon accordions, the big red book and script from the musician's 1978 appearance on "This is Your Life" and two gold discs.

Jimmy Shand Junior said: "Although I have kept many very personal items associated with my father, I felt that there are lots of fans out there who would get enjoyment from these important pieces of Scottish traditional music memorabilia"

The auction also featured an alloy diesel nameplate, engraved with Sir Jimmy's name, which featured on locomotive 37188 until 1996. The piece was purchased for £1,100.

Sir Jimmy was a prolific composer, who is credited with about 330 works, but his Bluebell Polka was special. It got into the hit parade in 1955 - the only Scottish country dance tune to have achieved top 20 status. Its producer, George Martin, went on to become "The Fifth Beatle." You can see the BBC's Robbie Shepherd introducing Jimmy Shand playing the Bluebell Polka on YouTube. This video was recorded in 1994 when Jimmy Shand was aged 86.

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October 2016

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