Life at Fingask is not so very different 150 years later. Many of the other big houses in this rural area are still owned now by the families who owned them then. They still enjoy good times together and support each other in bad, because, in the vivid phrase of a former neighbour, which Andrew Threipland loves to repeat, ‘All these sort piss in the same pot’. Andrew and his wife Helen have also been responsible for a splendid addition to the area’s social life, an addition of which his ancestors – and Peter Chalmers – would surely have approved: The Fingask Follies.
The Fingask Follies is an annual revue, which involves four professional singers and two actors and is performed in late May and June both at Fingask itself and at big houses and small theatres throughout Scotland and England. ‘It’s a return to the tradition of drawing room entertainment, says Helen, its director. ‘It’s not just Verdi to a piano but an entirely original revue, which includes some old songs and poetry but also some new and specially commissioned pieces.’ Yes, definitely and thankfully Fingask still retains its very individual flavour – and remains ebulliently resistant to fashion.
Tim Longville’s Snippets