Auld Wullie’s poems finally published

Auld Wullie
Auld Wullie

North-east poet Bill Rennie, or Auld Wullie as he liked to be known, wrote many Doric poems, but none of them were published.

His nephew, Jack Davidson, published Peat Moss Poetry this year after Auld Wullie passed away in January, just short of his 92nd birthday.

Bill was born in Hardslacks Cottage, near Hatton, then moved to the Toll of Birness.

After Jack’s mother, and Bill’s sister passed away, Jack suggested he could go fordrives in the country.

Jack said: ”One day during one of these drives he recited a poem in broadDoric, and I heartily laughed at the content.

“ I asked if he had more and he said he had about 100. He suggested I make a book, so I produced a mock-up.

“I think he secretly loved it, but after I got costs he took fright - not so much at cost, but more that he was afraid some folk would take offence at the content. He said I could publish them ‘Efter Ah’m deid!’”

Auld Wullie began his profession with the RAF where he was stationed in Blackpool during the War and he played football with Stanley Matthews, one of England’s most famous players.

The poet contracted tuberculosis and was discharged from the force. He took up joinery and the family moved into the cottage which is at the Toll of Birness.

Jack said: “My Uncle Bill often responded in rhyme, it was his way of commentating on what he saw in and around Ellon and the north east. He was a complex person, he kept his cards close to his chest, often not giving a straight answer to a straight question.

”He loved eating a bacon roll at his favourite place, the Coffee Pot in Ellon, he called it the Tallies given its history.”

Copies are £7.50 from the Coffee Pot or contact Jack Davidson, 17 Callum Crescent, Kingswells, AB15 8XQ (peatmosspoetry@btinternet.com) for £9 including p&p.