Legacy comes in various forms, many of them unseen unless you really think about it. We can see legacy in singers who have gone on to make contributions to traditional music, these include Dominic Boyce who became a member of Company Policy, Stephen Quigg – a young fan of the McCalmans who went on to become part of his youthful dream as a member of ‘the Macs’ in their later years, and Heather Heywood who is widely regarded as the finest traditional singer of her generation.
There is legacy in the ongoing Irvine Folk Club, in the many personal relationships that developed over the years, in Anne Clarke and her contribution to community development work in Irvine, and in Clare Robertson, who is a key mover in community development through the arts in Scotland. Both Anne and Clare of course are a continuation of Stan Robertson’s work, as is so much of the legacy of Marymass.
Less obvious, but again of national significance, is Billy Jackson’s ‘The Wellpark Suite’. Would that have happened had Bill Nolan not taken up the invitation of Stan Robertson to get involved in the festival? Subsequent to Bill’s involvement with Marymass, much of his professional working life was working with Tennent Caledonian Breweries in PR. To celebrate their Centenary, they commissioned the Wellpark Suite on Bill’s recommendation. Billy Jackson appeared at Marymass first as a member of Contraband and then later as Ossian, one of Scotland’s most significant folk groups of the last 50 years. Surely these events can’t be unconnected.