from this.......... ..............to this!
Anne Renshaw was born in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders many moons ago before most folk even had a telly, and as you can see from the above photo, with the ability to wiggle her toes - she can't for the life of her do it now! She lived in Coldstream, Yetholm, Hawick, Jedburgh and then Hawick again, not because she was awfully fussy about where she lived, but due to her policeman father being given different postings. Although Edinburgh has been her home now for most of her adult life and she is very happy living there, the deep love she developed as a child for the rolling Borders countryside has never left her, and she still regards herself as a Borderer at heart.
She was educated at various Borders primary schools, then Jedburgh Grammar School, Hawick High School and Edinburgh University where she gained an MA degree. She then completed teacher training at Moray House College of Education and became a primary school teacher in Dunfermline, Fife, because the new graduates’ interview queue for Fife was a lot shorter than the Edinburgh one. Having then commuted across the Forth Road Bridge for 34 years before the tolls were abolished, which happened just after she retired of course, she now reckons she’s paid for at least one of the cables, even if rather like herself they’re a bit frayed these days!
She learned to play the statutory handful of major chords, a few minors and a seventh or two on a nylon strung guitar at the age of about 11 from a Bert Weedon book (remember those anyone?), but being a shy, wee soul she only ever sang to herself or close friends and it was more likely to be one of the Beatles’ latest songs since she was infatuated with John Lennon. Previously it had been Cliff Richard but we won’t go into that. She also loved writing long, silly poems and ‘odes’. Unfortunately she still likes doing that today.
In her student days she loved the Corries and the McCalmans etc, went to folk concerts and bought LPs, which for you younger folk out there are big round things that were played on a machine called a record player, but didn’t have the nerve to go to pub sessions, which is something she really regrets now. Anyway, years passed at the blackboard jungle, (actually it was a very nice school) with just the occasional toe dipped into the folk world, when a couple of times for a short while she tried Scots Music Group classes, first in acoustic guitar which she gave up when they got to ‘dropped Ds’, and mandolin which she still dabbles in occasionally when no-one is listening.
Then in 2006 the opportunity arose to take early retirement and suddenly a whole new world opened up. Anne signed up for a Scots Music Group singing class called Linten Adie and the rest is history, or at least if she ever becomes famous it might be! Years of teaching had knocked a lot of the shyness out of her, so she soon found herself singing at pub sessions, getting wee gigs, entering competitions, doing floor spots etc.
Linten Adie (Anne 2nd row far left)
When she’s not dreaming up new songs, she likes to get out and about in the hills and in winter is a keen skiier having been a season ticket holder at Cairngorm for many years, and a life member of the Scottish Ski Club since the time it only cost £30 to become one - this means they can’t get rid of her. For those who have knowledge of such things, in the Renshaw household there is a fine collection of ancient skis with screw-in edges and cable bindings.
Bashing the pistes! Out on the Scottish hills
Away from the hills look out for her in her usual haunts, which at the moment are Balerno and ‘Nitten’ folk clubs, Scots Music Group’s Cafe Ceilidh which she helps to run, the Linten Adie community choir where she sings low harmony, the Grey Horse (Ma Brow’s) at Balerno the first Tuesday of every month and No. 1 High Street, Edinburgh (formerly 'The Tass') most Thursday nights. She might even pop up in a pub near you if there's another session she fancies.