Tin whistle player and master of traditional Scottish music

Born: May 1, 1930;

Died: December 22, 2017

ALEX Green, who has died aged 87, was a well-known master of traditional Scottish music and a tin whistle player despite the fact that at just five-years-old, the miller’s son lost two fingers when his hand was caught in machinery at the Mill of Minnes, Udny, Aberdeenshire.

Born in Oldmeldrum, he was one of four children of oatmeal miller Adam Green and his wife, Helen Castle and went to school at Cultercullen and Foveran, where he began to take an interest in music. He took up the tin whistle and was playing tunes by the age of nine.

As an adult, he developed his skills playing and practising in sessions at night while working in the daytime as a diesel mechanic and later as a college lecturer in motor vehicle engineering at Aberdeen Technical College.

A chance meeting at the Torryburn Hotel in Kintore with BBC Scotland radio and television personality Robbie Shepherd, who was looking for a whistle player to join his concert party, then led to Alex taking a serious interest in the musical entertainment industry.

He played at the Keith, Kirriemuir and Auchtermuchty festivals and even appeared with Hughie Green in Opportunity Knocks on television in the early 1970s. He toured in France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France and Brazil.

He also played regularly with the Jack Sinclair Showband and with his second wife, Madeline Miller, of Dufftown (they called themselves Airs and Graces). His first marriage, which ended in divorce, was in 1958 to the late Molly Robertson, of Menie, Balmedie.

Green featured in a number of records and albums and produced his own CD (Whistle O'er the Lave O't) in 2001.

One of his whistle students cum “disciple”, Sara Reith, used Alex as the subject of her 2005 Aberdeen University MLitt dissertation.

Alex Green had been inducted with luminaries Sir Billy Connolly and Kenneth McKellar into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife Madeline, son and daughter, Alex and Alison, stepsons Stephen and Andrew, stepdaughters Caroline, Judith, and Ellen and many grandchildren.