Precious Voices
Acorn Cottage
Lock Road
North Cotes
DN361 5UP


Telephone: 01472 389965

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The tale of the
"Glaswegian Budgie"

Sunday Post Newspaper Article.

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CHRIS FREAR, from Thornhill, near Dumfries, runs Precious Voices, a company that transfers recordings from old audiotapes to CD.

Recently he received a request that was a first. May Clark, from Glasgow, told him the voice she was hoping to preserve wasn’t human. It was a budgie!

May (53) explained that her old cassette tape had a recording from nearly half a century ago of a New Year family gathering at her gran Agnes’s home in Rutherglen.

May reckoned that among the warbling and excited chatter was the voice of granny’s favourite pet — Joey the budgie.

She thought hearing his voice again would really cheer up her mum Mary, who’s 87. Joey was a real star and the only one of the family’s long line of budgies who could talk. And, boy, could that pretty boy talk!

He’d chirrup, “A piece and jam” and “Cup of tea for Davie” — that was May’s grandad.

He’d call, “Wee May Clark” when he saw her and announce, “Here comes Mary” when he saw May’s mum coming up the street.

Once the minister came over to wish everyone “Merry Christmas”. Quick as a flash, Joey piped up,
“. . . and a happy New Year!”

The recording of the Hogmanay bash in the early ’60s was made on a reel-to-reel tape, then copied on to the cassette years back.

May was pretty sure it had Joey on it. But rather than spooling through the worn cassette and
risking damaging it, she decided to ask Chris to preserve it on CD.

That way her family wouldn’t lose the cherished voices from the past. And what about Joey? Chris copied the tape and told a delighted May he could hear the chatty budgie in the background.

The other week she got her CD and immediately played it to her mum. There was laughter and tears as they enjoyed the memories the voices conjured up. Then Mary’s face lit up as she heard Joey — loud and clear after Chris had worked his magic.

There was his catchphrase, “A piece and jam”, and the sound of the cheeky bird shouting something at
someone passing by the window.

Thanks to the new lease of life for the old Hogmanay tape, Joey the budgie is one old acquaintance who’ll never be forgot!

Bob Smyth, Sunday Post. Reprinted with permission. Telephone 01848 331999

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