Of all the worthwhile projects launched and managed by the Ulster Scots Agency, one of the most meaningful and effective must be the radio station, fUSe FM. This project has been active in different areas throughout Ulster during the summer and when our friends at Listullycurran took on the licence for a fortnight at the beginning of September, we had the opportunity to go down there and host a daily show.
Organised and manned chiefly by Andy Mattison, the station was broadcast live from Listullycurran Orange Hall near Dromore, Co Down. Noel and I travelled down each morning from Monday to Friday to host a two-hour slot called "Twa Boadies Frae The Toon" which was described by at least one local as "Tiswas on the radio"! OK there were no gunge attacks and no injuries sustained but it certainly was an unconventional look at Ulster Scots!!
The Ullans language is principally a means of communication and all we really did was speak in "wur ain tongue" and launch crusades like the campaign to have the IFA accept the Border Reevers as the best group to lead out the National Northern Ireland team at Home matches! As yet, we are not too confident that the IFA has given this project the green light but be rest assured there was a great response for to the idea locally!
Along with the daily dose of banter, Noel gave out a number of words in Ullans to listeners and invited them to text in the definitions. We always had an encouraging response to this. I read a piece of local literature (Ballymoney local, that is) calling that section "Tales Frae the Toon".
The good folk of the area treated us with kindness and were all very supportive and it was encouraging to be a part of a project that attracted such support from the community. Indeed, we were so encouraged, we applied for a two-week licence for Ballymoney and we were successful! So, be warned, folks! Fuse FM will be broadcasting live frae the toon during the first two weeks of December. More details will be posted on this site nearer the time.