Arts / Fiddle maestro Margaret picks up MBE

Margaret Robertson after picking up her MBE.

A SHETLAND fiddle player and tutor has been presented with her MBE – around a year and a half after the honour was first announced.

Margaret Robertson collected the award this afternoon (Monday) at a ceremony at Calendar House in Falkirk from the local council’s Lord Lieutenant and Provost Buchanan Alan Simpson.


She was given the title in the 2020 Queen’s birthday honours list for services to traditional Scottish music.

Margaret previously told Shetland News that while she had tuition in primary school from Tom Anderson, her dad Lell – himself a fiddle player – who first instilled a love of music.

“He was a huge influence and probably to this day probably the biggest enthusiastic for music that I’ve ever known,” Margaret – who grew up in Yell but now lives in Falkirk – said after being awarded the MBE.

She later won the first Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year competition in 1982, and then started tuition in schools whilst still a teenager.

More recently, though, it has been through fiddle collective Hjaltibonhoga that has Margaret has caught the limelight.

She was tasked to form the group in 2014 to bring a taste of Shetland to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo event, with the group of nearly 100 fiddlers ultimately performing in front of thousands in the Scottish capital.

And back in 2018 Margaret was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, joining fellow Shetlanders like Peerie Willie Johnson and Aly Bain.