Scots Music Group runs traditional music and song classes for adults, informal sessions, monthly ceilidhs and other social events.
We are a community-based charity in Edinburgh.

Our Book of Remembrance

We wish to celebrate the lives of all those who have been an integral part of the SMG family.  Whether as students, tutors or members of our staff and board, we are grateful for all they did for us and join with you all in mourning their passing.

We invite you all to leave a comment, a note of remembrance, for Margaret below:

Margaret Littlewood

As we can’t meet in person to remember Margaret, we’ve set up this page where you can leave memories and stories. You can also respond to other comments.

Our great friend Margaret Littlewood sadly passed away on July 17th. Margaret had been a student at SMG since the 1990s, and she was one of the volunteers who helped to set up the Scots Fiddle Festival. She did an enormous amount of work to help the Fiddle Festival develop and grow into the world-class event that it has become. In classes, on both fiddle and mandolin, she was always keen to get involved in all class activities and always helped to support her fellow students and tutors, regularly contributing her own tune arrangements to mixed instrument classes. Margaret was a regular member of a variety of SMG groups playing in the community, and always volunteered to help out behind the scenes at SMG events. She did all this with great care and a fine sense of humour, without shying away from pointing out our mistakes! She had many good friends at SMG, and we send our condolences to her family and all those who were fortunate enough to know her.

Please note that to avoid spam we have to approve each comment before it will come up on the page, so there may be a delay before you can see your comment. If you wish to include a photo please email it to and it will be uploaded.


  1. I’d just like to add, with my tutor hat on, that it was always a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with Margaret in my SMG classes. She was an exceptional woman, and always brightened my day. Sarah Northcott

  2. Hi Margaret, so sorry you’re gone…. RIP Margaret…. I knew you through the SMG, of course…. I’ve been involved with SMG, since 2007, and Yvonne (Burgess’) old choir, All Together Now….), really fond memories of knowing you, Margaret…. keep playing your fiddle, on the rainbow bridge, perhaps Yehudi Menuhin’ll join in! Take care, folks, lots of love, Vicky :-)) Xxxx,

  3. I first met Margaret through the Scots Fiddle Festival, when we were both, as volunteers, sitting on that rather draughty ticket desk on the way into the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms on George St, and she showed me the ropes.
    Later met in Sarah Northcott’s Tuesday morning class and “Playing for Dancing” which became the Ceilidh Caleerie Dance band, of which Margaret was an integral part, being a strong and reliable mandolinist. We shared many gigs together, as we used to say “from Cathedrals to Care Homes” as well as trips to Spain, busking in Farmers’ Markets, Canal Festivals and more. Her background was as a music teacher, and she wrote many lovely harmonies and arrangements to tunes we played. I last saw her in one of our Zoom sessions in January. She will be missed so terribly. Trish Santer.

  4. The day I first turned up at Sarah’s Tuesday morning class (with an oddly shaped instrument case) Margaret immediately came and greeted me, found me a place to sit and generally made me feel most welcome. I was always grateful to her for that. I did enjoy her rather dry take on life and regret we won’t be playing together again. Thanks, Margaret. Carole Ross

  5. Margaret always had a smile. A lovely way to be remembered. Debbie

  6. Margaret always seemed to be smiling whenever we arrived for the fiddle festival and we will miss her chat and smiles. Coming from the borders and being met by such a familiar face was a. great start to our weekend every November. All of us at Riddell Fiddles will miss her. Sheila Sapkota

  7. Margaret was a lovely lady and I will miss her cheery smile and tongue in cheek comments. Douglas Scrimger

  8. So glad I knew this great lady. Thanks for so much. Driving off to summer meet ups was such a pleasure. I look at road verges with the wafting ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’ and think of Margaret. Play on … ! Joanna xxx

  9. Margaret will be sorely missed. She was always warm and welcoming to all, and had a great musical contribution to make to all classes and busking gigs that we shared together. Her kindness, good humour and generosity was very noteable. She always complimented me on my knitwear and was clearly very perceptive of others. Many condolences to her family.
    Nicola McNeill

  10. Sad to hear of Margaret’s passing. Always had a Mandolin in my company. Didn’t know she played Fiddle too!! Stuart Brydon

  11. I remember Margaret as very cheery character, but this did not prevent her from making serious and constructive criticism. Much missed. Eòin

  12. I first met Margaret when I joined Sarah’s SMG Mixed Instrument class in 2013. While other instrumentalists tended to scatter themselves around the hall, Margaret, Glenda and myself, plus or minus a few others, would usually sit together in a small mandolin section. That was good for me as a newcomer; I knew that with Margaret by my side, I was unlikely to stray too far from the tune or the timing. And if I did, she, as a former music teacher, would gently let me know. That class led on to other opportunities to play, in people’s homes, including Margaret’s, in concerts in St Mary’s Cathedral and busking at Balerno Farmer’s Market. Margaret was almost always there, keeping us steady and brightening us up, simply by her presence and her enthusiasm.

    But there was another side to Margaret, which I only became aware of much later, through some mutual friends, who knew her and all her family through their long involvement with the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club, which continued for long after they came to live in Midlothian. It was through those mutual friends that I learned of Margaret’s amazing and no doubt harrowing early childhood, interred in occupied China. She never mentioned that to me, nor I suspect to most other people, and I never asked.

    So, for widely different reasons, it has been a privilege and a joy to have known her. As a musician, poet, teacher, sportswoman and friend, she must have touched so many lives but the loveliest story that I have heard is that, in her last weeks in the community hospital, several of the people who looked after her remembered her as their music teacher at school. They must surely have felt privileged and we have been told that it brought joy to Margaret – and no doubt satisfaction and pride.

    David Stephenson

  13. I can say no more than David. Margaret was a vital spirit, colourful with an engaging immediate huge smile. I did know her in SMG but it was through her husband John we first met in 1980. I babysat for the boys who must be proud of their talented and much loved mum. Gill Simpson


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Photograph courtesy of Ros Gasson

Photographs courtesy of Trish Santer

Mairi Bhan Og, arranged by Margaret Littlewood. Played by SMG students and friends in celebration of Margaret.