4. Belle Stewart

Born Isobella McGregor in 1906 into a Scottish travelling family, the woman who would later become Belle Stewart had a hard start in life following her father’s death when she was only nine months old.

Her mother settled in Perthshire, but it was the trips pearl-diving in Northern Ireland with boisterous evening ceilidhs that caused Belle’s star to shine.

She had inherited a real talent for bringing traditional travelling songs to life and, as a renowned poet, singer and songwriter, she became known as ‘The Queen Amang the Heather.’

In 1925, Belle married violin player Alec Stewart and made several trips to Ireland with him, falling in love with the country, and adding many Irish folk songs to her repertoire.

Belle’s song style was mostly humorous apart from the songs she wrote in memory of her brothers who died within a week of each other.

She died in 1997, at the age of 91.