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The Broons - Scotland's Happy Family

Updated on July 18, 2013
Eleven Braw Broons
Eleven Braw Broons | Source

Scotland's Happy Family . . .

. . . That Makes Every Family Happy

The Broons first appeared in the Scottish Sunday Post, published in Dundee by D.C. Thomson. That was more than seventy years ago, and ever since then there has been a weekly Broons story in the same paper and a 'Broons Book' every second year (alternating year about with Oor Wullie, of course!)

The Broons were created by the great illustrator Dudley D. Watkins. Notice his signature bottom right of the picture. Dudley D. Watkins was the first newspaper illustrator in the UK to be allowed to sign his work. Before him illustrators were simply anonymous 'staffers'.

There can be few Scots of a certain age who don't remember waiting their turn on a Sunday morning to devour the Fun Section of the Sunday Post - the weekly fix of The Broons, Oor Wullie, Nosey Parker, Lord Snooty, and the collection of terrible jokes.

For anyone who hasn't met them before, allow me to introduce you, one by one, to the family:

maw & paw broon
maw & paw broon | Source
hen broon
hen broon
daphne broon
daphne broon
joe broon
joe broon
maggie broon
maggie broon
horace broon
horace broon
the twins
the twins
the bairn
the bairn
granpaw broon
granpaw broon | Source

Maw & Paw Broon

Maw has done the impossible since day one, turning out traditional Scottish meals morning noon and night for her large family. Mostly single handed too. And looks after the 'weans', and keeps Paw in order (no mean achievement), and does the shopping and the budgeting and the mending and making do. Like most Scottish mothers, she's the heart of the family. Let's hear it for Maw!!

A hard-working man, Paw's ambition in life is to get his feet up by the fire at the end of the day. He expects his tea on the table when he gets home. He likes to think he's head of the family and is given to throwing his (small) weight around, but generally gets nowhere. His rantings are tolerated by the family who humour and respect him in equal measure.

Hen Broon

The oldest son. Hen is a bean-pole. He has some kind of office job but it's never clear exactly what he does. But he's not a manual worker like Paw. Most of the stories that feature Hen make some kind of joke about his height. Well, there's a surprise!

Daphne Broon

Daphne is a great character. Her whole life is spent trying to get a man, but she's no beauty and is too fond of her food. She's tried every diet going, but can never stick it out. She's lovely though, and very funny - definitely a star Broon!

Joe Broon

Tough, sporty, straightforward, and none too bright - Joe seems to have a knack of getting himself into scrapes on a regular basis. More than once he's been brought home in a wheelbarrow. When not getting into fights, you'll find him playing or watching football, or sometimes even boxing.

Maggie Broon

Drop-dead gorgeous, is Maggie, and she knows it! She gets all the attention, all the valentines. There's a lot of play made of the contrast between her and Daphne. But things don't always go her way. Fortunately!

Horace Broon

Still at school and easily the brightest of the family (so far). Horace is slightly out of place in the family. He likes reading, studying for school. Unfortunately he can sometimes come across as a bit of a snob, looking down on poor old Paw for his lack of education. Ah, but that never lasts long. The family soon bring him back to earth.

The Twins

The (identical) twins are never named. They're sometimes called the ae twin and the ither twin, and that's as far as it gets. They work as a team, plotting mischief of every description. On occasions, they've even had the same dream. They're just lively wee boys, in and out of trouble all the time.

The Bairn

Did I say Horace was the brains of the family? Let's rethink that. The Bairn (also never named) wraps them all round her little finger. Paw's 'wee lamb', she may be, but there's a clever head below the golden curls!

Granpaw Broon

Granpaw lives apart, in his own 'hoose' so doesn't come into every story, but when he does, he's the star act. Happily retired, he's enjoying his second childhood and likes nothing better than playing in a swing park with the weans. He's best described as an aging delinquent. And of course, his number one partner in crime is the Bairn. Who else?

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    • profile image

      Rod Stewart 

      2 years ago

      When I was a kid I thought they were a real family -- but they are

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hey, you're allowed to like the Broons - I'm a fan of Andy Capp, from your neck of the woods, maybe? Thanks for the visit :)

    • profile image

      Carole Moore 

      7 years ago

      A sassenach from North East England here, but I have loved The Broons since early childhood and they are almost like members of my own family to me. Dudley D Watkins was a genius at producing highly detailed and funny drawings.

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Tony - If I ever do my World tour, I'll swing by with a Broons book for you!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Fascinating! I had not heard of the Broons before but they sound like great fun! I wonder now if they are the source of a joke my dad used to tell of people off a sailing ship becalmed in fog and they hear a young boy saying something like "You pull paw, maw canna pull" and the people on the ship thinking they had arrived in China by mistake. I've probably bungled the story, but it's something like that.

      Thanks for sharing

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Mary - I hadn't seen a Sunday Post for years, till two weeks ago when a friend (who's into Scottish football) brought one out to the Middle East. I'm pleased to report that Wullie, the Broons, Merry Mac and even Nosey Parker are still going strong!

    • profile image

      Mary 

      7 years ago

      Used to love the Broons when I lived in Scotland in the 1950's. also loved Nosey Parker which was part of the comics in the Sunday Post around that time. My son bought a Nosey Parker partly wood ornament when he went to Scotland in the 1970's to give to my daughter, but she lost it and we were never able to get another one.

    • profile image

      Will 

      7 years ago

      I have to buy my own and no one gives a rats a__

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Any Sunday morning - just order a copy of the (Scottish) Sunday Post!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Great stuff! I want to see this!

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      And still going strong, I think? I was a Joe fan. They should have given him a trial for Thistle!

    • Shinkicker profile image

      Shinkicker 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Hey! The Broons

      Every week in the Sunday Post and the annual at Xmas. Legends

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      It would have to be Maggie I think - you're much slimmer than Daph!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      hi Dave, I would like to be between Daphne and Maggie, can I be one! Maita

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Good morning Maita - So, which Broon would you like to be? In our house, Sunday morning was always a race to get the Sunday Post for the next episode!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      hi Dave, it is exciting and entertaining learning a lot about other cultures, now at least I know one of them now, Thanks, Maita

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Thanks Elayne :)

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 

      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Loved it. I have a book of Scottish jokes as I was in Scotland this summer. Beautiful land. Aloha!

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Chris - there was once a three episode feud between the Broons and the Blacks that was resolved when they discovered they both supported the same team. I think they were the Rovers - of course DDW would never have allowed them to support Rangers or Celtic. I think the Rovers represented Partick Thistle, but who knows? Joe Broon has been pictured playing accordion and pipes.

    • profile image

      Chris 

      9 years ago

      which team did the broons support and which broon played the accordion and bagpipes

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      10 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      You've probably found it already, but if not, you need to visit http://www.thatsbraw.co.uk/ for the official history. Good site.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Actually, I came across this researching an article for my Scottish culture site on the Broons and Oor Wullie. It's actually gotten me interested in reading them again.

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      10 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      I still do! Thanks UW :)

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      I used to love this comic when I was a kid in Scotland :) Thanks for the memories.

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      10 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Thanks Haldane - The Broons (& Oor Wullie) are a great Scottish institution. Glad to trigger fond memories :)

    • profile image

      Haldane 

      10 years ago

      I love the Broons! My aunts in Scotland used to send me the annual every year in the late 60's through the 70's. This pic sure takes me back!

    • Paraglider profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave McClure 

      10 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Idunn - thanks for the read. The Broons (like toasted cheese) are not quite as good as they wee when D.D.W. was writing it. But it's still an institution ;)

      Jimmy - Yes, nice one. My daughter gave me a Broons book for Christmas this year, which gave me the idea. There's a new book released - Maw Broon's cook book - which I'm going to write about next. Clootie dumplings, here we come . . .

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 

      10 years ago from Scotland

      nice hub Paraglider i also wrote a hub about the Broons and Oor wullie hope you like lol.....jimmy

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Oor_Wullie_and_The...

    • profile image

      IĆ°unn 

      10 years ago

      there are so many things I've never considered and scottish daily cartoons are one of them. neat hub, new thing to me. :)

      I ran across something neat on Gaeilge online cartoons once. I wonder if I still have the link.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      Marvelous!

      What I can not understand is Australia has at least three Scotsmen living here. Why are they not screaming to the dailies to feature yours and now mine Broon Family?

      Have a great new Year when it comes and a better 2008

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