The Broons Scotlands Favorite Family
The Broons Intro
Meet The Broons, Scotlands favorite family. During my younger days I actually used to hang around with families that can be associated with The Broons. The Broons are a typical Scottish working class family, lots of fun, and very family orientated, so I am just as excited to tell you all about them as I was with Oor Wullie. As you browse through, check out some of the antics by the twins, yup me again :-)
The Broons is a comic strip in Scots published in the weekly Scottish newspaper, The Sunday Post. It features The Broons family, who live in a tenement flat at 10 Glebe Street, in (since the late 1990s) the fictional Scottish town of Auchentogle or Auchenshoogle (a possible variation of the Auchenshuggle district of Glasgow). They are also shown as living on Glebe Street. Glasgow's real Glebe Street has no residences and only a church, school playground and small area of parkland on it. However, Dundee's Glebe Street was an area of tenement housing, although it was demolished in the 1960s to create playground space around Glebelands Primary School. The name of the street may be intentionally vague, as "Glebe" is a relatively common street name in Scotland. Originally created and drawn by Dudley D. Watkins, the strip made its first appearance in the issue dated 8 March 1936.
Since its inception, The Broons have had their own biennial, alternating each year with Oor Wullie. No annuals were published during 1943 and 1945 due to paper rationing in World War II.
Meet The Broons
1. Paw Broon - the patriarch, a working man who occasionally tries to keep enough back for a bit of "baccy" (tobacco) and a bet on the horses. In a flashback to his youth, Paw was seen with his immediate family before he and Maw were married. His mother, Granmaw, was seen as well as his sister Daphne and brother Joseph. As Granpaw is a widower, and Aunt Daphne and Uncle Joseph are never seen, Paw has named two of his children after his siblings - his oldest daughter, Daphne, and his second son, Joe. With his comb-over hairstyle and walrus moustache, his appearance was supposedly based on A.C. "Archie" Brown, the chief editor of publisher D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd at the time The Broons originated. Paw disapproves of most young behaviour.
2. Maw Broon - the mother of eight. She has to run every aspect of the household and keep her husband, Paw, in line. Her first name was once used when her brother came to visit. He burst into No. 10 addressing her as "Maggie" and looking for money for his taxi fare. The name Maggie was confirmed in Maw Broon's Cookbook, published in 2007.
3. Granpaw Broon - Paw's widowed father, lives in his own house and spends most of his time sitting on a park bench with his "cronies" (friends), or tending his allotment. He shares Paw's preoccupation with having an ample supply of tobacco. Granpaw was a slightly later addition, not appearing in the earliest strips. In some of these, the family had a picture of Granpaw on their wall, which could do certain actions, such as wagging its finger at the children. It was revealed in Maw Broon's Cookbook (2007) that his late wife was named Jeannie, a Scottish variation of "Jean" or "Jenny" that was once very popular. Granmaw was only seen twice, once in 1937, during a flashback of Maw and Paw's courting days and in again in 1959, when comparing life to the old days.
4. Hen (Henry) Broon - the lanky, awkward son and firstborn child of Maw and Paw. About 30 years old, average and a guy who rarely gets the girl. He is often taken advantage of for his height; for example, being made to act as a clothes stand to keep the washing line up. Early Broons cartoons featured Hen wearing a zoot suit. Hen is aspirational, for example every couple of years or so he buys a car. Such purchases, however, always end in failure.
5. Daphne Broon - The plump, somewhat dowdy daughter who is always playing second fiddle to her beautiful sister Maggie on double dates. Every few years she has a stroke of luck when the double dates get mixed up and she gets Maggie's man. At least once a year Daphne tries to go on a diet but fails to lose any weight. She is often mocked by Hen and Joe about her diets, although their taunts are intentionally harmless. Daphne is a skilled dressmaker but has a penchant for flamboyant hats.
6. Joe Broon - the epitome of the ordinary working man, usually noted for his strength and love of boxing. Joe is something of a ladies' man, and can sometimes be seen sharing a bitter rivalry with Hen over a beautiful woman, with Joe winning. Hen envies Joe's luck with the girls, and the twins see him as a role model.
7. Maggie (Margaret) Broon - the beautiful, glamorous daughter with blonde hair. She has a steady stream of beaux and is bitterly envied by the plain Daphne. In the later editions, Maggie became a model. Despite their rivalry, Daphne and Maggie share a close bond; Maggie even stands up for Daphne when she is taunted. In earlier times, was called Sadie.
8. Horace Broon - a bookish schoolboy forever trying to learn poetry by rote amidst the chaos of a do-it-yourself chimney-sweeping mishap or other domestic turmoil. He likes to think of himself as an example to the twins, but recently seems to aspire to be like Joe (for example, purchasing muscle-building equipment).
9. The Twins - Although one is called Eck (short for Alexander), they are always referred to collectively, with few exceptions having Granpaw calling them: "ae twin" and "the ither twin") - rambunctious youngsters usually adding to the chaos with a fistfight or a good game of cowboys and Indians.
10. The Bairn - The youngest of the family at three or four years of age. She is basically a smaller version of Maw, getting in her share of indignant moral pronouncements and pointing out the foolishness of the male Broons. She and Granpaw are deeply close
Check oot the Broon's Cousin
Mair Aboot The Broons
The Broons are Scotland's First Family, a bawdy bunch who have inhabited No. 10 Glebe Street since 1936. The extended family includes Maw and Paw Broon, Granpaw Broon, big Daphne Broon, bookish Horace, hunky Joe Broon, glamorous Maggie, lanky Hen Broon, the Broon twins and 'the wee bairn'. They're quintessential working class clansfolk, regularly hard-up but always rich with love and laughter and
language - indeed, their broad dialect can be almost impenetrable to us southern fearties.
The gang first appeared in the pages of Scotland's Sunday Post newspaper, where they still feature each week, almost eighty years on, but they're also just as well known for their annual appearances. DC Thomson have published Broons Annuals since 1939, alternating them each year with that young Scots loon Oor Wullie (although they paused during WWII owing to a paper shortage).
The strips were intially drawn by the late great comics genius that was Dudley Watkins. After his death in 1969 the publishers made do with reprinted strips until 1979 when other artists were drafted in, principally Ken H Harrison - another comics genius. Broons strips are always handsomely staged and detailed, in the classic comics tradition with full-bodied figures. The times may have changed but the Broons remain irrascibly old-fashioned, even though newer strips have embraced the likes of Nintendoes, nightclubs and karaokes.
For many northern folks The Broons are as Scottish as Irn Bru, stovvies, and Hogmanay, and you know, that's nae bad thing, hen...
The annuals alternated years with Oor Wullie, another D. C. Thomson product. Books pre-1965 were not dated. After that they had a copyright date with annuals normally published in Autumn. The early editions of The Broons annual are highly sought-after collectors' items, fetching in excess of four-figure sums at auction. A facsimile of the very first Broons annual was released on 25 November 2006.
Watkins drew the strip from his Broughty Ferry home until his death in 1969. For five years after Watkins' death, D. C. Thomson recycled old strips in the newspaper and annuals, fearing no adequate replacement could be found to match Watkins' unique style. In these repeated strips, some particularly Scots words were replaced (e.g., 'ahint' became 'behind') and the pre-decimal coinage was updated. Peter Davidson is the current artist, succeeding Ken H. Harrison. This is Davidson's second stint as artist, the first being in the early 1980s. BBC Radio Scotland presenter Tom Morton was the scriptwriter until 2006 when Dave Donaldson took over. Morris Heggie, former editor of The Dandy is the current writer.