Derry schoolgirl to talk about Grandad’s legacy on Radio 4

Peter Hutcheon with his daughter Amy.
Peter Hutcheon with his daughter Amy.

A Derry schoolgirl will talk on Radio 4 on Friday about how she learned how to cook from a recipe book penned by her late grandfather when she was just six months old.

Amy Hutcheon and her father Peter took part in the BBC Listening Project in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they’ve never discussed intimately before.

Ronnie Hutcheon and Amy when she was six months-old.

Ronnie Hutcheon and Amy when she was six months-old.

Nazareth House pupil Amy was just six months old when her grandfather Ronnie passed away after suffering from a brain tumour.

During his last months Ronnie, a keen amateur chef and baker began making a note of his favourite recipes.

After his death the family collated them into a cook book ‘Ronnie’s Recipes’ which raised thousands of pounds for Marie Curie.

Peter explained that the book has become a staple in the house and as Amy got older she took an interest in baking and cooking.

“Ronnie may be gone but he has still played a very big part in Amy’s life through the book,” he said. “When my dad Ronnie was in hospital he wrote a long essay on how important food was to his family life from growing up in Castlerock during the war through to his adult life.

“After he died our family produced the book which we sold to raise money for charity.

“Granda’s Ronnie’s book, as it is known, is now indispensable and many of the recipes are firm family favourites. Amy is a very keen baker and dessert maker largely inspired by my dad despite hardly remembering him.”

The Listening Project is a new partnership between BBC Radio and the British Library aiming to capture the nation in conversation.

BBC radio producers have been gathering conversations, archiving them through The British Library and editing them down for broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC local and national radio stations.

Amy’s story was produced by BBC Radio Ulster’s Conor McKay.

“We’re especially interested in conversations which really matter – ‘conversations of a lifetime’ that have a clear aim or purpose,” Conor said “The best are when participants use the opportunity to say something or ask something they’ve never said or asked before – ‘I’ve always wanted to know…’ or ‘Thank you for…’ or ‘Sorry for…’ or ‘Why did you do that..?’ or ‘Tell me more about…’

Each conversation is permanently archived in a special audio archive in the British Library.

For more information log on to www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/the-listening-project

If you’d like to find out more contact Conor McKay on 07919 025 291 or email: conor.mckay@bbc.co.uk

Amy’s story will be introduced by Fi Glover on Radio 4 at 16.55 on Friday.