Proposer of the Toast “Our Hosts” or “The Landlord – Landlady” 1991
Kenny was born on 26th July 1943 in Banff. He was very proud of his heritage and spent time attempting to learn Gaelic, albeit with limited success! He visited Banff again on several occasions with his younger brother Graham, and more recently with his family to celebrate his Golden wedding anniversary.
Kenny moved to Edinburgh in 1946 and grew up in the Corstorphine area. He attended John Watsons college and at the age of 17 began his first job as a lab technician at Edinburgh University’s Kings Buildings. He married Tessa and moved to Balerno in 1969. Kenny and Tessa had two sons, Iain and Andrew. Sadly, Andrew passed away aged 4 years.
Kenny very quickly moved into working in film and sound which was what he did for the duration of his career. He was involved in some very interesting projects which included the filming of a documentary about Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew, and was also involved in numerous outdoor education documentaries, for which he won awards. His son Iain joined him on these occasions and can still recall the jubilation in meeting Duncan Goodhew and watching him perform lengths of the swimming pool as Kenny filmed.
Kenny was an avid car enthusiast and was fortunate to own a large variety of cars over the years. Many of these cars have become modern classics. Amongst these were many sports cars including a Triumph TR3, Sunbean Alpine, MGB GT, Triumph Harald and Jaguars. He loved Saabs and owned many, his favourite being a 900 Turbo.
Kenny was a very talented man and could build or fix anything from car engines to kitchens. There were no tasks he would not attempt and was very capable with his hands. He could construct model aircraft to display standard and enjoyed building these models in his youth and his later years. He was forever a perfectionist, good at starting things but not finishing!
Kenny was involved in many organisations in Balerno including the Balerno Conservation Organisation and the Balerno Folk Club. He loved folk music and enjoyed many weekends at Folk Festivals around the country. He generally enjoyed everything that Balerno had to offer and thought Balerno was great place to live. He enjoyed Balerno in its ‘pub heyday’, when pubs such as the Kestrel, Marchbank and Johsnburn House were very popular along with the Grey Horse Inn, affectionately known as ‘Brows’ back in the day. Kenny and his son Iain spent a lot of time together in these pubs and both always appreciated the fact they had the opportunity to spend this time together.
Kenny joined “Let it Blaw” in 1985 and, following on from that stated abouve regarding his career, he was always the man to go to when sound systems or other electronic equipment required setting up, sorting and operating. His greatest moment at “Let it Blaw” was described in the following extract from the report of the 1996 Annual Supper:
As the time approached for Club President Alex Hood to call for the Bard’s Oration, our Bard Jimmy Johnstone was in Texas on a shooting trip. Jimmy had pre-recorded his Oration before leaving with the intention that it be played on two large monitors located on the stage in the Kestrel Hotel. With the technical expertise of Club Member Ken Falconer, and with the Chairman jumping to his feet to make a sudden pre-planned interruption of Gordon Grant in the middle of his recitation of “Willie Wastle” due to “the Club’s satellite link with Texas coming in“, the Company watched in utter amazement as the monitors burst into life.
The “live link” started with Ken’s brilliantly arranged static interference, then a countdown for the link going live, then the NBC Sports Channel giving basketball results before, “live” from Texas, we saw Jimmy bedecked in his shooting gear. He was stumbling with his words, twice asking TV crew if he was “live” and if he should go ahead, before wishing the members of ‘Let it Blaw’ a Good Evening and apologising for the breaking signal. He thereafter launched into his Oration on the Satellite Link. On completion, Gordon Grant complained bitterly to the Chair over his recitation being interrupted at the whim of some modern contraption, prior to picking up “Willie Wastle” at the precise point he left off. Two, if not three years later, a certain Club Member was still heard wondering how a wee Club like ‘Let it Blaw’ could have financed such a thing on a subscription of £2 a year. Jimmy, Gordon and Ken should have received Oscars for their performances.
Following 30 years’ service to ‘Let it Blaw,’ Ken resigned his membership in 2015 due to increasing effects of dementia.
Kenny’s funeral was held in Currie Kirkyard on 27th April 2021. ‘Let it Blaw’ was represented at the funeral by Alex Hood and Max Downie. Kenny loved Balerno and was laid to rest very close to his beloved Pentland hills.