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Match Report Tuesday 14th October 2014

The P/M DiaryIt never rains but it pours. Just as he had freed himself from work commitments in London and was looking forward to a tune at the Eagles, Douglas Gardiner, felt a twinge. No, not there, but close by. Grumbling appendix and he was rushed in hospital and under the knife in jig time. Ever the optimist Douglas, who has access to his mobile in hospital, texted to announce that, while a bit tender, he is enjoying the drugs and the attention of the nurses. He is hoping the drugs have the appropriate side effect! Best wishes from all D.Unknown

The P/M broke the ice with a few small tunes before handing over to Andrew Allison. Maw and Paw were there with maw sporting her new wee Gaelic tattoo. However she put the hex on young Andrew by mentioning that he will soon be getting a hair cut. This clearly upset Andrew as he only played a few tunes before finding solace at the bar.

Faye Henderson

Faye Henderson

Next up for her inaugural performance was Faye Henderson. Right out the box and into the big stuff with some 2/4 marches. Her opening tune was Captain Campbell of Drumavoisk, not heard all that much at present but a favorite of Willie McCallums. So who was Captain Campbell and where on earth is Drumavoisk?

Could this be him?

‘When British prisoner of war Robert Campbell asked the Kaiser if he could visit his dying mother, he was astonished to be given permission – on condition that he promised to return.

The Army captain kept his word and returned to the German camp after the two-week trip in November 1916, remaining in captivity until the end of the First World War.article-0-1B988B22000005DC-835_306x557

Historian Richard van Emden, who discovered the incredible incident, said such an act of chivalry was rare even a century ago. ‘Capt Campbell was an officer and he made a promise on his honour to go back,’ he said. ‘Had he not turned up there would not have been any retribution on any other prisoners.

‘What I think is more amazing is that the British Army let him go back to Germany. The British could have said to him, “You’re not going back, you’re going to stay here”.’

Capt Campbell, who joined the Army in 1903, was leading the 1st Bn East Surrey Regiment when his battalion took up a position on the Mons-Condé canal in north-west France just weeks after war broke out in July 1914.

A week later, his troops were attacked by the German forces and Capt Campbell was seriously injured and captured. The 29-year-old was treated in a military hospital in Cologne before being sent to the prisoner-of-war camp in Magdeburg. 

In 1916, he received word from home that his mother Louise was dying of cancer. He wrote to Kaiser Wilhelm II, begging to be allowed to see her one last time. The Kaiser gave him two weeks’ compassionate leave, including two days travelling in each direction by boat and train, on the proviso Capt Campbell gave his word as a British Army officer that he would return.

Capt Campbell reached his mother’s bedside in Gravesend, Kent, on November 7 and spent a week with her before keeping his promise and returning to Germany. His mother died three months later in February 1917.

After the war, Capt Campbell was released and returned to Britain where he served in the military until retiring in 1925. However, he rejoined his regiment in 1939 on the outbreak of the Second World War, serving as the Chief Observer of the Royal Observer Corps on the Isle of Wight. He survived that war unscathed and died in Britain in July 1966 aged 81.’

I hope so. He deserved a tune. (Willie Ross Book 3)

Anyway Faye continued with some sparkling Strathspeys and Reels and sat down to a well earned pie.

P1030715The post pie piper was Cameron Drummond who was on a full silver set of Lawries. Once they were settled he played a lovely set of hornpipes and jigs starting with the musical Joe McGann’s Fiddle (The Ladies Hornpipe) followed by the tricky Stornoway Hornpipe finishing with the jigs Angus John McNeill of Barra and Dr. Flora MacAulay, Caradale. Excellent stuff.

P1030711

Father and son……….

The final player of the night was this years clasp winner Iain Speirs who is going for a ‘three in a row’ overall winner at the Glenfiddich later this month. A feat only archived once before by the aforementioned Willie McCallum. Iain played the pipe in with some of his competition light music repertoire and once the drones were locked gave us a beautiful Prince’s Salute. On that form he is in with a shout for sure.

P1030718Hope to see you all up there on Saturday 25th October. Bob Worrall is this years fear- an- tighe so give him a shout if you are on the live stream this time round.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 30th September 2014

Andrew Allison

It was a quiet night but a wee gem. The Society welcomed Faye Henderson who is now working and staying in the fair city. As we settled down for a natter and catch up Andrew Allison got the evening under way. Andrew is constantly improving and has recently joined the City of Edinburgh Pipe Band. (note the band are running a fund raiser on Saturday 18th October in the Police Club 28 York Place, Edinburgh, where Gordon Walker will be giving a recital- £10 entry fee.)

Next up was the P/M who was keen to test the pipe out after his hiatus in Cyprus.

Braw

Andrew Gray took over and he too has made a band change joining the Shotts ranks. Andrew was in excellent form and the pipe was booming. He ran through a wide variety of light music before finishing off with some hornpipes and jigs that included Crossing the Minch, Joe McGann’s Fiddle, McKerral’s Fancy, The Judges P1030702Dilemma, Kenny Gillies of Portnalong and the Duncan Johnston composition Ray Anderson. Fantastic stuff.

Pies-and they got Faye’s seal of approval!

The PPP was Cameron Drummond who was straight into the big stuff with some of the great 2/4 Marches. He followed that with some competition strathspeys and reels signing off with The Little Cascade. Cameron has now settled into his new post at Fettes College and his new ‘pad’ in Edinburgh. (House warming still to come?).P1030704

Lachie Dick was next up and although flat out at work in his present post in Kirkcaldy he was keen to have a run through his tunes for the John MacLellan Memorial competition at the weekend. Lachie was straight into the big stuff and ended with a new reel to me called The Creagorry Blend that I believe was composed by P/M William MacLean. Creagorry is located at the South of Benbecula and one can only assume that the tune has a whiskey association?

P1030706The final player of the night was Jenny Hazzard who was also keen to put some air through the pipe as she too was due to compete at the weekend. Jenny has been is fine form of late and to close she gave us the ground and a couple of variations of the Lament for the Earl of Antrim.

And that was that. Top class playing all round and a cracking night. The next meeting is Tuesday 15th October where clasp winner Iain Speirs will be running through one of his Glenfiddich tunes. Iain is going for the very rare 3 in a row so, not that I am superstitious, Susanne must not go, Tam has to watch it by live stream, plenty of gin and tonic must be had and the Eagles Pipe Major must share Iain’s room. It’s a winning formula. Saturday 25th October.P1030078

Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

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Match Report 16th September 2014

Eagles emblem 2010The first post-Northern-Meetings Eagle Pipers night is always expected to be a little scarce on both attendance and bagpiping motivation. Although this was the case, we had an enjoyable evening with a respectable turnout of enthusiastic souls.

Due to the Hon PM being off in Cyprus on his jollies, the honour of opening the evening’s piping fell to me. Having had a short rest after Inverness, I was glad for the incentive to get back at it, and took the opportunity to play a variety of light music still on the must-practise list ahead of the late-season competitions at the Army School and in London.P1010744

Upon finishing my stint, my bagpipe was still the only one in the room (it was deemed the “Eagle Pipe” for the evening), so the Hon President Colin MacLellan decided to give us a few tunes (since they really are his pipes). Colin gave us a lovely slow air and some 6/8 marches, a big MSR, and a good helping of the Lament for Mary MacLeod – all played annoyingly well and with wonderful ease, given that he hadn’t played at all for some months.

Lachie DickNext up was Lachie Dick, only slightly late in arriving due to public transport woes from his temporary home at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy (as a final-year medical student, not a patient). Lachie surprised us with a quiz for the evening – he announced that he was to play a series of tunes, all of which were linked by a common theme, to be deciphered by the audience. He began with some 3/4 marches including Far over Struie; moved on to the Atholl Highlanders jig and Coppermill Studio; then to the Clan MacColl, Inveraray Castle and the Little Cascade; and finishing with an excellent rendition of the piobaireachd, the King’s Taxes.

Anyone got it? No, didn’t think so.

After (quite) a bit of cajoling and hinting from Lachie, I’m proud to say I cracked the code, and guessed that each of the tunes had some association with one of the pipers who will be playing at the Glenfiddich championship at Blair Castle this October. Some of these were good, strong links (Bruce Gandy composed Coppermill Studio, the Clan MacColl is for Angus, Stuart Liddell is from Inveraray). Others were considerably more tenuous (the Little Cascade was composed by GS MacLennan, who was in the Gordon Highlanders, hence Gordon McCready), for which Lachie quite rightly took a degree of abuse.IMG_0595

Anyway, thanks go to Lachie for making the effort to come up with this little quiz and keep us entertained, and for actually learning a number of the tunes just for the purpose.

And thanks to everyone else who came out for a very pleasant evening, despite the inevitable September piping fatigue. We look forward to many more over the winter, as the competition season winds down and we can all spend some time learning new music and taking the chance to give it a public airing in a friendly and non-competitive atmosphere.

Jenny

Jenny Hazzard

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Match Report Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Kai Palle and Brian

Kai Palle and Brian

With Oban done and dusted and Inverness still to come this was a wee opportunity for the competitors to have a final run before heading North to the Northern Meetings. Jenny Hazzard took the opportunity and gave a selection from her light music and the ground and a few variationimages of His Fathers Lament for Donald MacKenzie-as it transpired the tune she was actually to play on the day. Jenny acquitted herself very well in the gold medal and managed a very creditable 5th place in the A grade MSR. As thimagee P/M got the evening under way a few very welcome foreign visitors arrived not least Kai and Palle from Denmark and from further afield Brian Williamson from Canada.

Other pre pie pipes were Nils Michael and Andrew Allison. Nils is a fantastic supporter of the Eagles and can always be relied upon to give a sterling imageperformance. Tonight was no exception and he closed with three old school hornpipes Tam Bains Lum, PM GS Allan and The Train Journey North.
Andrew was next up and as you may have seen from previous match reports himagee is now a regular attender. He is working hard on his playing and the sound of the pipe. The fruits of his labour are starting to show and he produced two very fine 2/4 marches The. Argyllshire Gathering and Donald MacLellan of Rothesay.

Post pies it was Andrew Gray’s turn and he was in fine form. Andrew has had a busy year studying and we have not seen or heard from him as much as we would have liked, but he also is a stalwart of the Society. Included in Andrews slot was the very musical march Allan Dodds Farewell to Scotland composed by PM JM Mackenzie that is making a very welcome appearance at the games this year.image

And with Jenny closing the night as described above that was the evenings evening. As the PM closed the night and wished everyone much success at the Northern Meeting we were not to know that our own Iain Speirs would lift the clasp on the Friday playing Donald Gruamach’s March. A tremendous achievement and a father and son first, as we all remember Toms achievement in 1983 when he won the clasp with Tulloch Ard. Iain will be heading up to Blair Atholl full of confidence and who is to say he can not make it three in a row ? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

 

 

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Clasp 2014

Eagle swoops in to take clasp

Eagle swoops in to take clasp

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Match report 19th August 2014

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

With the worlds done and dusted and Cowal no longer a Championship the pipe band scene is pretty much over, with the focus now on the ‘medals’ at Oban and Inverness. Thus we expected a few of the contenders to pitch up and run through their stuff but alas not many took the opportunity. We still had an International flavour to the night though with Willie Rowe from New Zealand and Nick Hudson from Pittsburg bringing their sticks along.

Once the Pipe Major had broken the ice he handed over to Andrew Allison, who was playing a new bag, new chanter, new reed and looking the part, resplendent in a new Society cover and cords. Maw and Paw were there to cheer him on while enjoying a refreshment. Andrew concluded his performance with a set of reels and fancy finger work, The Wise Maiden (named after his mum? ),The Auld Fiddler and Double F Dilemma. I don’t know about a dilemma but I was perplexed listening to it :).

A wee refreshment

A wee refreshment

Magnus on the March

Magnus on the March

Next for shaving was Magnus Orr who quickly settled his pipe. In fine form he concluded with The Wee Man From Skye and The Judges Dilemma.

The pre pie piper was Willie Rowe who is currently based in Christchurch. He was quickly into his stride and on a lovely mellow pipe gave us The Duke of Roxburgh’s Farewell to the Blackmount Forrest, Bonnie Ann, Piper’s Bonnet, Inveraray Castle, The Smith of Chilliechassie and Duntroon. Willie very kindly agreed to take a Society hug back to Tracey Williams, who has been pining for Scotland, pretty much since she left, but the coverage of the Commonwealth Games and Piping Live

Willie Rowe

Willie Rowe

have recently made things worse. Don’t worry T. a big hug coming your way from us.

The post pie piper was Nick Hudson who is here with us until Inverness. Nick played a fine selection of tunes including a competition MSR and Hornpipe and Jig that included the Bill Livingstone composition The Busy Buddy. Bill was in the circle at the worlds with the Toronto Police. After all these years, quite remarkable. Hats off.

Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson

The final player of the evening was Jenny Hazzard who took the opportunity of giving one of her tunes a run-MacNeill of Barra’s March. I would like to say Jenny was in the pink but if you look closely she was on the blue.

This piece has overlapping names, “MacNeill of Barra’s Lament,” “MacNeill of Barra’s March,” “The Pride of Barra” and so on, Thus we cannot be sure that it was this tune that John Campbell from Nether Lorne gained 4th Prize with at the Edinburgh competition in 1816: his tune was called “Speadsearachd Bharra– Macneill of Barra’s Salute. “The editors of The MacArthur-MacGregor Manuscript of Piobaireachd (1820) take the view that this may be a seventeenth-century tune, and that the dedicatee may have been one of the Clanranald bailies of South Uist

Jenny on the blue

Jenny on the blue

Having just come back from the Glasgow sojourn Jenny blew the cobwebs away with some light music before playing a very musical piob on a well balanced instrument. Jenny is last on in the Gold medal at Oban so we all wish her all the very best of luck and hope she can take advantage of the draw.

 

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report 12th August 2014

P1030377Adding an extra night into the worlds week is always a bit of a gamble as there is so much else to compete with-the Fringe in own fair city and Piping Live in Glasgow but what a great night we had. Our usual and most welcome guests pitched up- The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band and they were joined by new guests, PM Ron Graham and The Quigley Highlanders, from Ontario, Canada. Their web site tells us,P1030382

‘The idea of having a community based pipe band was born around a kitchen table at the home of Millan MacPherson’s, while enjoying Celtic music and refreshments. The people sitting at that table decided to form The Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums (QHPD) to honour the former hamlet of Quigley’s Corners, now Lochiel, Ontario, Canada. The community was excited that the QHPD was born, and that their motto was “Know Your Past, Empower your Future”.

In 1845, Owen Quigley bought the lot on the north-west corner where Lochiel Road intersects with Old Military Road and established a store, post office, hotel and tavern, a cheese factory, a forge, sawmill, grist mill and potash plant. The corner quickly became hub of the surrounding community. Today, all that remains is a tiny cluster of houses but the old popular name, Quigley’s Corners, lives on as an important part of the history of Lochiel. The motto expresses pride in the strength and courage of the Scots who left their homeland and established their families in Glengarry. People who no longer reside in Glengarry County still feel the connection and comfort it offers.

P1030388Formation of the band went quickly. Bandsmen ranged in age from sixteen to sixty and came from a variety of backgrounds, with varying degrees of experience. Under the leadership of the band’s first Pipe Major, David MacPherson, and Lead Tip Margaret Boekhoff, were pipers and drummers who once played with Glengarry, Black Watch, Air Force, Dunvegan, Ottawa Police and others. People that never played an instrument before, including retirees quickly learned their instrument and joined the ranks.’

Magnus

Magnus

In time honoured tradition the P/M got the evening underway with a few family favourites before handing over to Magnus Orr who was quickly into his stride knocking off an MSR. It’s great to see Magnus make another appearance at the Eagles as he is one of the Edinburgh stalwarts of the piping scene and is still heavily involved in organising International piping events.

Mad Posh Dougie as christened by Tracey

Mad Posh Dougie as christened by Tracey

Next for shaving was Douglas Gardiner who had taken the bold step of having a tune with grade 3a outfit RAF Halton at the weekend. (A successful venture as it turned out as they attained a very creditable 3rd place) Douglas is quite the ensemble expert having a fondness for bass and tenor technique and I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed his run out with the band. On a quite superb bagpipe Douglas gave us a wide range of tunes including the MSR John McDonald of Glencoe, Maggie Cameron and Loch Carron.

Honestly she's a nice girl

Honestly she’s a nice girl

The room was bulging at the seams when Andrew Allison took to the floor on the P/Ms pipe. He too knocked off an MSR in his spot. Andrew is a great addition to our ranks and maw an paw make sure his hair is always neat and tidy!

Andrew playing the PM's pipe

Andrew playing the PM’s pipe

The post pie piper was none other than Andrew Donlan from the City of Washington. Andrew is a first class’s solo player and is also a member if the New York Metro Pipe Band, who were over to compete in grade 2 at the Worlds (and made the final!) http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ewjg9r/videos/p024xsgk#p024xs6b). Andrews pipe was first class- no mean feat after the soaking it got at Perth-and gave us a wide range of big competition stuff including Delvinside and Pretty Marion. To complete his Eagle’s debut he gave us a hornpipe and jig

Andrew Donlan

Andrew Donlan

closing with The Braes of Mellanish. Great stuff Andrew. Come back soon.

Tam

Tam

Tom Peterkin was up next and gave us a few more tunes from his large and quite diverse repertoire. Tom is a very musical player and he always manages to trot out a tune or two that has you scratching your head trying to recall the name.

The final player of the night was Cameron Drummond. Rosie has been flat out moving into his new pad (house warming) in Edinburgh as he starts as the new piping instructor at Fettes College at the start of the new term. It didn’t take him long to settle his pipe and once the drones were steady and locked in ( and I mean locked in) he gave us a superb Battle of the Pass of Crieff. If Cameron can sustain this form there is no doubt that he will be a strong contender in both gold medals this year.

The Battle of the Pass of Crieff

The Battle of the Pass of Crieff

And that was the evenings evening.

We are now suffering from the annual PWD, however a great time spent with friends, the Glasgow Police concert, Pipe Idol, The Worlds, Sartis, the Assman and an unforgettable visit to The Iron Horse made it all worth while.

We are back onto our usual routine of every second Tuesday starting Tuesday 19th August which is an ideal opportunity for those heading up to the Argyllshire Gathering to give some of their tunes an airing.

Hope to see you there

Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

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