Visit to The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society – Friday 15th November

The RSPS has very kindly invited us to join them for a meeting on Friday 15th November at their premises on Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh.

The format is very similar to ours except there is an informal band session at the beginning of the evening.  Everyone is therefore encouraged to bring pipes although there will be limited slots for playing solo in the bar afterwards.

The warm hospitality of the RSPS is well documented and they even have pies to match our own.

On display in the RSPS is the grand sea eagle which used to grace Eagles meetings in the West End Hotel.  Any plans to release or relocate this bird on the night of our visit would be, at best, ill conceived.

Please can you email me on if you would like to attend.

Douglas Gardiner

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Results for the inaugural Capt John MacLellan solo piping competition

TrophyBelow are the results for the inaugural Capt John MacLellan solo piping competition organized by and held at the Army School of Piping in Edinburgh last Saturday.

The overall trophy is replica of the statue recently unveiled in memorial of pipers and drummers killed in combat, located at the Army School.

With Colin MacLellan being the President of the Eagle Pipers’ Society it was thought only fit and proper do donate a trophy in recognition of one of Edinburgh’s great stalwarts, P/M Robert L Kilgour. Bob is still active and can be found on occasion enjoying a tune and a dram in the Scot’s Guards Club.

Back in the day

Bob back in the day

This is a welcome return to competitive piping in Edinburgh and by all accounts it was run in true military fashion and an outstanding success.

ColinCongratulations to those behind the scenes and the prizewinners.



1st David Wilton (Captain John MacLellan Medal)

2nd Colin MacLellan Cup – Faye Henderson

3rd Jonathan Greenlees

4th Gordon McCready

5th Jenny Hazzard

MSRprize winners

1st Gordon McCready (P-M Angus MacDonald Trophy)

2nd Kevin McNulty (Plumbers’ Knowe Trophy)

3rd Peter Hunt

4th Gavin Ferguson

5th Cameron Drummond

Open Hornpipe & Jig

1st Callum Watson (Robert L Kilgour Trophy)

2nd Steven Gray

3rd Kevin McNulty

4th Gordon Bruce

5th Allan Johnstone



1st David Shedden (Joe Rafferty Plate)

2nd Steven Gray

3rd Connor Sinclair

4th Darach Urquhart

5th Sarah Muir


1st Steven Gray (John MacLellan Pipe Banner)Prizes

2nd George Stewart

3rd Sarah Muir

4th Connor Sinclair

5th Kris Coyle



1st Callum Watson (Jo Delworth Quaich)

2nd Kevin McNulty (Dean Park Eagle)

3rd Caitlin MacDonald

4th Kris Coyle

5th Edward Gaul


1st Callum Watson (Fort Augustus Shield)

2nd Caitlin MacDonald

3rd Stuart McCallum

4th Andrew Gray

5th Glenn Rosspipers

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Glenfiddich Warm Up – Next Meeting 15th October

The Society is very pleased to announce that Iain Speirs and Cameron Drummond will provide 45mins of music each at our next meeting (Tuesday 15th October).

Iain and Cameron are warming up for The Glenfiddich Championship at Blair Castle on 26th October.  Iain is of course defending champion and Cameron is making his first appearance so the stakes will be high.  Both will play a piobaireachd.

An evening of first class piping is assured.

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Match Report Tuesday 1st October 2013

Fore !

I refer to my previous post and as yet have to determine what the actual punishment will be for those on ‘jankers’ but it will involve some form of humiliation until those involved are suitable cowed.

So while I have scant information about what has been going on over the last 2 meetings I did learn that on the 3rd September Dr Robert Gray played ‘All the Old Men Paid Rent but Rory’ and on the 17th Douglas Gardner played Melbank’s Salute, both tunes from this years silver medal list. The good Doctor is no longer with us on these shores and is off somewhere doing something. We wish him well.

It appears that I arrived back just in time before complete malaise had set in and thoughts went to demanding a committee meeting. Not that they at all productive but the Hon Pres. does a rather splendid large gin and tonic.

I blew the dust off the pipe and got the evening going with some jigs. Just to warm the hands up you understand. As the masses started to arrive, ok 2 people, I carried on with some wee 2-4 marches. After a few more tunes I handed the pipe over to young Andrew Allison who ended his spot with two jigs, Thunderhead and a nameless tune.

Andrew on the PM's pipe

Andrew on the PM’s pipe

Dress and deportment champion Tam Peterkin was up next. Tam looked a bit nervy but that had nothing to do with the pipe. The wedding day gets closer and closer. Remember Tam, marriage is a story in which the hero dies in the first chapter.

Tam opened with one of my favourite tunes Col. Robertson, not that I play it often but when my dad was alive and picked up the practice chanter that was the warm up tune, every time. Once Tom had settled the pipe down he finished with two of the great 2-4 marches Southhall and Leaving Glenurquhart.

Tam P. Not the Lum

Tam P. Not the Lum

Pies. I had not had one for a while so I had 2.

The PPP was Nils who had a wee surprise in store for us. He quickly got into the swing and knocked out 3 excellent 2-4 Marches, Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque (it will always be Arthur Bignose to me-a wee slip many years ago when someone wrote up the tune), Mrs John McColl and The Braes of Brecklet. Brimming with confidence he went into the Cameronian Rant followed by The Little Cascade. Excellent stuff but the wee surprise for us was the tune in the middle, The Clucking Hen, page 182 Scot’s Guards book 1. Have a look. It’s interesting.

The Clucking Hen

The Clucking Hen

Next for shaving was Donald McLeod who said that he hadn’t been playing much. Well the pipe and hands belied that and he was quickly into his stride. Two excellent marches were trotted out, the first being Duncan McColl (Donald McLeod book 5). He finished with some hornpipes and jigs, including Tam Bain’s Lum. It appears this Donald Shaw tune is making a bit of a resurgence.

Wee Donald playing a wee Donald tune

Wee Donald playing a wee Donald tune

The final player of the night was Tracey Williams who departs out shores on the 28th October to return home after nearly a decade in Scotland. I think she liked it? T has stopped work at the Piping Centre and is firmly on the wind down. We will give her a proper send off at her final meeting in 2 weeks time, then another send of at the Glenfiddich on the 26th.Then we will miss her. She now has two homes. As she leaves one to go to another we will keep the fire warm here for her return.

She went out in grand style playing a first class Park Piobaireachd No 2. What a way to sign off. A class act.

The Park Piobaireachd No2

The Park Piobaireachd No2

And that was the evening’s evening. A great one at that. See you all in two weeks time

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


Tracey Williams

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The Captain John MacLellan Memorial Competition

The Army School of Piping are behind the return of significant solo competitive piping in the Edinburgh area with an all grade event this Saturday at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh.

The Eagle Pipers have donated a commissioned Quaich as a prise, dedicated in the name of P/M Robert R.L. Kilgour, famous in so many ways, but a corner stone of the Eagles and the Edinburgh piping scene going back to when Adam was a boy.

A nice touch for the inaugural event is that Colin will be judging an event and Jenny will be competing in other events.

All events start at 09.00hrs

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You may be thinking that is a typo and truth to tell it may well be,you can make up your own mind , but on my return from a well earned sabbatical and keen to find out what is what, I find that nothing is on the web site nor our face book page.

Making a few enquiries last night revealed a rather lackluster position and one wee Canadian voice offered the opinion, ‘couldnae be arsed.’

Thus I was forced to place the entire committee and close associates on “Jankers’ in Army terms-an official punishment for a minor breach of discipline.

While not confined to barracks there will be proportional punishment meated out in the fullness of time.

You know who you are.

The Pipe Major is back.


PS Match report to follow

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Match Report Tuesday 13th August 2013

A full crowd

A full crowd

50 pies had been ordered to sate the appetite of our foreign guests who were expected to attend our extra night. Enough or not?

The evening started out quite slowly as the P/M took to the floor but as he stepped through a variety of light music the room gradually filled, including our usual August visitors The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band. The worlds week

As soon as the P/M had finished a young piper from Israel, Martan, asked if he could have a tune on the P/Ms pipe. This was to set a wee trend. Up he stepped and played The White Sands of Gaza, apparently composed by David Siegel from Israel. Predictably there was not much romance behind the tune as



Martan explained it was about an invasion and bloody incident in 2008 where many people were killed. He advised that while the white sands sounds nice, it is a very dangerous place. And with that he was done. 1 tune and off.

However before the P/M could get the pipe in the box another newcomer from Falkirk, Andrew Allison, who plays with Newtongrange Pipe Band, asked for a shot. Andrew,aged 19 settled down with a slow air and 6/8 and then launched into Maggie Cameron and The Cameronian Rant. The fingers were on fire and then……he stopped. No reels. That was it, he was done.  Reels

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

next time Andrew please but great to see you at the Eagles for a tune.

The P/M’s pipe was then handed to a young Canadian from Ontario, Andrew Steel,  who opened with the 6/8 Lilly Christie before playing the Andrew Hayes composition, The Hip Breaker.

Andrew Steel

Andrew Steel

The P/M finally got to put his pipe away as Harry Richards, fresh from his pipe idol performance, gave us the pre pie selection. He included a bit of his pipe idol selection for us including a very well played Little Cascade.

Just before the pies we had time for a Edinburgh Fringe Festival plug from Claus Riess from Denmark

‘Claus tells about the rock’n’roll career of his life as a full-time bagpiper. He combines his show with improv and

Harry Richards

Harry Richards

plays the most unexpected tunes. He is the only bagpipe comedian in Europe – no shit! ‘His set was incredibly inventive and very funny’ (Leicester Comedy Festival). ‘Impressive ability to embrace the audience’ (Randers Amtsavis, Denmark). Bonus info: He is the only man in the world who has done a parachute jump while playing the bagpipe – in a kilt.’ 

Claus the comic ?

Claus the comic ?

We are not in a position to recommend or not but when in Rome………….

The 50 pies were produced and they went like snow off a dyke. Malkie Bow (the man behind the video and audio on Pipes/Drums) saw off 3 and he didn’t get out of second gear to do that.

It was nice to see so many guests including Martin Wilson Snr. whose daughter Julie, had chummed her husband along, Andrew Berthoff, who did not stray very from the pies either.  It was nice to see Andrew Hayes along for a visit. Andrew is a regular in Scotland and once again is doing very well here in the solo contests.

Near the pie table

Near the pie table

The P/M brought the audience to order with a couple of 4/4 Marchs before handing over to Jenny Hazzard who was in her usual immaculate form. Jenny’s reel in her MSR was the John Wilson composition, Tom Kettles.  Little heard but worthy of look up.

Jenny plays post pies

Jenny plays post pies

‘John Wilson was born In Edinburgh in 1906 and learned to ply pipes ay a young age. However as a 12-year-old when he found and accidentally ignited the detonator of a stray hand grenade and blew off the major parts of the thumb and first two fingers of his left hand. Only short stumps remained extending from the knuckle of his hand. The majority of young pipers might have abandoned the pipes, but no so the young John Wilson.

In 1924, still in his teens, he began capturing the top prizes. He won the Marches at Oban that year, and the following year the Gold Medal at Inverness. In 1927 he won the Gold Medal at Oban and the Strathspeys and Reels at Oban and Inverness.

He was a professional piper, achieving sustained success throughout the 1920s and ’30s against the likes of Robert Reid, R. U. Brown, Willie Ross, J. B. Robertson and Malcolm R. MacPherson. 

It was a Golden Age of piping, and John Wilson was one of the great pipers of the age. During what he called his peak year in 1936, he received 70 prizes in 72 events, winning first in 35 of them and second in 24. Two of these firsts included the Clasp at Inverness and the Former Winners’ March, Strathspey and Reel at Oban.

In June of 1940 his life changed forever when he and the unit, including General Fortune, was captured by the German army at St. Valery, France. He would spend the next five years in prisoner-of-war camps, cut off from friends, family and piping, until liberated by U.S. forces in April of 1945. 

He would not compete again until 1948, and the next year his life would bring about great change again when, on the prompting of his friend George Duncan, he decided to immigrate to Canada.

He quickly became a regular competitor  around the games and shortly after arriving in Toronto he began offering Saturday piping classes at Fort York Armoury. These lessons, along with private teaching in his home, would dramatically change the face of piping in Ontario over the next 25 years. Reay MacKay, Billy Gilmour, Bill Livingstone, Bob Worrall, Gail Brown, Michael Grey and many others – all owed much of their piping success to the rigorous teaching of John Wilson in Toronto. 

His exacting standards as a teacher and judge raised the level of technique and instruments in Ontario to unparalleled heights. It was without doubt due to the influence of John Wilson that Ontario pipers earned reputations in Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s for impeccable technique, flawless performances and strong, steady pipes. 

Malkie Bow- A pie champ contender?

Malkie Bow- A pie champ contender?

The last player of the evening was Andrew Gray who was a bit late arriving as he was on a tight piping schedule having played already at a couple of venues and indeed after the Eagles he headed through to play at the Festival Club at the Piping Centre. Good effort.

This was a big test for Andrew as the room was packed and was not short on top players in the audience. There was nothing to worry about as Andrew quickly got into his stride with 9/8′s – John Campbell and Sailing Together, both Chris Armstrong compositions. He then played the hornpipes, McKerrells Fancy, again by Chris Armstrong and Ray Anderson, composed by Duncan Johnstone. First class and the bagpipe was humming. He then played a MSR before settling down and giving us the evening’s piobaireachd, I Got a Kiss of the Kings Hand. A first class tune, full of music played on a rock steady pipe. The tune will soon be available on our You Tube site.

Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray

And that was Edinburgh’s wee antidote to the World Pipe Band Championships that are a two-day event this year. Good luck everyone. Hope the weather holds out for you.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M Pipers' golf ball

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