Match Report Tuesday 28th November 2017

IMG_4087The Eagles had yet another healthy turn out and the band numbered some 18-20 pipers. Work was done on the last set of 3/4 marches, starting with The Kilworth Hills and then the MSR was put under the microscope.

Our final night is on Tuesday 12th December where we will hopefully have a few runs through the MSR on the pipes. The sound is coming along and John Fraser running round tuning the drones certainly helps.

Perhaps a hard winters practice ahead and what for I hear you ask? Well to be honest we are not sure yet, but perhaps an early Committee meeting in 2018 will determine a few locations where we can take ‘the band’. Certainly a trip to visit The Atholl Highlanders and maybe even heading as far North as Inverness maybe on the cards? Of course we will have our annual meeting with the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society and it would be nice to play as an ‘Eagles band’ that night.

The following is just so you know, that I know, that he knows, that you know.

So piping is our great passion and hobby but it is not without its moments and politics is never far away, whither it is in solo piping or ‘the pipe bauns’ ya ken.

Some in the solo piping judging fraternity believe it is acceptable to judge their pupils. They are entitled to that stance. You know who they are as the main protagonists have now openly positioned themselves on that side of the fence. Others have a differing view and it has led to some heated debates over the years.

However times have moved on and Associations have been born. Most, if not all groups of people, who form into a ‘body’, do so under the umbrella of a Constitution, Code of Conduct and some form of Discipline Procedure.

Naturally it follows that, from time to time, elected members of committees may have to review or investigate alleged breaches of said Codes or investigate complaints made against members.

And that is exactly what happened to me. As member of the Solo Piping Judges Association (SPJA) I was allocated a complaint to review made against a fellow member, Robert Wallace. Not pleasant and an uncomfortable position to be in but……………

Now why am I telling you this? Well when I was in the police, even in the darkest times or dealing with the most traumatic of situations, there would always be some spark of humour that would ease the pain. In a recent blog in the Piping Press, dated 24th November, and responding to an article in pipes/drums Robert wrote,

‘He’s now privately asserting that he pulled out for medical reasons (a sore arm I’m told) and recently gave lengthy details to a retired policemen, let’s call him Inspector Clueless of Gayfield, to help prove his case to the SPJA. True to form, Clueless swallowed his yarn hook, line and chanter, but nothing of consequence happened and the story continues to do the rounds. ‘

IMG_7945Yes Robert, who incidently has recently resigned from the SPJA, is referring to the complaint I had for review made against him, and yes I am Clueless of Gayfield. ‘Hook, line and chanter’. Marvellous stuff and it brought a tear to a glass eye.

So now you know. And I know that you know. And you know, that I know, you know. So when everyone is laughing and recalling classic Peter Sellers lines from the Pink Panther movies or maybe even playing the lovely new 4/4 march, Inspector Clueless of Gayfield, written by Michael Grey, you will get it.

This episode took me back many years when the pub, CC Blooms, was opened next to the Playhouse, in fact, opposite Gayfield Square in Edinburgh. Someone asked, what does CC stand for? A local ned quickly replied, “It’s the new polis pub. The first word is clueless, you can guess the second.” Very good but as an old chum of mine used to say  ‘He who laughs last, laughs last.’

So why are the Eagle Pipers’ and other such societies so important to us? Well perhaps one of the reasons is that they are generally devoid from all the above political nonsense and everyone just comes together for a tune and a blether. They facilitate an arena of well-being and bonhomie that is quite unique. The camaraderie and friendship is special. Even if your high G is razor sharp and your F flat you be embraced into the fold. A pat on the back will never be a recce for a knife.

I seem to recall the first couple of committee meetings of the Eagle Pipers were in the Hon Presidents residence, where copious amounts of gin were consumed during the proceedings. The agenda was followed, minutes were taken, great ideas were proposed, and important decisions were made. However the following day no one could read the hand written minutes or recall what was discussed. No harm done and another piping tale moved into folklore.

Just as it should be, shaken but never stirred.






Euan Anderson

Hon P/M




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Match Report Tuesday 14th November 2017

510272067With Remembrance Sunday fresh in our minds it was nice to see John Fraser and Craig Robertson back from their travels and hear tales from their trip. Young Josh Robertson, aged 10, was of course, the star turn and he learned a thing or two on the tour. John had him under his wing for nearly a week so no doubt the young lad has now a taste for Bundy rum? What goes on on tour, stays on tour. So they tell me.


John,Josh and Craig

A remarkable 19 pipers turned up to have a tune and as space was going to be very tight we migrated upstairs. However the first half hour was spent on the practice chanters going through the strathspey and reel. With only two meetings left before we break for Christmas there is much work to be done. Good progress is being made with all the 3/4s in the book and we have moved onto the final set, The Kilworth Hills, The Shoals of Herring and The Argylls Crossing the River Po.

IMG_7900Such were the number John Fraser ran round the drones with a tuner and quickly got them all in the ballpark, which enhanced the overall sound. The aim is to have chanters around 478/480 and go from there. The band was in good form and actually managed a wee tilt at the MSR, getting through it without actually breaking down. Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban is a fairly challenging tune but it is fair to say the strathspey and the 3rd part of the reel are the main challenges.IMG_7896

We continued after the break and after a pie and a pint the sound actually improved. This is clearly a band that needs fed and watered. Not necessarily in that order.

Once the band was done we headed back down stairs where Kenny McBride and Andrew Yu gave us a few tunes. Kenny started off with two classic 6/8 marches, The Sweet Maid of Mull and P/M


Kenny McBride

John D Burgess. Once the pipe was settled he was off and running, playing a set that, in the main, were tunes composed by Gordon Duncan. They included The Day the Co-op Was Flooded and The High Drive.

Gordon Duncan was widely regarded as one of the most skilled and innovative traditional music performers and composers of modern times. While steeped in the art of traditional highland piping, his approach to his music was always imaginative, fresh and at times radical, to the extent that his influence can be heard within an entire generation of younger musicians across Scotland and well beyond. It is hard to believe that he passed some 12 years ago at the tender age of 41.


Gordon Duncan

The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust was formed to raise funds for the promotion of piping and other forms of traditional music amongst young people in Scotland and goes from strength to strength.


Andrew Yu

Andrew Yu finished the night off playing some 3/4 marches before giving us the ground of Donald MacLeod’s, Queens Elizabeth II Salute.

An excellent evening and what a turn out. With a few still missing in action, to get so many players on the floor is very encouraging.

The Society will have two more meetings before the end of the year, the last being on Tuesday 12th December. The penultimate meeting will be on Tuesday 28th of this month.

Merchandise will be available for Christmas purchases in the form of bag covers (4 left) £30 each, cuff links £15, Bow ties £15 and umbrellas £25.














Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 31st October 2017

IMG_7839Halloween, Guy Fawkes, London and Remembrance Sunday brings quite the eclectic feel to the end of the competitive piping season and with the clocks changing, the scrapers and de-icer on standby, winter is not far away.

A record sized band took to the floor, and despite some notable names missing, 16 pipers knocked out a few sets. The aim is to have a run through the MSR before the years end so keep up the good work.IMG_E7848

With an eye on the big London competition Andrew Yu and Jenny Hazzard were the evenings soloists.

Andrew, just back from a visit to Hong Kong, got the second half going with some 3/4s and once he was in his stride he gave us a lovely MSR starting with the great Willie McCallum Senior’s March, composed of course by Willie, for his dad. If Andrew takes this form to London in the C grade he will do well.

IMG_7840Jenny was up next and was quickly into some of her London repertoire, playing the 2/4 marches, MacLean of Pennycross, Mrs Duncan MacFadyen and Murdo’s Wedding. She was quickly into some big strathspeys and reels before deciding that the pipe was in good shape and did not need overplayed.IMG_7847

The London results are below and as you will see our Eagles did very well, especially Iain Speirs and Peter McAlister.

As we head into Remembrance weekend, when we commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts, piping and pipers all over the world will be to the fore.

23316389_10214590533580219_7646876812067812049_nIt is nice to see Eagles Craig and Josh Robertson and John Fraser having a tune at Ypres.

Bright red Flanders poppies were delicate but resilient flowers and grew in their thousands, flourishing even in the middle of chaos and destruction. In early May 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lt Col John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies to write a now famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields‘.

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blowremembrance-day1
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 14th November at 20.00hrs.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

The Scottish Piping Society of London results

Bratach Gorm
1st Roddy MacLeod, “Lament for the Viscount of Dundee”
2nd Callum Beaumont, Linlithgow, Scotland, “Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar”
3rd Bruce Gandy, “The Big Spree”
4th Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, “Lord Lovat’s Lament”
5th Finlay Johnston, Glasgow, Lament for the Children”
Judges: Ian Duncan, Stuart Samson, Andrew Wright

 (William Gillies Cup)
1st Iain Speirs, Edinburgh, “Nameless” (cherede darieva)
2nd Bruce Gandy, “Lachlan MacNeill Campbell of Kintarbert’s Fancy”
3rd Alasdair Henderson, Glasgow, “My King Has Landed in Moidart”
4th Glenn Brown, Glasgow, “Beloved Scotland”
5th Jamie Forrester, London
Judges: Archie MacLean, Willie, Morrison, Bill Wotherspoon

 (London Medallion & John MacFadyen Quaich)
1st Finlay Johnston
2nd Jack Lee
3rd Seumas Coyne, Van Nuys, California
4th Alasdair Henderson
5th Callum Beaumont
Judges: Jimmy Banks, Walter Cowan, Jack Taylor

March (P-M J.B. Robertson Silver Rose Bowl)
1st Bruce Gandy
2nd Roddy MacLeod
3rd Finlay Johnston
Judges: Bob Worrall, Andrew Wright

Hornpipe & Jig (Mary Flora Beaton Cup)
1st Bruce Gandy
2nd Alasdair Henderson
3rd Roddy MacLeod
Judges: Bob Worrall, Andrew Wright

Grade A/B+
 (R.G. Lawrie Ram’s Horn Snuff Mull)
1st Peter McAllister, Dunblane, Scotland
2nd Derek Midgley, New Jersey
3rd Jamie Forrester
Judges: Ian Duncan, Stuart Samson

MSR (Strachan Memorial)
1st Darach Urquhart, Glasgow
2nd Callum Moffat, Lockerbie, Scotland
3rd Ben McClamrock, Washington, DC
Judges: Walter Cowan, Ian McLellan

Jig (Donald Forbes Medal)
1st Andrew Donlon, Washington, DC
2nd Callum Moffat
3rd Darach Urquhart
Judges: Walter Cowan, Ian McLellan

 (John Roe Plate)
1st Eddie Gaul, Dundee, Scotland
2nd Ben McClamrock, Washington, DC
3rd Gavin Ferguson
4th Steven Leask, Glasgow
5th Sarah Muir, Glasgow
Judges: Logan Tannock, Robert Wallace

MSR (London Scottish Hodden Grey Trophy)
1st Matt Wilson
2nd Andrew Donlon
3rd Greig Canning, Edinburgh
Judges: Dixie Ingram, Ian McLellan

Jig (Hugh MacMillan Trophy)
1st Ross Cowan, Annan, Scotland
2nd Matt Wilson
3rd Eddie Gaul
Judges: Archie MacLean, Willie Morrison, Bill Wotherspoon


The Council Chamber

 (National Piping Centre Trophy)
1st John McElmurry
2nd Ciaren Ross
3rd Gwenael Dage
Judge: Euan Anderson

MSR (P-M Robert Crabb BEM Trophy)
1st Ciaren Ross
2nd Dan Nevans
3rd Andrew Hutton
Judges: Jimmy Banks, Dixie Ingram

1st John Dew
2nd Matt Supranowicz
3rd Kyle Shead
Judge: Euan Anderson


Some post contest fun in the Elephant and Castle. Kate Kimove (Bug) taking her turn

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Pipe Major Robert L Kilgour MBE

IMG_7812I had the honour and privilege of playing at Bobs funeral yesterday and it marked the passing of one of the most significant figures in Edinburgh piping.

Bob was born on the 25th June 1924, in Edinburgh, and started piping at a young age, buying his first practice chanter from David Glens, for the princely sum of ten shillings.

And that was the start of what was to be quite the illustrious piping career. Many had an influence on Bob’s career. In his early years he was taught by P/M George Ackroyd of the Black Watch, then by Willie Ross at the Castle, his lessons costing him three guineas. Bob would later join the Scot’s Guards and in 1947 he attended his Pipe Majors course. John MacLellan was on that course and he and Bob were the only two pupils to pass with distinction.Unknown

I first met Bob long after he had left the army, at the Highland Pipers’, in the Sgian Dhu Hotel, Royal Terrace in Edinburgh. Myself and Colin (MacLellan) were both still at School and it is fair to say we were young and impressionable. And what an impression Bob made on us. Certainly one of the smartest men I have ever seen in a kilt.

I had never seen silver so highly polished and it was the first time I had ever seen black wax being used on the tuning pins to contrast against the silver. Brogues were spit and polished. On occasion he would wear red laces in his gillie brogues. Lots of little classy touches.

IMG_7732Now at the time I didn’t really know who he was or his background but a kinder man you couldn’t meet. Sharp as a tack and always there to offer praise and encouragement. If you thought you were playing poorly he would have none of it and would always come out with some pearl of wisdom.

His catch phrases and delivery style were classic. When looking for the next piper to play he would ask ‘who’s next for shaving?’ and if you were on the floor too long, out would come the pocket watch and the eyebrow would be raised.

Eagles Meeting 17 31st August 2010 017

Eagle Pipers’ 2010

This was the man for us. Oscar Wilde said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we followed Bob to the nth degree, probably not really realising what an influence he was actually having on us.

Colin and I were honoured to play at his wedding to Bente, who was from Denmark.

Bob set up a wee bagpipe making business in Grove Street with his brother George.

ScanOf course ultimately Bob was to move to Denmark and Edinburgh’s loss was certainly Denmark’s gain, as Bob took the Danish piping scene by the scruff of the neck and became one of its corner stones.

In 2003 Bob returned to Edinburgh and once again immersed himself in the piping scene. He regularly attended the piping events in the Scots Guards Association Club and with his good friend Kaj Larsen, he always made the journey North for the Northern Meetings.


Bob and Chris

Latterly we would have great sessions at the knock out competitions on a Sunday at the Guard’s Club. Bob was always on top form and enjoyed debating about politics, history and the like. It is no exaggeration to say that right up until the very end he was mentally razor sharp.

He was not overly fond of the flash-fingered kitchen style of piping and if any piper caught his attention by playing in that fashion he would applaud only using his two pinkies. So funny.

IMG_1948Bob and my uncle Chris Anderson, also a Guardsman, who recently passed away, spent many hours on a Sunday reminiscing about old times. Bob was Chris’s Pipe Major and it was fantastic to sit and watch two old soldiers chew the fat.

He was in his 94th year when he passed. What an innings.

Thank you Bob from me and the other countless pipers you helped and cajoled.

I am glad to have known you and had you in my life.

As you said many a time,

‘Here’s tae us

Wha’s like us

Damn few

And they’re a’ deid’


Bob raising a glass on his 90th birthday

Rest in peace.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

Eagle Pipers’ Society


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Match Report Tuesday 17th October 2017

The King is dead. Long live the King.

IMG_7732The circle of life is exactly that. With the passing of Bob Kilgour, (funeral arrangements- Warriston Crematorium, Thursday 26th at 13.00hrs.), you automatically feel an unfillable void has been created in the piping world. While the evening was to be dedicated to his memory young Josh Robertson, aged 10, had never heard of him and unabashed got the pipe out the box ready for a tune. Bob would have been so pleased to see a youngster, who has just made it onto the pipes with 2 tunes under his belt, step up to the plate. He would have said something like ‘ Well young man, let’s see what you have got for us’IMG_7766

So the band took to the floor and welcomed our other new addition to the fold Kiwi, Elliot Couper. Now Bob would have taken one look at Elliot’s pipe and an eyebrow would have gone north. A touch of TLC and maintenance required on the old pipe but what a lovely set of drones they are.

IMG_7770With the band on a mission it was ten past nine before a pie and a pint were welcome guests. Time was spent on the 3-4 set P/M J.K. Cairns, The Banks of Allan Water and My Land. These will be played at the next meeting.

After the pies the Pipe Major took some time to pay tribute to Bob Kilgour telling the company a bit about his background, a few stories and of course a few of Bob’s idiosyncrasies, some of which the P/M has adopted. ‘Who’s next for shaving’ would be Bob’s cry when looking for the next piper to take the floor, followed by a quick look at the pocket watch.IMG_7767

And with that said the P/M played a few tunes in tribute to Bob that included the beautiful 3/4 march, The Kilworth Hills, a tune Bob played regularly when settling his pipe.

Now who was going to follow that? Josh Robertson. That’s who. ‘I have no drones going and can only play 2 tunes. Bonnie Galloway and The Rowan Tree it was. Josh made such a good job of them we IMG_7774have decided to include these tunes in the next print of the Society’s book of tunes. They are now in the band repertoire.

Next up was George Campbell who, once he had warmed the pipe with a couple of 6/8s, gave us the 2/4 marches Duncan MacFadyen of Melfort and Donald MacLellan of Rothesay. George finished his spot with a hornpipe and jig that started with Chasing Shadows.



Fergus Perks was the final player of the night and he was straight into the big stuff with The Braes of Castle Grant, Atholl Cummers and Locheil’s Away to France. A great reel with quite a bit of history behind it.



‘Donald Cameron of Lochiel 1700 –1748), was an influential Highland Chief known for his magnanimous and gallant nature. He was the hereditary leader of Clan Cameron, traditionally loyal to the exiled House of Stuart, whose leaders had once been tasked with enforcing the King of Scotland’s will in the Highlands. By the early eighteenth century, the Camerons’ supremacy was being overtaken by the rival Campbell’s Lochiel’s support for Bonnie Prince Charlie was pivotal to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, However, he was effectively pushed into a corner by the issue of a warrant for his arrest for conspiring with the Stuarts. 

Donald Cameron of Lochiel was the eldest son of the 18th Chief, Lord Lochiel.

After his father, a key participant in the Jacobite Rising of 1715, fled into permanent exile in France, Donald Cameron assumed the role of acting Clan Chief at a time when the old customs were rapidly changing. ‘



Fergus finished his spot with a slow air and a couple of jigs and with that we were done. Excellent stuff.

It was nice to see two old soldiers keeping an eye on proceedings, George Lumsden and Martin Wilson, both looking well and in fine form.

IMG_7773A couple of the new Eagles Pipers’ umbrellas flew off the shelf. £25 to members. £30 to non members.



The next big piping occasion is the Glenfiddich Piping Championships on Saturday 28th October and there is a round of the knock out competition in the Scots Guards Club the following day, Sunday 29th at 16.00hrs, where Ben Duncan is taking on John Dew.

See you at our next meeting on Tuesday 31st October.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


P/M Robert Kilgour

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Match Report Tuesday 4th October 2017

IMG_E7663Tonight saw the last player in our ‘young guest piper’ series that has been a huge success this year.

At 25 Steven is actually well established on the solo scene pretty much dominating the B grade arena. He earns an honest crust as an architect with Sheppard Robson in Glasgow and with arduous university studies behind him he is back to a full practice schedule. Not just the solos mind you as Steven is a member of the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia pipe band that produced a superb pre-worlds concert earlier in the year.

Steven started his piping life with Irvine and District pipe band and quickly progressed to the Strathclyde Police Pipe band, which he joined at the age of 15, spending 8 years in their ranks.Dumbarton-2014

While Steven warmed his pipes up the stairs the band had a few sets to build up a thirst.

UnknownOn a relatively new Duncan MacRae pipe, that is interestingly made from Ebony, Steven settled himself down with some traditional 9/8 marches. The pipe was rich and sonorous from the start and the audience were hooked from the off.

He then went into some competition strathspeys and reels starting off with The Islay Ball. With a quick tweak of the drones he was straight into three big 2/4 marches that ended with The Pap of Glencoe.IMG_7661

Steven ended his first spot with the slow air setting of I Got a Kiss of the Kind’s Hand, followed by the hornpipe, The Kiwi, ending with the great Allan MacDonald jig, Dr Flora MacAulay. Great music and a superb first half.

Pie time.

Steven resisted the temptation of the famous pies (his only mistake of the night) and kicked off the second half with some lovely 3/4s.

He then went into a hornpipe and jig set playing the John Wilson composition, The Finger Control, followed by two classic jigs, Donald MacLellan’s tuning phrase and The Biddy from Sligo.

IMG_7667A competition MSR followed that showed why Steven has been so successful this year on the boards. Musical and good technique on a great pipe is hard to beat.

To conclude his performance Steven gave us the little heard The Battle of Bealach nam Brog. Steven has been going to Willie MacCallum for tuition for some time and it shone through in this performance. This tune is a wee gem and more players should have it in their repertoire. Steven stepped his way through this with ease and it was a joy to listen to.

The tune would appear to mark an incident in 1452 where a battle was fought at Bealach nam Brog, when the Earl of Ross, having discovered a plot against him, attacked and slaughtered his foes, including Mackenzie’s the Kinlochewe men. Bealach nam Brog lies about 20 miles northwest of Inverness in the parish of Fodderty.

And with that we were done. A great night of piping and we can only thank Steven for taking time out his busy schedule to come and play for us.

scan0020-1The next big event is the Captain John A MacLellan Memorial competition this Saturday, the 7th of October.  Held at Inchdrewer House within Redford Barracks, this event features some of the best solo pipers in the country, with separate Piobaireachd and Light Music events in P, A, B and C grades and a Hornpipe and Jig contest open to all competitors.

Remember the Glenfiddich is at the end of the month so if you have not secured your tickets now is the time.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 17th October when we hope Lachie Dick is on piobaireachd duties.

See you then.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/MIMG_7668

PS As guests were departing the club this old codger almost took some of them out. Cycling on the footpath in quite an aggressive manner. Any suggestions regarding his  identity would be greatly appreciated.





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Match Report Tuesday 19th September

IMG_3317We saw a good turnout at the Eagles after a fresh and sunny autumn day, but missing from the ranks were our P/M, President and Secretary, who were indisposed.

Being the well-disciplined lot that the Eagles are the pipes were quickly out the boxes, warmed up and ready to go without any coercion. But without the foresaid incumbents who would lead? It seems, according to Martin Wilson Jnr., whose expertise on this matter is unquestionable, that if you have a set of ribbons on your drones and an Eagles bag cover then your it for the night. Thus it was for Iain Dewar who took on the task like a duck on an icy pond!

The Band consisting of 9 players and sounding perfectly respectable took off with the Green Hills set of 3/4s. This was followed by two lively 2/4s Corriechoillies Welcome and Terribus, with a quick round of drone tuning provided by Martin.

There was some debate about what 6/8s to play and in what order before settling on Leaving Port Askaig and Farewell to the Creeks. Slow airs followed with My Home and Mist Covered Mountains. The pipes were sounding pretty good by now so we ended on Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban. Not too shabby, but will we ever get round to that Strathspey?


Iain McDonald

The stand in P/M sorted a batting order from the many volunteers and up first and pre-pie piper was Iain McDonald who warmed up his Glen pipes and started with a slow air, hornpipe and jig – Braes of Lochiel, Liverpool Hornpipe and Snug in the Blanket.

A quick re-tune and then into The Kilworth Hills, a very fine 3/4 from one of the piping world’s most famous composers Pipe Major George S. McLellan. Iain finished his selection with a couple of great 2/4 marches – MacLean of Penny Cross, and Captain Campbell of Drum a Voisk, which took us to the pies.

After a short pie break and glasses suitably refreshed it was the turn of the post pie piper


Andrew Yu

Andrew Chun-kit Yu who came hopeful to pick up an Eagles tie and book of tunes.

Not too disappointed when the man with the goodies was absent, Andrew warmed up his set of Duncan MacRae’s with a rendition of The Auld Rustic Bridge. Fingers and pipes warming nicely he then played his MSR before finishing with a selection of well-known jigs – Pipe Major Jimmy McGregor, Glasgow City Police Pipers, and Alan MacPherson of Mosspark.

Don’t worry Andrew, you’ll get your tie and book!


Martin Wilson

Next up was Martin Wilson Jnr with his set of Henderson’s with a vintage WarMac chanter. How we remember those chanters, the first synthetic chanter made of polypenco back in the 70s. It was a shortage of good quality African Blackwood that drove Andrew Warnock to look for alternatives and found it in the material Police Batons were being made of! It was the chanter that changed the pipe band world for ever not least by Pipe Major Tom McAllister who went into partnership with Warnock (War-mac bagpipes) and whose reeds the chanter was optimised for. That combination put Shotts and Dykeshead and WarMac firmly on the map for all time.

So back to Martins pipes! They warmed up well and the chanter was bright, and he was clearly not blowing one of the famous Tom McAllister reeds as his face wasn’t inside out! The old favourite tunes were out again, this time it was – The Meeting of the Waters, and Laird and Lady Morris of Burntisland. Suitably warmed up Martin followed these with a rendition of some of his own 6/8 compositions, and fine tunes they were – Angus Malcolm McKinnon, Sir William Sutherland QPM, and The Peeping Toms. Martin rounded his spot off with a well-executed MSR – Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal, Caber Feidh, and the Brown Haired Maid.



Dr Jack Taylor

Our final piper and piobaireachd player of the night was Dr. Jack Taylor, who was taught by Bert Barron and latterly by Robert Brown and Robert Nichol.

Jack won the Gold Medal at Inverness in 1973 and although retired he is currently President of the Piobaireachd Society. Jack warmed up his pipes with more old favourite 4/4s – Within a Mile o’ Edinburgh Toun, and The Hills of Alva.

The pipes settled well and after a little drone tweaking Jack then played the Fair maid of Barra followed by The Curlew, a well-known jig written by Donald MacPherson. Jacks’ Niall chanter delivered a classic and finely balanced sound, just the ticket for Jack’s final tune of the night – the Lament for Mary McLeod (The Sky Poetess), a melodic and beautiful tune.

Mary McLeod was a Gaelic poetess who was banished to the Island of Mull for some bardic offence committed in the stately Halls of Dunvegan. She made a death-entreaty that she should be buried face downwards in token of the ignominy which would for ever consume her conscience, although she slept in Rodel of her ancestors, the idyll of her heart. (Fionn’s Notes).

That was it for the night, old favourites all round!

Next meeting will be 3rd October where we will be entertained by Steven Leask on what promises to be a great evening.

See you there and all the best.IMG_5407

Iain Dewar.



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