Match Report Tuesday 3rd September 2019

IMG_1424Our special guest evenings are perhaps the years highlights and this was to be no exception. We were delighted to welcome young Andrew Ferguson from Dollar into the fold. At 17 Andrew is still at school and is under the wings of master 4 times clasp winner Callum Beaumont, who incidentally won his 4th clasp at the Northern Meetings, playing a masterful, The Daughters Lament. Many congratulations.

On an old set of Lawries Andrew got the first half under way with some 6/8 marches. He then went into a couple of hornpipes, Ian Green of Greentrax and Chasing Shadows. He continued to warm the fingers up with the hornpipe P/M G. S. Allan and the jig, St. Ninian’s Parish Centre Church, composed by Bob Worrall.


young hands at work

Of note the George Allan referred to in the Donald MacLeod composition was Pipe Major of the 1st Royal Scots from 1907-1919 and the 2nd Royal Scots from 1921-1930. Willie MacCallum is on record as saying, ‘when my grandfather bought my silver Henderson pipes from Willie Thomson, that they had won both the Gold Medals played by George S Allan at Oban (1905) and Inverness (1906). Allan used to borrow the pipes to compete.John Wilson (Campbeltown, of Strathclyde Police fame) confirmed to me a couple of years back that his father Willie used to refer to these pipes I inherited as ‘the Allan pipes’.

IMG_1425Andrew then went into the meat of his first half performance with three competition 2/4 marches, followed by a set of three strathspeys and reels. What a great way to take us into the pie break.

The second half was all about getting the pipe settled for the great Earl of Ross’s March. Andrew played a selection of light music tunes before satisfying himself the pipe was ready for this big tune.

The tune is attributed to Donald Mor MacCrimmon c. 1600.

Ross seems to have been made a separate Earldom (from Moray) in the mid 12thcentury. Donald, Lord of the Isles, having been deprived of the Earldom through various kinds of feudal skulduggery, marched upon Aberdeen, and was defeated on 24thJuly 1411 at a place called Harlaw in the uplands of Garioch by a force of North East gentry and the citizens of Aberdeen. John, Lord of the Isles, is said to have surrendered the Earldom of Ross to the Scottish crown in 1476.

Andrews’s performance of the tune was mature for his years and technically very sound. The pipe held well and this is clearly a tune that will stand him in good stead for many years to come.IMG_1427

What a great evenings entertainment and many thanks Andrew for taking the time to come along and entertain us.

A package arrived in the post from our chums the St Andrews Caledonia Pipe band from Tasmania. Much appreciated folks.

The secretary will be sending out information about the bus trip to the Glenfiddich and remember the members competition to be held on Tuesday 1stOctober.

IMG_1433The P/M will be missing in action in 2 weeks time as he is taking a sabbatical but the band will continue to focus on The Conundrum and King George V’s Army.



Euan Anderson

Hon P/M



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Members’ Handicap Contest – Tues 1st October

I am pleased to announce that we will be holding another handicap solo contest on Tuesday 1st October.

greeting_card_261655Pipers are to play a Slow Air and Jig of their own choice.

The contest will be judged by Mrs Susanne Speirs and Mrs Anna Gardiner.  A handicap system will be applied to ensure a level playing field between Gold Medallists and novice competitors.

The Solo Piping Judges’ Association Code of Conduct will not apply.  Members are free to attempt to influence the bench in any way they choose.

There will be prizes for the top three performances plus the following:

  • Best dressed piper
  • Most amusing performance
  • Most spectacular break down

The contest is open to all paid up members!  Entries on the night.


Douglas Gardiner

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Match Report Tuesday 13th August 2019

IMG_1284Another Piping Live done and dusted, the traditional pipeband concert, courtesy of Scottish power and Inveraray and District crownd world champions for the second year running. Hats off.

So what did we get up to in Worlds week? Well we did the usual and hosted our chums from Canada and Tasmania and a few more to boot.  The Sons of Scotland and St Andrews Caledonian were welcome guest asIMG_1279 the band ran through a fair bit of its repertoire. A warm night and thirsty work, so a halftime beer was most welcome and there was a queue for the pies.

The second half saw P/M John Ralph take the pipe majors pipe for a spin. He played quite a few of his own compositions before IMG_1283handing the pipe over to young Robert Cruickshank who played a lovely air, The Fallen, composed by R.S.  MacDonald, for his friend Willie Armstrong of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers when he was a serving fireman in Glasgow. The tune was written in tribute to his fire-fighter friend, Ally Boyle, who was diagnosed with blood cancer and had to retire at a young age. The Red Hot


Chilli Pipers and guests recorded the tune as a charity track to raise funds for the cause.

The final player of the night was Eagle President, Douglas Gardiner who settled the pipe with some light music tunes, including an MSR, before giving us The Battle of Auldearn No 2. On a great pipe Douglas played the tune as it should be, finishing with a robust and brisk a-mach.  Great stuff Douglas.

A note from the man himself.

 Please note our next meeting is on Tuesday 3rd September (not 20th August) when I am very pleased to announce we will have Andrew Ferguson as our special guest piper.IMG_1290

Andrew is 17 and a pupil at Dollar Academy.  He is taught by Callum Beaumont and has already won several adult C Grade prizes including the piobaireachd and MSR at the Captain John MacLellan Memorial Contest.  He won the MacGregor Memorial trophy at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2018. He is certain to win more and win bigger!  Come along and hear a future star.

Douglas Gardiner.

The piping train rolls on. The Argyllshire Gathering has come and gone, the Captain John dinner is this Saturday and then it is up to Inverness. Congratulations to Stuart Liddle Andrew Hayes, Ben McClamrock and Gordon McCready who were the big winners in Oban. Also hats off to Iain Speirs who won the overall with two 2nds in the big events.


Modelling the new merchandise



Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


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Guest Piper – 3rd September

Please note our next meeting is on Tuesday 3rd September (not 20th August) when I am very pleased to announce we will have Andrew Ferguson as our special guest piper.


Andrew with the 2018 MacGregor Memorial Medal

Andrew is 17 and a pupil at Dollar Academy.  He is taught by Callum Beaumont and has already won several adult C Grade prizes including the piobaireachd and MSR at the Captain John MacLellan Memorial Contest.  He won the MacGregor Memorial trophy at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2018.

He is certain to win more and win bigger!  Come along and hear a future star.

We will have a short session of band tunes before Andrew takes the floor.


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The Eagles worlds week meeting Tuesday 13th August 2019

IMG_0589As is tradition the Eagle Pipers’ Society will be adding an extra meeting to their annual program, throwing open its doors to the International community over for the Festival and Piping Live etc. Our regular guests, The Sons of Scotland pipe band, will be joining us for an evening of fun and frolics. Our president, Douglas Gardiner, will be on the post pie piobaireachd.

Band tunes will include

  • The Rowan Tree set
  • The Green Hills set
  • The Bloody Fields of Flanders/The Banks of Allan Water/My Land
  • The MSR
  • Caber Feidh/Andrew Warnock
  • The Conundrum

It all starts around 20.00hrs at the Scots Guards Association Club Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh.

Please come along and join us. Extra pies have been ordered.

Euan Anderson

Hon Pipe Major

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Match Report Tuesday 23rd July

IMG_1219One of the nice things about the Eagles is that you never know what is going to happen or who is going to pitch up for a tune, so we were very lucky to get a double whammy with Lachie Dick on piobaireachd duties and Mark MacKenzie (now a fully paid up member) turning up for a tune.IMG_1221

We were also lucky with the weather so we popped outside for a tune. With Kenny MacBride running the session the band ran through quite a few of the tunes in the book. Mark Mackenzie jumped onto the drones (not literally) and in front of an audience of about 50 we had a very enjoyable session.

IMG_1222After a well earned pint and a beer Mark took to the floor and started off with some brisk 6/8 marches that included Duncan McGillvray Chief Steward, written by Jim McGillivray, who will soon be visiting these shore to, amongst other things, judge the Silver Chanter (10th August). Jim wrote this tune for his father, who was long-time Chief Steward for the Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario.

Mark continued with a traditional MSR before finishing with some hornpipes and jigs that included the great Dr Flora MacAuley of Carradale.


Mark MacKenzie

Dr Flora MacAulay was brought up and educated in Wales to a Welsh mother and Hebridean father whose family were from the Islands of Benbecula and Lewis. Named after her paternal grandmother, Flora MacEachen, she came from a family of doctors and was one of the first female orthopaedic surgeons ever to qualify in the 1940’s. After some time practicing in Truro, she spent most of her life practicing as a GP in Carradale, Kintyre and on locum in the Western Isles. Her hobbies included tennis and photography but her passion was the Great Highland Bagpipe.

IMG_1228She was a well known and loved figure around the Highland Games circuit and took many photographs of the great players of the day and the beautiful settings in which they competed. She attended the Northern Meetings and Argyllshire Gathering every year since the Second World War missing them only once in her later years when she was too ill to attend. She died in Campbeltown, Argyll in 1994 and was immortalised in the Jig written by Allan MacDonald.

Great stuff Mark and good luck in Skye.IMG_1229

Lachie was the final player of the evening and in a room where the temperature was up there got straight into things with a slow air and a couple of jigs. Drones tweaked and a first class MSR followed. Lachie then played The Princes Salute, that was very Iain Speirsesk, and that is quite the compliment. It is a big tune that takes bit of mastering and it was treat to hear it. Many thanks Lachie.

The tune probably dates back to the early 1700 and is attributed to John MacIntyre who composed it in 1715 to mark the landing of his Royal Highness James Prince of Wales in Britain.

Looking forward we have our next meeting on Tuesday 6th August followed by our traditional worlds week meeting on the 13th August. All guests welcome. Therefore the  scheduled meeting on the 20th is cancelled. We resume into our usual routine on Tuesday 3rd September.

Festival tip from el presidente Douglas Gardiner is Thunderstruck.Thunderstruck

The following is a synopsis and a quick review by Gary West

Written and performed by David Colvin. The tragic and comic tale of the greatest bagpiper who ever lived. Fresh from sell-out previews at Celtic Connections and Piping Live!, a one-man emotional rollercoaster exploring how the traditions of bagpipe music were rocked by Perthshire bin man Gordon Duncan, and how he changed the life of one young piper from Fife forever. Includes swearing and a four-piece rock band. Take whatever romantic notions you have of bagpipes and leave them at the door. ‘Had no idea what to expect from Thunderstruck… but it was immense’ (Gary West, BBC).

Piping Live, The Worlds, tunes and friendship come ahead, we are ready.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M 

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Worlds Week Meeting – 13th August/Fringe Recommendation

We will be hosting an extra meeting on Tuesday 13th August to welcome many of our overseas friends.  There will be no meeting on 20th August.

Following it’s success at this year’s Celtic Connections, “Thunderstruck” is running at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  It’s a play about the life of the late Gordon Duncan.  If you have a modicum of humour, an interest in piping and an understanding of Fife vernacular it is a must see.

Tickets here:



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