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Match Report Tuesday19th February 2019

IMG_0358With the band of around 16 pipers having gone through their paces the second half was a chance for Alan Harper to have a run through his tune for the Archie Kenneth Quaich.

Alan warmed up with some unusual tunes that included a slow air, Cruachan composed by Seumas Johnston, ex Pipe Major of the Argylls, a 3/4 march, The Heroes of Oosterbeek and a 12/8 march, Brigadier Snow.IMG_0355

Commanded by Brigadier A. E. Snow OBE, Force 135 conducted Operation “Nest Egg,” the peaceful and unopposed liberation of the Channel Islands, after negotiating the surrender of the 25,500-man German garrison on 9 May 1945. Three days later, German Vice-Admiral Hüffmeier surrendered personally to Brigadier Snow on Guernsey.


Mr and Mrs Wilson

With that Alan played the piobaireachd MacLeod’s Short Tune on a pipe that held well. If Alan can hold his nerve you never know…

With that we were done and the next meeting will be on Tuesday 5th March 19.


Euan AndersonBrigadierSnow.
Hon P/M


26 pipers took part in the Archie Kenneth Quaich amateur piobaireachd contest that was judged Patricia Henderson and Donald MacPhee.
The winner (for the 4th time) was Tom Peterkin playing Melbank’s Salute.
2nd prize: Andrew Park playing Battle of Auldearn No. 2
3rd prize: John Forbes playing The Lament for Sir James MacDonald of the Isles
4th prize: Gill Cairns playing Caber Feidh Gu Brath
5th prize: Stuart Letford playing The Desperate Battle of the Birds


Congratulations Tom and the gang


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Match Report Tuesday 5th February 2019

Another good turnout despite the wintery conditions saw about a dozen players take to the floor. After a solid hour of good practice the pies and a beer were very welcome.

IMG_0176Tom Peterkin, who is back in harness with his eye on a tilt at the Archie Kenneth Quaich later on this month, played the evening’s piobaireachd. He gave us The Lament for Mary Macleod. On a quiet but rock steady set of Glens, Tom got the best from this musical tune. Tom played the high G version and the note stood up to the test.

Mary MacLeod, 1615- c.1707 was one of the foremost women songwriters and poets in vernacular Scottish Gaelic of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Most of her output concerns the praise of the house of Dunvegan.IMG_0182

However in mid life the English influence had taken hold. She composed a poem to honour the Chieftain’s uncle, Sir Norman of Bernera, but in doing so she neglected the mandatory praise of the Chieftain, Roderick MacLeod of Harris and Dunvegan, a grandson of Sir Ruaridh Mor. This oversight was deemed to be a monstrous insult in the culture of the time and was banished for years to Scarba, a small island off Mull.

After several years in exile, she composed a poem praising the Chieftain, even though she despised his anglicising ways. She was allowed to return to Skye but she always regretted her poem of praise for the Chieftain.


Archie Kenneth

When she died she asked to be buried face down by way of atoning for her error. She is buried in St. Clement’s Church at Rodel where the restorer himself, Alasdair Crotach, VIIIth Chieftain, is also buried.

The tune was composed by Padruig Og MacCrimmon

Excellent stuff Tom and with that the evening was done. The next meeting on Tuesday 19thFebruary will focus on the MSR.

See you then

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2019

The twenty-seventh annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 23rd February 2019, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 09.30 a.m. Note that the date is a week earlier than previous years’ contests.Unknown

Competitors should submit two tunes  one of which they will be asked to play on the day. Players will receive the name of the tune selected by the judges in the final tuning room. Competitors may not submit any tune with which they have previously won first prize in the competition.

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Match Report Tuesday 22nd January 2019

The Eagle Pipers held their annual general meeting last Tuesday.  There was no change to officer bearer positions with Douglas Gardiner, Craig Robertson, Alan McGhee and Euan Anderson retaining their positions as President, Secretary, Treasurer and Pipe Major respectively. The committee was pared down to one with Peter McCalister remaining and Jenny Hazzard, Colin MacLellan and Nil Michael stranding down.

Post AGM it was time for a quick tune and practice for our first visitors of the year, The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, who are our guests on Tuesday 19thMarch.


Ken Buchanan

On another note Palle Ankerstjerne Schjerning from Denmark, dropped us an email about the late great Bob Brown, composer of The 8th Argylls Crossing The River Po, who was a member of the Eagles and regular attender back in the day at the West End Hotel. Attached was a batch of his music that included a 6/8 march written in memory of the boxer Ken Buchanan (The Pride of Scotland) who, in 1970, travelled to Puerto Rico to fight Ismael Laguna for the world lightweight belt. Buchanan won on a decision after 15 rounds. In 1971 he defended his title against Ruben Navarro and became the undisputed world lightweight champion. He was from Edinburgh, born in 1945.

Callum Watson takes on John Dew this Sunday in the Guards KO competition.16.00hrs at the Club.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

ken buchanan 6:8

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Match Report Tuesday 11th December 2018

Members competition.

UnknownTo close the year we had our traditional members competition, a slow air and jig, organised by President Douglas Gardiner. The judges were two ladies who have tolerated piping for some considerable time, Alexandra Michael and Tina Anderson.

To balance things out Douglas had devised a handicap system based on experience and expertise. The better players had marks deducted from their score but how many and who got what……..well only Douglas really knew what was going on!


Some 14 players entered and the P/M was on duty to steward and ensure that there was no bribery of the bench, as the word was out that Prosecco was the order of the day.

The batting order was,

Kenny McBride

Ian MacDonald

Lachie Dick

Allan Harper

Ninnian Christie

John Murphy

Mike Upton

Iain Dewar

Martin Wilson

Fergus Perks

Craig Robertson

George Campbell

Gordon Hislop

Andrew Yu

While there prizes for the top 3 there were also awards for the best break down,  the most amusing break down and best dressed.

Kenny started off the competition with Fear A Bhata and the jig Clean Sweeping. Watch at you tube

He set the benchmark very high but you could see the handicap scythe coming his way as the President got his calculator out. The first half was not without incident as Lachie Dick decided to play in denim tartan (no dress and deportment award there) and


Ninnian contemplating 2 break downs

Ninnian Christie broke down when tuning up. Hard to believe but true. He also broke down in his jig, The Fittie Boatman, so 2 break downs in one performance.

Michael Upton did the classic ‘ I have made it to the end “ only to break down in the last bar of his jig.


The pre pie piper Iain Dewar played, She Moved through the Fair, which is an old Irish folk song first recorded in words around 1909 by Padraic Colum. Many have since recorded versions of this tune, including Simple Minds, who used the melody for their 1989 hit, Belfast Child. Iain finished off with another Irish favourite, The Rakes of Kildare.  ‘Rakes’ are known to be young men disposed to immoral behaviour, to wine, women and song, often squandering their inheritance and running up debt. Sound familiar? Watch Iain at You Tube


Mikey not too upset as he got a bag of Jelly Babies

The pie break and more alcohol had a distinct effect on the 2nd half of the competition. Martin Wilson kicked things off with the well know slow air, Away in a Manger followed by the classic jig, Jingle Bells. Excellent stuff but how would this be viewed by the judges who were singing along with harmonies! Martin on You tube


Fergus Perks was up next and played The 51st Highland Division’s Farewell to Sicily and The Skyemans Jig. Lovely playing and the slow air (slow version of Farewell to the Creeks) hit the spot. See You Tube 

Craig Robertson announced his own tunes Mrs Anderson of Craigmount Hill and Mrs Nils Michaels, that he had written especially for the occasion. One sounded remarkably like Morag of Dunvegan and the other very similar to The Glasgow City Police Pipe Band!! Who knew? Not the judges.


Best Dressed

George Campbell and Gordon Hislop had pushed the boat out and were certainly both vying for best dressed. George played one of his own slow air compositions, that has still to be named, followed by the jig Donald MacLean. You tube video


Andrew Yu was last to play and he tuned his pipes in under 30 seconds. Perhaps that had something to do with the President holding up a clock as he started?

And that was that. Only the results to come.  A quick decision? Eh no, but somehow the handicaps were applied and the following prizes were awarded.

1st        Fergus Perks

2nd       Craig Robertson

3rd      Iain Dewar

Best Break Down                   Ninnian Christie

Most amusing breakdown   Mike Upton

Best Dressed                          Gordon Hislop


George,Gordon and Fergus

What a great night and what a fantastic year it has been for the Eagles. In the modern era Piping Societies do well to survive, such is the competing demands on everyones time, but there is something quite unique in coming together for an informal tune and a chin wag.


The next meeting will be on Tuesday 8th January and the AGM may be on Tuesday 22nd January but more information will follow in that regard.

Thank you for all your support throughout the year and Merry Christmas to you all.

L1010014Euan Anderson

Hon P/M





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Match Report Tuesday 27th November 2018

L1000920The penultimate night of the year saw another great turnout and starting sharp at 20.00hrs the band gave a good solid hour of tunes from the book. Cabar Feidh is coming along nicely and Andrew Warnock is next on the list to be learned.

The pie break was most welcome but the band took to the floor post pies to have a couple of run throughs of the MSR. The March and Strathspey were first class but the reel is in need of a bit more spit and polish.L1000921

Tonights solo spot saw the President, Douglas Gardiner, step through some excellent light music tunes that included a big MSR. He also played a couple of jigs starting with the great Kenny Gillies of Portnalong. A high bench mark for those thinking about playing in the next meetings members’ competition!

L1000922Douglas then gave the pipe a final tweak before giving the audience a very musical ‘The Desperate Battle of the Birds’. Douglas has had this in his repertoire for some time and has all the subtle little touches down to a fine art.

And with that we were done. You can hear Douglas’s tune at our You Tube Channel


IMG_9841Cameron MacDougal made it through the first round of the Scots Guards KO competition and round 2 is on Sunday 9th December. This will be followed by a Fred Morrison recital at the Club that is likely to be very popular so get your tickets if you don’t already have them.

Our final night of the year will be on Tuesday 11thDecember where Douglas Gardiner will run a members Slow Air and Jig competition. Two lady judges will preside on the bench and the contest will be run under a handicap system similar to golf, the better players playing off scratch and so on.  The President will explain all on the night. A dozen or so entries are expected so please get there sharp IMG_9838so we can organise the draw.

There will be prizes for, most enjoyable performance, the most entertaining break down, the best dressed and a mystery award.

Please come along and if you are a member and fancy a tune, it is entries on the night.


See you then.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 13th November 2018

An old soldier reaches 80 not out.

IMG_9795Martin Wilson was born and raised in Dunoon. His uncle was James Wilson, who served as Pipe Major of the 8th Argylls after Willie Lawrie and before John McLellan, Dunoon, who is a great uncle.

In his youth Martin won the Burgh Cup at Cowal when it was a coveted prize for junior locals. Interestingly his son, Martin Wilson, also won the trophy some years later.

Martin was a joiner to trade but did his National Service from 1959 to 1961 with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, based at Stirling Castle and Germany, serving with Ronnie MacCallum, Iain McLellan, Hugh MacCallum and Jim Henderson.


1983 A visit to the Cognac Distillery

Martin joined the Edinburgh Police Pipe band in 1963, as a specific recruit of Iain McLeod’s. Police Constable 99C Division, based at the West End Police Station, Edinburgh. He became life long friends with the likes of Jock Perceval, George Lumsden, Chris Anderson, Harry McNulty, Ronnie Ackroyd, Laurie Gillespie to name but a few.

Martin travelled the world with the band, and won five World titles with them and recorded three or four albums.


Jimmy Johnstone,CC William Sutherland and Martine Wilson Jnr

Martin stayed with the band throughout most his service. He was latterly in the Crime Prevention Unit before retiring from the Force. He then joined Drambuie Kirkliston Pipe Band where his son, Martin Wilson Jnr. was the Pipe Major. I had the pleasure of playing beside Martin Snr in the circle.

Known as a die-hard Celtic supporter he actually has strong affiliations with Morton FC. Martin’s other son John, signed for Celtic but unfortunately picked up a bad injury. Following in his dads footsteps he joined the police, as has his son Paul, so the Wilson family Police tradition is alive and well.

The Wilson Clan are regular attenders at the Eagle Pipers’ and it is a treat to have them in the company


Martin and Julie

Martin’s daughter, Julie, who is an Associate Director of the Translational Research Initiative, in Pancreatic Cancer, at Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, came over to join in the birthday celebration and as you see from the photos carried in the cake.

Many happy returns Martin.

The cake ceremony is on You Tube

To start the evening off the band played The Bloody Fields of Flanders, the great John McLellan composition and When The Battle’s O’er, to mark the 100 years since the signing of Armistice bringing an end to WW1.

Go to you tube to listen

The band played through to the pies (and cake). A dangerous combination for the diet.

IMG_9803The post pie piper, playing his dads pipes, was young Martin, who settled the instrument with some lovely 3/4 marches before playing a big MSR that started off with the little heard The Renfrewshire Militia composed by P/M John MacKay.


Note: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Allied Regiments, and Militia-

The 3rd and 4th Battalions were formed in 1881 from the old Militia Battalions.

The 3rd Battalion had its origins in the Fifeshire Regiment of North British Militia raised in 1797, they were subsequently named the Stirling, Dumbarton, Clackmannan and Kinross Militia in 1803 and their title was finally changed to the Highland Borderers Light Infantry in 1855.

The 4th Battalion stems from the Royal Renfrew Militia who were embodied in 1793. A further change to the Renfrewshire Militia took place in 1803. In 1855 in recognition of their service they were granted permission to call themselves The Prince of Wales Royal Regiment of Renfrewshire Militia. Both battalions served in the Boer War and were Reserve Battalions during the 1st World War.’

To end the evening Gordon Hislop gave us the great wee tune The Lament for Donald of Laggan. A lovely tune that should be in everyones repertoire.IMG_9810

Note: Donald of Laggan was Domhnull MacAonghais mhic Alastair 8th Laird of Glengarry who lived in the latter part of the 16th and first half of the 17th century.

His turbulent father, Angus Og, bequeathed him a series of long-running feuds with the Grants and the MacKenzies. The Glengarry lands in the north marched with MacKenzie territory in Lochalsh and Loch Carron, producing almost constant friction.

And that was the evenings evening. A special night in many ways.


Cake and full fat coke. An excellent combination

The next meeting is on Tuesday 27th November at 20.00hrs.






Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 30th October 2018

IMG_7839On the eve of Halloween some 16 pipers took to the floor for a tune and the pies and a pint were very welcome at the break.

Post pies the group did some work on the strathspey and reel before Lachie Dick gave us a few solo tunes. Lachie has just finished a night shift week and due to his medical duties we don’t get to hear much from him, so his visit was most welcome. Lachie played a few 2/4marches before ending off with 3 or 4 first class jigs that included the unusual Duncan Johnston composition, Ray Anderson.



To finish the night up popped another stranger in the form of Tam Peterkin. Having escaped parental duties for the evening Tam gave us a very musical light music selection.

And with that we were done.



In two weeks we will be having a go at the 4/4 marches Caber Feidh and Andrew Warnock so please have a look at them.

The big London competition awaits this weekend so good luck to all the competitors.



Euan Anderson

Hon P/M



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