Match Report Tuesday 9th January 2018

img_4875Compliments of the season to you all. We had a quiet start to the year with only 8 pipers taking to the floor but with a few members overseas and some nursing the winter lurgy it was to be expected. None the less we had a grand wee session and blew the cobwebs away.

The first draft of the members tune book is not without error so a second draft is being edited. When this is complete it is hoped that a PDF online version will be available.

26731348_2027630267505368_900904634992659322_nThe next meeting will be on Tuesday 23rd January where we will have a normal meeting however the following meeting will be on Tuesday 6th February where we will hold our AGM in the first half of the evening. An agenda and minutes of last years AGM will be promulgated soon.burnsmason2

For those interested there is an article on ‘Piping Societies in the Modern Era’ in this months Piping Times that features our Society. There are some good photographs that you may not have seen before.

Enjoy your Burns suppers wherever they are.img_4435

 

Euan Anderson

Hon Pipe Major

 

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Match Report Tuesday 12th December 2017

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Season 3

Ding dong merrily on high……but boy was it a cold one outside. Still quite a few braved the conditions and the band had a right good kick at the ball, in piping terms you understand. There is no doubt that the sound and the MSR are coming along very nicely. Not to single anyone out but it was generally agreed that Peaky played a blinder.

Some twelve or so souls sat down at 9 for a well-earned pie and a pint.

The post pie piper was Andrew Yu who has become a regular at the meetings, which is very nice to see. Among his tunes he included The Hills of Alva, that took the IMG_7984Heriot’s lads in the company back a few years, as it was one of Jack Crichton’s favourites. It was written by box player Tommy Muirhead, who had a close association at that time, with Shotts and Dykehead pipe band. Lovely tune.

IMG_7986Next for shaving was Elliot Couper who was putting in last appearance before heading back to Kiwiland. It’s been a real pleasure to have Elliot in our ranks and he went out in fine style playing a big MSR, The Marchioness of Tullibardine/Blair Drummond/Mrs MacPherson of Inveran. He followed this with the hornpipe and jig The Black Sheep and Alan MacPherson of Mosspark. Note: All you need to survive on the road is a Swiss army knife and an Eagles book.IMG_7985

And with that we moved onto the final player of the night, indeed year, Douglas Gardiner who settled an immaculate pipe with the lovely air, written by Phil Cunningham, Sarah’s Song. Douglas finished 2017 with a very musical rendition of the Lament for the Viscount of Dundee. You can hear a recording of the tune on our facebook page. The picture below shows the Hon President at the final 24059090_10159728245560594_6854014936184586267_nresting place of John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount of Dundee, Blair Castle Estate taken earlier this year.

What fun we have had throughout the year. Thanks to all who have supported the Society and we wish to take this opportunity to wish you and yours the very best for the Festive Season.IMG_7990

 

 

 

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Premier/A-Grade
Piobaireachd
 (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

Premier-Grade
MSR
 (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+
Piobaireachd
 (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

B-Grade
Piobaireachd
 (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

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The Council Chamber

C-Grade
Piobaireachd
 (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

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

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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.

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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.

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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’

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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.

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George

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.

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Fergus

‘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. ‘

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Locheil

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.

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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.

https://www.glenfiddich.com/uk/explore/latest-events/glenfiddich-piping-championship

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

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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P/M Robert Kilgour

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