Match Report Tuesday 6th December 2016

unknownThe last meeting of the year involved plenty of chat and festive cheer. It was half 9 before we realised that a tune was required. Up to the plate stepped Peter McCalister and after a few light music tunes he presented and played the little heard War or Peace, Cogadh Na Sith.img_4247

Note-This is ancient piobaireachd is a tune played on the eve of a battle to rouse clansmen to a high emotional state, or, in battle. It was also once commonly known as “The True Gathering of the Clans”.

At the Battle of Saint Pierre in 1813, a piper of the Gordon’s played Cogadh no Sith and was killed as he played. A second piper took up the tune and was also killed. A third piper completed the tune.

img_4243Probably the best known playing of Cogadh no Sìth was at the Battle of Waterloo when Piper Kenneth MacKay of Tongue played the tune.

Kenneth MacKay was a piper with the 79th Cameron Highlanders. As his regiment was forming a square to defend themselves against the charging French Cuirassiers, the proudest cavalry of its day, Kenneth MacKay stepped outside the square and took up his pipe to play Cogadh no Sith. Ouitside the square he marched despite the repeated charges of the French cavalry, all the while playing Cogadh no Sìth.img_4250

The square held firm despite heavy casualties – over 300 officers and men killed or wounded. Kenneth MacKay by some miracle was unharmed. The Cameron Highlanders were singled out for special mention by the Duke of Wellington. When representatives of the regiment were invited to Paris to appear before the royalty of Europe, Kenneth MacKay played Cogadh no Sìth for the Tsar of Russia.

He was later presented with a set of silver mounted pipes donated by Britain’s Prince Regent.

Now that all said, as most of you will know, the picture of MacKay depicts him playing an F. There are none in the tune?

Anyway once again great stuff from Peter and a very fitting way to conclude the year that saw some 15 piobaireachds aired.


The family will eat at Christmas

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 10th January 2017 where the new band format will commence, so everyone please bring your pipes. The Society is putting together a new member tune book that hopefully will be available early next year.

So all in all another great piping year has come to an end with fond memories of fun and frolic’s. After all that’s what it’s all about, is it not?

Compliments of the season to you and yours.bagpipe-santa

Euan Anderson

Hon. P/M

The Eagle Pipers’ Society


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Christmas Dates


There will be no further meetings until we re-start on 10th January 2017 continuing fortnightly thereafter.

All our meetings will now include a band session so please bring your pipes every night.  We will be issuing a Society repertoire which will include some superb but lesser known tunes.

We have exciting plans for some special events in 2017.  More details to follow.

Minutes of the AGM last month are available upon request to me.

Douglas Gardiner

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Eagle Pipers AGM 22nd November 2016

P1010483Despite phase 2 of the Society being in existence for some 6 years the first AGM was held last week.

Now there has been the odd committee meeting, where the piping world was put to rights, but due to the large amount of gin consumed, all the productive decisions were forgotten by the following morning. While this informal approach was well received by the committee, it was decided that a bit more structure was required, to see where the Society is at and what the future holds.

In brief the Society is to continue in its current form with fortnightly meetings (every second Tuesday) in the Scots Guards Association Club in Edinburgh with the evenings being run by the Hon. Pipe Major. There will be more communal piping, with perhaps the pre pie slot being dedicated to members and guests playing as a band.

There was discussion about resurrecting the famous March Strathspey and Reel/Hornpipe and Jig competition, for premier competitors, that was such a huge success in days gone by. A sub committee will look at options with a view to the possibility of linking the event into the fringe festival.

Membership and payment options are to be revised.

Full minutes of the meeting will be available from Douglas Gardiner in due course but the office bearers and committee going forward into 2017 are:

Hon. President                       Colin MacLellan

Secretary                                Craig Robertson

Treasurer                               Iain Speirs        

Communications Sec.            Douglas Gardiner

Hon Pipe Major                     Euan Anderson


Jenny Hazzard             

Peter McCalister          

Cameron Drummond 


The Eagle Pipers’ Society


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AGM -Tuesday 22nd November 2016

We are holding our AGM before the usual meeting on 22nd November at 2000hrs.

The Agenda is as follows:

  1. Welcome & Apologies
  2. Hon. Chairman Report
  3. Financial Statement
  4. Invitation for Members’ views on the future direction of the Society.
  5. Election of Officers
  6. A.O.C.B.

Please come along and add your thoughts.

Douglas Gardiner


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Match report Tuesday 11th October 2016


Portrait of Pipe Major George Stoddart that hangs in the Army School of Pipes and Drums

On a wet night that saw Scotland go down 3-0 to Slovakia, it was difficult to muster patriotic enthusiasm and knock out some rousing tunes, but none the less the show must go on. (Wembley next, by the way!).

The P/M got the show on the road with some family favourites before handing the baton to welcome guest Iain MacDonald, who had brought along an old friend from Rothesay, Sandy Calder. Sandy was in the 1st Royal Scotts between 1948 -50 where he made the acquaintance of Rab Gibson (Rab’s Wedding) who would later play with the Edinburgh City Police. So there was plenty of old piping chat to be had. On a lovely set of old ebony Glens Iain started off with the 6/8 march The Hill of Cherat, composed by W J Campbell that can be found in Donald MacLeod’s book 1.


The Hills of Cherat

‘During British rule Cherat was important as a hill cantonment and sanitarium for British troops in the Peshawar District of British India. Cherat was first used as a sanitarium for troops in 1861 and was used during the hot weather as a health station for the British troops who were quartered in the hot and valley of Peshawar.’ 



Iain finished off with some fine small strathspeys and reels before sitting down to a well-earned pie and a pint.

The PPP was Gordon Hislop who. once he had played a few tunes and settled the pipe. gave us a melodic MacCrimmons Sweetheart.



Fergus Perks was up next and there was no warming up of the pipe to be had. Straight into the big stuff opening with the lovely Maclean of Pennycross, followed by a couple of strathspeys and reels.



The final player of the night was Jenny Hazzard who was fresh from the John MacLellan Memorial competition last weekend. On a sonorous pipe Jenny was quickly into her stride rounding off a lovely wee night-despite the football result. The photograph below, taken during a first class hornpipe and Jig competition, shows Jenny playing the same instrument the Captain is playing in the background display.img_3995

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 25th October KO 20.00hrs

The AGM will be on Tuesday 22nd November. Details to follow in due course.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match report Tuesday 27th September 2016

Two Tunnoch biscuits meet in the street. One says to the other, ‘Where have you been? Not seen you about. The other replies ‘Aye, I’ve been a wafer a while.’


A wee workshop in Cyprus

Fresh from his sojourn to Cyprus the Hon P/M opened the evening with a slow air and a couple of hornpipes, the RS MacDonald composition Gaelic College, St Annes, followed by The Busy Buddy, composed by Bill Livingstone. He then trotted out some small 2/4 marches before ending with two more traditional marches, Hugh Kennedy and The Knightswood Ceilidh.

Next up was Jim Cooper who fished out his old Robertson’s from a very natty pipe carry bag. Jim concluded his spot with Sticky Fingers, The Bells of Dunblane and the jig, The Timepiece.


Jim Cooper

Fresh from his Northern Meeting success in the junior section the PPP was Brodie Watson -Massey. A



break from homework was our gain as he was in fine form on a lovely pipe. To make all us old yins jealous he finished of with the finger challenging The Blue Cloud, composed by Adam Quinn. Hopefully more school pipers will follow Brodie’s example and come along for a tune.

It was nice to welcome Evelyn Hazzard to the fold and Jenny played a few tunes to a very proud mum that included a very nice MSR, John MacDonald of Glencoe/MacBeth’s img_3980Strathspey/ Lochiel’s Away to France.


Tom P.

To round a great evening off Tom Peterkin settled his pipe with a few 6/8s before heading into Millbank Cottage and Abercairney Highlanders.

Pipe Major William Dumbreck, (1866-1935), Royal Scots, from Linlithgow, composed Millbank Cottage. Written in 1887 the tune was dedicated to his sister who had moved in to the newly built ‘Millbank Cottage’ in the neighbouring town of Uphall.


P/M Dumbreck

Tom rounded the night off with a strathspey and reel on his ever-steady set of Glens.

And that was that. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th October.


Millbank Cottage

The Society will hold its AGM on Tuesday 22nd November. Further information to follow.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M



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Match Report Tuesday 16th August 2016

The P/M's Diary

The P/M’s Diary

Piping Live/Worlds week is just fantastic. A chance to attend so many really great events and meet up with old chums from far and wide for a catch up and beer, however, if you are involved in playing in a band it can certainly take its toll, mentally and physically. The two-day World Pipe Band Championships is a marathon event with the Saturday simply being too long a day with bands still on the field at 7.30pm. Do we need a grade 1 qualifier on the Friday? This snafu lies at the feet of the RSPBA. They are trying but there is much work to do. Oh and let the crowds (customers) closer to


A beer with old chum Jim Stack

the bands. Why, when we march into a circle, do we have metal railings placed in an oblong shape yards away from the musicians? (That goes for all contests.). Enough said.

Anyway with the ‘worlds’ done and dusted (hats off to FMM and all the other prize winners) the focus moves back towards the solo scene with Oban, The Captain John MacLellan Memorial dinner and Inverness on the horizon. Thus, while we had another great turnout at the Eagles, pipes were short supply with competitors perhaps taking the opportunity for some well earned R and R.


The pipe

The P/M broke the ice and rolled out a few selections. Happy to have handed back the Chesney chanter and reed, that was near 487 on a cold day, he was back to the more sonorous, rich Sinclair. To set the mood he included a couple pieces of Ceol Mor before seeking a small refreshment. This was to be the first of many as it turned out to be one of those nights!


A wee gift

The Sons of Scotland were once again in attendance, squeezing in another night at the Eagles before hitting the road back to Canada. In fact there were quite a few International attendees with Derek Midgley, Michael Grey, Sonny and Susan Lo, some German tourists, and the pre pie piper Christopher Lee from Hong Kong. It was also nice to welcome Paul Hughes and Laura McMillan to the fold who are here with the Scots College kids from Sydney, who are performing at the tattoo. Despite a busy schedule Laura managed to get back in the circle with her home band Inveraray and District.


Chris Lee

Chris is on the piping degree course in Glasgow and is having a run with Lomond and Clyde Pipe Band this season, who were a very creditable 3rd in Grade 2 last week. Chris is a charming young man and very self-effacing and perhaps one of the most improved pipers in 2016? In front of quite a daunting audience he fished the pipe out the box and quietly went about his business. On a very steady and well-balanced instrument he opened with some 3/4s, two of Bruce Gandy’s and one that he composed himself with a friend, named Andrew Tennant’s first Tennants. He then went into an MSR, P/M Willie McLean, Duncan Lamont and Broadford Bay. A quick tweak of the drones and he was into a couple of Gandy hornpipes before ending with the classic jig, Alan MacPherson of IMG_3735Mosspark. First class stuff and with that we were into the pie break.

Speaking of Bruce, he and Alex Gandy will be at the Scots Guards Association Club in 2 weeks time, Tuesday 30th August to give a recital. There will therefore be no Eagles meeting as such that night. No pies but a dam fine curry and music to be had. £10 a head-tickets on the night.

IMG_3739With pipes in short supply the P/M offered up his own pipe and Cameron Drummond gave us a quick blast of some of the Inveraray medley tunes and concluded with a very fine ground of The Lament for the Earl of Antrim. He is in fine form having recently won the clasp in Skye and played an excellent tune in the Silver Chanter. Let’s hope he can take this form forward.

The final player of the night was Paul Hughes. Having been cajoled mercilessly by the P/M and the crowd he reluctantly broke his duck at the Eagles and taking the P/M pipe gave us a couple of 6/8s. While he clearly found the pipe a bit strong for him (we can get you a seniors reed from CRM) it was great to see him up on the floor.


Paul Hughes

While Mike and Derek sensibly caught the 10.34 train back to Glasgow others ended up in Platform 5. Not a train in sight but plenty of refreshments in the new pub in Haymarket Terrace. A catch up with old friends that went into the small hours.

13886389_838183089614524_3820626409843581616_nThere are still a few tickets left for the Captain John MacLellan Dinner on Saturday 27th at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.

The next Eagles Meeting will be on Tuesday 13th September.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


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