Our pipe bands of yesteryear department has uncovered this 1948 shot of Rutherglen Pipe Band, the year they were winners of the Worlds Grade 2 title at Scotstoun. In those days bands could play ‘up’ at championships and Rutherglen achieved a notable 5th prize in the contest against the G1 big guns of Glasgow Police, Shotts etc.
The Rutherglen band was founded in 1923 by a few local enthusiasts. (Rutherglen is an ancient burgh which lies just to the south-east of Glasgow.) The band wore the Drummond tartan in honour of their first secretary, John Drummond. Their first Pipe Major was George Yardley, Cambuslang, winner of the Gold Medal at Oban in 1911. In 1929 Hamish MacColl MM took over the band and after a string of successes, notably at Cowal, they were promoted to Grade 1 – all of this in the pre-RSPBA days.
In 1938 Jimmy Baxter took over as P/M, but band numbers were severely depleted during WW2. Restarting in 1946 in Grade 3, the band won sufficient prizes to warrant promotion the following year to Grade 2. Their success continued in the higher grade, and when this picture was taken the band was enjoying the most successful year in its history. We have no record of when the Rutherglen band ceased to exist, though this must have been in the late 1960s or early 1970s. All information gratefully received.
Two new letters today shed light on the personnel in the photograph we ran of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band last week. Read them here and note the corrected spelling of P/M Iain McLeod.
Tom McInally reports on the concert last weekend to raise money for the Govan Piping Project: 'The 2015 Festival of Choirs took place at Govan Old Parish Church, where, despite a relatively low turnout, a total of around £1,300 was raised for the Govan Schools Piping Association. There were fifty in the choir from Dublin, thirty in the Glasgow Philharmonic Male Voice choir, thirty in the Govan Gaelic and sixty in the Phoenix.'
Nathan Mitchell reports on the Winnipeg Collection of pipe music: 'We are proud to announce a donation of $3,312.33 to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Winnipeg. Pictured are Rudy Ambtman (Board Chair), Nathan Mitchell, Marion Cooper (Executive Director) and Nico Velthuys (Staff Member) at the CMHA Winnipeg office on June 12, 2015. Thank you all for your support of this meaningful project and as always, a big thank-you goes out to the musical contributors. Enjoy the tunes! www.winnipegcollection.com.'