PP Editor’s Blog: Edinburgh Police/ John Burgess/ Andy White/ John MacLellan Contest

walter-use-thisOne thing I forgot to mention in my report on the London Championship 10 days or so ago was breakfast. Not what I had, but who I was sitting with: three Grade Two World Pipe Band Champions no less. They were Dr Jack Taylor who lifted the trophy with Buchan Petersen in 2013, Walter Cowan (left) who did the same as P/M of the Annan Ex-Servicemen’s band and Archie Maclean a victor with the late lamented Clan MacRae Society.

Archie’s pipe major was, I believe John Finlay who was mentioned in the story on John Burgess yesterday. Please correct any of the above info gents, heard as it was via munching of toast etc.

One picture I hadn’t space for in that feature on John Burgess is the one above of John in charge of the Edinburgh City Police Band. He’s pictured bottom left and the trophy in front of the Chief Constable is the Argyll Shield, presented to the winners of the Garde 1 Cowal Championship. In the picture I could spot Harry McNulty (who went on to lead the band and the distinguished British Caledonian Airways band), Bob Montgomery the leading tip, John Percival, John MacIntosh, Norman Johnston (still going strong and organising the games up in North Uist), and possibly George Lumsden as P/Sgt but I may be wrong on that one. Would appreciate a complete left to right if anyone can supply. The pic below is of John handing over a retirement clock to P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay his predecessor.

Donald Shaw Ramsay retires. Jimmy Young is pictured over hi sleft shoulder with Harry McNulty behind. George Lumsden is top left
Donald Shaw Ramsay retires. Jimmy Young is pictured over his left shoulder with Harry McNulty behind. George Lumsden is top left

A few stories yesterday – not surprisingly – about the death of drummer Andy White. Andy (pictured below with Beatles LP cover)  was a drummer with the B Cal band in London I believe and also tutored the New York Metro Pipe Band:

‘RIP Drumming Adjudicator, Session Drummer who played with the Beatles and all round Gentleman Andy White who passed away yesterday in NJ at 85 yrs old.’ 

Andy White, the Scottish session drummer hired by producer George Martin to play on the first Beatles single, Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You, passed away Monday in New Jersey at the age of 85. George hired Andy to play drums because he was unsure as to Ringo Starr’s ability. Andy’s version of Love Me Do made the American pressing of the single (where Ringo can be heard on tambourine), but Ringo’s take was used early on in the UK. Andy went on to play for many other sessions, including Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual, Lulu’s version of Shout and recordings by Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck, Dusty Springfield, Herman’s Hermits and Petula Clark.’

New York Metro Pipe Band's photo.

Best regards to Donald MacPherson’s widow Gwen who is recovering at home in Midlothian following a bad fall which left her with a broken hip.

xmas_hollyReminder: Anyone wishing pipes from the Piping Press Shop needs to order them now to get them before Xmas. The shop is offering a 5% discount on all items over £20 until December 24. Enter ‘Christmas Cracker’ at checkout to get the discount.

Here’s the draw for the John MacLellan contest to be held at the Army School, Inchdrewer House, Edinburgh from 9am on Saturday.
P/A Piobaireachd:
J Hazzard, D Urquhart, C Sutherland, J Greenlees, C Drummond
G Bruce, E McIlwaine, I Smith

B Piob:
K Belcher, G Barclay, D Beattie, J Cameron, A Hall, S Muir, J Elder
R Cowan, B MacDonald, K Coyle, G Mulholland, S Leask, E Gaul, D Gardiner, S Gray, R Tierney, P Hunt, C Martin, G Canning, M Fraser
A Kummerlow

C Piob:
A Bova, S Ross, B Mulhearn, D Nevans, A Gehrig, S McCabe, S MacRae, L Dick, J McDonald, C Maclean, R Telfer, R MacKay, J Macleod, J Simpson, A Graham

S Gray, P Hunt, D Urquhart, C Drummond, I Smith, S Leask, S Muir, G Drummond, G Bruce, C Sutherland, J Greenlees, J Hazzard

C Martin, A Kummerlow, R Cowan, A Hall, G Canning, L Dick, K Coyle, R Tierney, S McCallum, J Cameron, A Bova, M Fraser, D Beattie, J Lumberton, J Elder, G Mulholland

B MacDonald, G Barclay, J McDonald, C Maclean, S McCabe, H McInnes, B Mulhearn, R Telfer, N Robertson, A Gehrig, K Belcher, C Ross, A Graham, J Macleod, R MacKay, E Gaul, J Simpson, S MacRae, D Nevans

An Open Hornpipe & Jig contest follows the above. Please get along and support this very worthwhile contest if you can. It is very well run by the Army School under the direction of Major Steven Small and a fitting commemoration of the School’s first director Captain John.

Only three months to go!
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1 thought on “PP Editor’s Blog: Edinburgh Police/ John Burgess/ Andy White/ John MacLellan Contest

  1. Re: the photograph of the Edinburgh Police with John Burgess.

    Yes, that is indeed Pipe Sergeant George Lumsden on the extreme right, opposite Burgess. George is also pictured in the second photo with Burgess and D.S.Ramsay; George’s face appears directly of John Burgess.

    Back to the first photo: three over from Burgess is (I believe) Rab Kerr and directly behind Kerr and in front of the Drum Sergeant is my late piping instructor Jimmy Greig. This photo (along with many others) hung in Jimmy’s downstairs rec room, where I had my weekly lessons from him for decades. As I recall, he could name virtually everyone in the photograph, with the possible exception of one or two drummers. Not shown in the photo due to lack of space is the band’s Drum Major, a former Argyll whose name sadly escapes me now. I do however recall Jimmy telling me that the man had been a prisoner under the Japanese and had two very pronounced scars on each side of his mouth. The story went that while doing forced labour in a potato field, he tried to steal a spud because he and his fellow prisoners were practically starving to death. Not surprisingly, his theft was discovered and his punishment involved being tied to a post in the blazing sun with the same potato jammed into his mouth. He told Jimmy that he managed to survive by sucking water out of the potato until his captors cut him down the next day, but the corners of his mouth had split wide open when the guard first rammed in the potato. As he said: “Wouldn’t you know that I just had to be a greedy wee bastard and steal the biggest bloody spud I could find!”

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