PP Editor’s Blog: Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band/ SG KO/ Willie Ross/ Metro Cup

Tom Johnstone, President of the Scottish Pipers’ Association, has responded to our call for more on the demise of the celebrated Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band by forwarding a couple of pictures from the last days of the band. Tom writes:

‘The first [below] is of Donald MacDonald, brother of the late Willie (Benbecula), who now lives in the Inverness area, helping someone on with his plaid. The second [top] is taken at a contest – location unknown, but could have been Ayr. The left to right is Donald MacDonald, Charlie Tarbet, John Finlay (with his back to the camera), in the distance with the tweed jacket is Dave Berry, Band Secretary, then Kenny MacLeod. The next piper with his back to us I think is Finlay Drennan, then Archie Maclean, then myself in No 2 gear.

‘The band was struggling for numbers and then amalgamated with Rolls Royce PB (also Grade 2). After that things are a bit hazy but I think by this time Hughie Gibson was the P/M, then Jim Henderson for a year and when he left I took over – this would be round about 1975.
‘Earlier history is also a bit hazy, but I can remember Andy Bell as P/M and Alex MacLeod probably before him (Jimmy’s brother).
Round about 1966 a lot of members left to set up the Glasgow Skye Association P/M under Jimmy McLeod.’
macrae-2Great stuff Tom and many thanks. I think the piper being helped on with the plaid is Alasdair Ross formerly of the 214BB and Strathclyde Police but I could be wrong.
There’s more on the MacRae in our Letters column.

Jimmy Banks: Callum Moffat won through against Craig Sutherland at the Scots Guards Club KO yesterday, Sunday 21 February, and is our first finalist. Next up we have Scott Barrie and Ross Miller on 27 March at 4 pm.

One picture of the great P/M Willie Ross at the Castle that we didn’t have room for last time is this iconic shot of him leading a chanter class. Any names would be welcome:willie-ross

The annual Metro Cup solo piping competition was held in the Ramada Inn, New Jersey, last Saturday. It is organised by the Metro Branch of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association.

1. Callum Beaumont, Lament for the Earl of Antrim ($1,000)
2. William McCallum, MacNeil of Barra’s March ($600)
3. Gordon Walker, Scarce of Fishing ($400)
4. Bruce Gandy, Earl of Seaforth’s Salute ($200)
5. Jamie Troy, Lament for the Laird of Anapool ($100)

1. Gordon Walker ($1,000)
2. Callum Beaumont ($600)
3. William McCallum ($400)
4. Alasdair Henderson ($200)
5. Glenn Brown ($100)

Judges: James McGillivray, James Bell, Andrew Berthoff
Other competitors: Brian Donaldson, Alex Gandy, Nick Hudson, Andrew Lee, Stuart Liddell, John Patrick.
Overall: Callum Beaumont

George Bell Amateur contest:
1. Sean Moloney
2. Meaghan Bielski
3. Griffin Hall
Judge: Brian Donaldson

1. Griffin Hall
2. Sean Moloney
3. Ally Crowley-Duncan
Judge: Jamie Troy

Overall: Sean Moloney
Other competitors: Tyler Bridge, Kenny Flynt, Jacob Lindler, Laura Neville, Laureano Thomas-Sanchez