This photo from the late 1920s was in the Press and Journal [newspaper], under the heading ‘Past Times.’ I don’t know who the piper was. He looks to be a confident sort of person and is turning the corner of the board with a good stride.
I have seen a list of the successes of John MacDougall Gillies and he featured in a lot of them, but I think a bit earlier than the 1920s.
• Many thanks for the picture Duncan and the story and they are indeed of great interest. Unfortunately it can’t be Robert Meldrum in the picture for, as John Wilson (Toronto and Edinburgh) shows us in his autobiography ‘A Professional Piper in Peace and War’, Meldrum, one of the leading pipers of his day, played on the right shoulder. Wilson writes of Meldrum’s appearance at Aboyne Games in 1930 when aged 83 he ‘led the march of the pipers round the arena’.
He adds: ‘Piper Major Meldrum competed in the Open Piobaireachd event that day and played Mary’s Praise for Her Gift. He was a wonderful old man and a fine player….’
If anyone has an idea of who the main picture may be of, please let us know. I’d also like to issue a general invite to all readers to send in any old piping or pipe band photographs they’d like to share with enthusiasts worldwide. Please forward copies to email@example.com. Pictures can be either scanned or photographed and then emailed…..Ed.