PP Editor’s Blog: Euro Champs/ George Ackroyd/ Summer School/Braemar

Solo piping adjudicator Archie Maclean has sent the following: ‘Enjoyed the interesting article on P/M George Ackroyd. Please find attached, a rather creased and tattered photograph cutting from the ‘Oban Times’ (circa. 1939) under the heading ‘Pipe-Majors of the Highland Brigade’. 

‘P/M Ackroyd is standing fourth from the left, the only one wearing a feather bonnet. The accompanying text has him as Pipe Major G. Ackroyd (Depot) Black Watch.  You’ll make out ‘big’ Donald Maclean (2nd Btn. Seaforth Highlanders) standing extreme left, and


‘DR MacLennan (Depot, Seaforth Highlanders) seated second from left. The gentleman seated centre is noted as Mr. D. J. Forrester (late A & S H), Managing Director of Peter Henderson Limited, Glasgow.

‘The text also adds, ‘Since this picture was taken … Pipe Major Ackroyd (Black Watch) has been appointed Pipe Major to the Transvaal Scottish, and Pipe-Major Geddes (A & S H) has been appointed (this portion of text missing) to the Queen Victoria School, Dunblane. Perhaps he was appointed as Piping Instructor to QV?  Pipe Major J. Geddes  (Depot, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) is standing second from the right.

‘As regards pipers’ hand injuries I remember ‘big’ Alec Farquhar from our time in the Clan MacRae pipe band. His E, F and high G fingers were each cut back to the mid-finger joint, due to various accidents. It didn’t stop Alec playing – and helping us to win the Grade 2 Worlds at Ayr, 1973.’

• Thanks very much for that Archie. If any one has info on the above please forward. I’d particularly like to hear of confirmation of P/M Geddes at the QVS.


Tutor Book half page ad

Click on ad to order


Forres bannerAll eyes on Forres tomorrow for the European Pipe Band Championships. (We’re still European!) First results via the RSPBA Twitter feed and read a critique here soon after. Here’s the latest from the promoters: ‘Final preparations are in place for the European Pipe Band Championships, sponsored by  Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, being held in Forres on Saturday 25 June.  www.pipingatforres.com.

‘127 bands are registered to play including 11 Grade One bands and the current World Champions, Shotts and Dykehead  Caledonia and 2015 European winners, Field Marshal Montgomery. Whilst the majority of bands are from Scotland, bands have signed up to play from Denmark, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and five school bands from Australia.  

‘Doors open at 09.00hrs with the first bands on at 10.00hrs and continuous piping in four arenas until around 17.30 hrs when all 127 bands, led by children from Pilmuir Primary School, meet in the main arena for the presentations and to play as a massed band – a sound expected to be heard for miles across Moray.      

‘As well as over 3,000 pipers and drummers from 10 years to 80 in their colourful tartans, there will be Highland Dancers competing and the Drum Major competition – adult, juvenile and junior. Chieftain for 2016 is former Runrig frontman and critically acclaimed solo artist Donnie Munro.  A free park and ride system will operate throughout the day from the sign-posted spectator car park located at the Horizon Enterprise Park to the east of Forres on the A96 but the organisers  urge those coming to use  public transport , whether bus or train, where possible.  There will be multiple parking restrictions around Grant Park and a one-way southbound on South St, from Forres from 8pm on the evening of Friday 24th for 24 hrs.  There will be parking for blue badge drivers only, adjacent to Grant Park.’


scottish schools pipes and drums trust logoThe Scottish Schools Pipe & Drum Trust are holding another of their very well run summer schools. Organiser and tutor Lee Moore: ‘SSPDT Piping and Drumming Summer School to be held this year at Prestonpans Royal British Legion 1-5 August. Please pass these details on to any young person in East Lothian who may be interested in taking part.’

Here’s the Registration Form: SSPDT Summer School 2016

Check out other great summer school opportunities here.


Braemar adWelcome on board to our latest advertiser Braemar Royal Highland Gathering. Like all of our advertisers they are guaranteed the best possible marketing facility with Piping Press reaching thousands of readers daily.

Braemar is one of the great Highland games offering a superb £300+ genuine Gold Medal for Piobaireachd. There is also a valuable Silver Medal for the Best Overseas Piper. In particular the promoters are keen to attract youngsters to their junior contests. Click here for an entry form.