Drummer William (Billy) Stevenson, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band

shotts logoFormer Leading Drummer of Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, William (Billy) Stevenson,  passed away on 5 July 2016 in Australia. 

Billy rose to prominence when he was tasked with revitalising the Shotts drum corp after the then leading tip, the legendary Alex Duthart, left the band to join P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay at the heavily sponsored Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band – this in the early 1960s. Bert Barr and Jim Hutton joined Alex in the north leaving Billy with a major rebuilding job.

This he did to great effect winning the World Corps Championship

Billy as a young man during his national service
Billy as a young man during his national service

within a few years – a remarkable achievement. During his time with the Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band, Billy lived with his wife, Jean, in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, south-east of Glasgow.

Before moving to Shotts he played alongside Alex Duthart in the Dalziel Highland Pipe Band. In Shotts he played under the leadership of Alex and Pipe Major John K MacAllister.  In 1963 he became Leading Drummer when Alex  joined Invergordon.

Following J K MacAllister’s retirement in 1968 he served as Leading Drummer under Pipe Major Tom MacAllister Jnr, winning the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship Drum Corps prize in 1969.  He retired from the band in 1970 when Alex Duthart returned to Shotts. Billy later emigrated to Australia where he became Leading Drummer of the St Andrews Pipe Band in Brisbane.  Billy’s wife Jean passed away in Australia in July 2015.

In the picture above Billy is sixth from the left standing. Extreme left is P/M Tom McAllister; extreme right is L/D Alex Duthart and next to him Bert Barr and then Jim Hutton. The picture is believed to have been taken shortly before Billy and Jean emigrated.