A meeting was held in Bristol last week between the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), the body that polices CITES in the UK, and the Society of Instrument Manufacturers. I am awaiting info from the meeting, but the latest I have heard is that APHA may not be in a position to issue export licences for ex-EU trade until the middle of February.
APHA have also told me that they are considering holding a seminar at which the complexities of the new licensing regime will be explained. All instrument makers will be invited and there are cheap flights from Glasgow to Bristol.
Boghall and Bathgate are holding their annual Burns Supper in the Hillcroft Hotel, Whitburn, this Friday, January 20. P/M Ross Harvey tells me the band has started back practising after their well-received stint on the BBC’s Hogmanay Show – from what I hear it was the highlight. The band will be playing at the Lothian & Borders indoor contest in April and is booked to warm up the crowd at the Six Nations Rugby matches at Murrayfield. These start in February. To cap a busy time the Boggies are up in Aberdeen for the Bucksburn concert in May.
A great time was had by all at Jimmy Anderson’s 70th Birthday Party in Falkirk Rugby Club last Saturday. Everyone in Jimmy’s wide circle of friends from the piping, pipe band and folk music worlds was there and provided the music and entertainment on what was often an emotional occasion – none more so than when the man himself rounded the evening off by giving us a tune.
I first met Jimmy when I joined Muirheads in 1970. He was an outstanding piper and a gifted guitarist. More than anything he was a friendly guy with a keen wit and intelligence. That has not changed and was attested to by the reciprocal humour and affection shown at his birthday celebration. Jimmy’s brothers Tam and Peter were there, naturally, and Tommy told me he enjoyed seeing the photograph of the BP Grangemouth band we ran last week as part of the article on capping pipe band numbers. Ex-BP, Tommy is in the front rank next to P/M Alex Kiddie and told me he won the Worlds in Grade 3 with BP in ’67, in Grade 2 with the same band in ’68 and, switching to Muirheads, Grade 1 in ’69.
There were some interesting pictures pasted on the walls of the club for the evening. The one up top is of the Muirheads band on their tour of Russia in the 60s with P/M RG Hardie, flower girls and pipers Gordon Fergusson and Jimmy. This one shows Jimmy, Peter and Tommy in their early pipe band days:
The last party Jimmy held before Saturday was his 50th, so now we are looking forward to his 90th.
All the books mentioned in my last blog have since been sold with the exception of one copy of the General Preface to the PS collection which remains on offer for £3 plus p&p.
Talking of the Piob Soc, President Jack Taylor has posted a fine tribute to David Murray on their website. Among all the other contributions David made to piping was a distinguished, feisty presidency of the Society. I remember well his jousts with one S MacNeill who was the Hon. Sec. during David’s term of office. Let’s just say there was no love lost between them. Things are much more civilised at the PS these days!
Jack’s tribute includes a clip of the great man (David) discussing the timing of the hiharin. All his passion for the music and how he believed it should be played shines through. Listen here. Read our own tribute to David with details of his funeral here.