PP Ed's Blog: Skye Under Fire/ Geoff's Collection/ SPA/ Ulster Charity Concert

US broadcaster CNN has handed the island of Skye the unwelcome tag of one of the top 12 global tourists destinations to avoid this summer. The list also includes Barcelona, the Taj Mahal and Mount Everest.
The report states that the infrastructure of Scotland’s largest island ‘creaked under the pressure last year as thousands of tourists in coaches and cars plied its narrow lanes resulting in widespread snarl-ups. Eventually the residents of beautiful Skye said enough was enough after complaints of noise, overcrowding and even visitors urinating in public.’
I am sure some of what CNN report is true but I have been on the island a couple of times in the last 12 months and if you avoid the busy tourist times and the busy tourist spots the island is as magical as ever. That said, even when I was there for the Dunvegan Medal at the height of last summer I still managed to get accommodation (although a bit of a rip off) and a good table at a good restaurant.
No CNN, I don’t buy your analysis. For pipers, Skye is still a must go destination no matter the crowds, the midges and the high prices. For us, to sit listening to the music of MacCrimmon only a few miles from its cradle has to be inspiring at any time of the year and piping at the MacCrimmon Cairn a rite of passage.

The cairn is at Borreraig (circled)

Talking of Skye, the picture up top is from from the archives and depicts Borreraig Day 1965, a day set aside for a tune in memory of the MacCrimmons.  This ceremony was usually conducted at the MacCrimmon Memorial Cairn (above) but the large building in the background of the main picture clearly rules that venue out. Perhaps inclement weather meant re-location. Can anyone identify the piper? I think it may be RU Brown but Balmoralologists might beg to differ. I can see Seumas MacNeill seated next to Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod bottom left.


Thanks to Greg Wilson, New Zealand, for this picture of Maureen Taylor, partner of the late Geoff Hore. Geoff was the famous collector of piping books and manuscripts. There are hundreds of items in his collection and it is reassuring to know that it remains under Maureen’s protection and that of trustees Greg Wilson and Stuart Finlayson. 
Maureen is pictured in front of some of the collection at her home in Whangarei, Northland, NZ.



Ian Rodney, Piping Convenor at Pitlochry Games, cheered the PP office  with this picture. The tea cosy was knitted by his wife: 


The Scottish Pipers’ Association President Tom Johnstone writes: ‘Just a quick reminder that the February Club Night and AGM is tonight, Friday 2nd February, 2018 at 7.30pm at the College of Piping. All members welcome to the AGM although non-members can join on the night and participate. Normal ‘club night’ to be held afterwards.’


A charity concert ‘Kids with Cancer’ will be held in Royal Hotel Cookstown, Northern Ireland, on Saturday 17th February with all proceeds in aid of the Children’s Cancer Unit, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.  There’s a great line up of pipe bands, pipers and drummers and well done to them all for supporting this effort. Pipers include: Ashley McMichael, Glenn Ross and Ryan Cupples-Menendez (FMM) and Ian Burrows (Drumlough Pipe Band).
Drummers include: Steven McWhirter and Chris McNicholl (I’ray), Stephen Creighton and Michael McKenna (SLoT), Gareth McLees (FM), William Glenholmes (Vale), Daniel Lynn (C’backey), John Scullion and John Lappin, Jordan Bailie (I’ray) and Calum Smyth (Quinn Mem.)
Also taking part are a mini band from Field Marshal, SLoT’s drum corps, Tullylagan drum corps and Mark Wilson’s band, Bernagh. Tickets are £10; for info call Gary Smyth 0781 444 6179. An auction and raffle will also take place. Doors open at 5.00pm and the concert will start at 6.00pm.


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2 thoughts on “PP Ed's Blog: Skye Under Fire/ Geoff's Collection/ SPA/ Ulster Charity Concert

  1. Rab. Yep … that’s Col. Jock behind the table . Don’t think that’s Seamus on the other side , I would say it’s either Seton Gordon or Frank Richardson ? … and yes , it looks like it’s Bob Brown playing to me .

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