PP Advertisers G1 Reeds and Proprietor Jock Elliott, have sent the following….
We are a bagpipe reed and chanter manufacturing company based in Kirkcaldy, Fife. We are currently working with a very special customer who has unfortunately suffered a disease called ‘Systemic Sclerosis’ which is an auto-immune disease of the connective tissue. The customer in question is Andrew Shilliday and he is pictured above before his terrible illness. Here is a little background on Andrew:
Andrew is from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, and is a former member of 15 time World Champion pipe band Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia. Andrew studied Scottish Music: Piping at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He finished his degree in 2009 and became bagpipe instructor for the Highland Council covering Wester Ross, Ullapool and Gairloch. In 2011 he noticed a persistent cough that just wouldn’t disappear. After a scan of his lungs it was discovered that Andrew had serious fibrosis and he was admitted to hospital for further tests including muscle and lung biopsy.In June 2012 he was diagnosed with ‘Systemic Sclerosis’ which caused him to lose most of his fingers and part of his legs. Andrew had to learn how to walk again, and, as you can imagine, his loss of fingers made his passion of playing the pipes very difficult. However Andrew’s love for pipe bands never subsided at all and he learnt how to drum to continue playing in pipe bands. Andrew spent a long time trying to be able to play bagpipes again and recently has developed an electronic chanter with holes in different positions to accommodate his amputated fingers. Now we at G1 Reeds have developed a pipe chanter in order to get Andrew back up on the full Highland pipes again. It has been a success and Andrew is travelling to Fife this week to play the pipes at a concert.
I have attached some photos of Andrew from before and after the illness and recovery process and also some photos of the chanter we have developed for him.
The reason G1 Reeds have taken such keen interest, is that Andrew and I used to play in Shotts and Dykehead together and as the owner of the company I was in the position to develop a chanter that will suit his fingers. We are going to have Andrew here at the workshop tomorrow and we will be doing some tweaks on the chanter, It would be great if you were able to come out and film it.
Please leave some words of support for Andrew below.