PP Ed’s Blog: 1970 Mod/ RSPBA Guidelines/ Historic Drumming Pictures/ Highland Dress Poll

Tom Johnstone, President of the Scottish Pipers’ Association: ‘Thanks for that article on the 1970 Mod. Happy memories for me there – I knew I had won something but didn’t remember that it was the strathspey and reel.

‘I also got a Kilberry Book as a prize which I still use to this day (getting a bit tatty though!). Here is the photo of us juniors which appeared in the Oban Times [above]. L-R: Ronnie Elmslie, Me, Les Hutt, Donald McBride – the rest I don’t remember their names.

‘The other photo [below] is the trophy that I won. Lipton’s supermarket had it as a window display with a bottle of whisky in it and asked if they could keep it in the window for the rest of the week to save disrupting their display. I agreed and had to go back to Oban the following weekend to pick it up and they gave me the bottle for my trouble!

‘I have on the Muirhead’s kilt so I would guess I was either 16 or 17 at the time.’
• See also the interesting comment from Less Hutt on this story. That very small, cherubic, innocent person in the middle of the first picture surely can’t be Donald McBride?

From the RSPBA leaflet entitled ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups’:
• Remember children play for their fun not yours
• Never ridicule a child for making a mistake
• Praise your child’s effort win or lose; focus on the performance and not the result
• Encourage your child to respect the decisions of the officials
• Playing in a band should be a fun place for children to be.

All good advice for anyone involved in juvenile bands or with kids in adult bands. And to the above I would add that children – naturally competitive – should occasionally be reminded that it is not all about winning but also about music and friendship.


Composing Competition for a new Pipe March. £1,000 first prize…..


Someone has sent this in an unnamed email. It’s in reply to an earlier post apropos the All-Ireland Solos: ‘The winner of the Senior Grade was James Boyce of Saintfield Pipe Band; it was the first of three in a row – and as I don’t have the 1963 result maybe four in a row.’


Last chance to take part in our poll on piper’s dress. Results very soon:



With the approach of the World Solo Drumming, I thought it a suitable time to run this picture from Alan Chatto in Australia. Alan writes: ‘Just attaching a  photo of the Rutherglen Pipe Band (Glasgow) Snare Dum Corps, before competing in the Worlds Grade 1 Pipe Band Championship at Linksfield Stadium, Aberdeen in 1958. The Drummers are L/D Willie Corr, mid Eddie Wright and Flank, Allan Chatto (Australia) I thought this may be of interest to your readers.’

Alan has also included this picture of the Dalzell Highland Pipe Band. He writes: ‘Here is a photo of the Dalzell band probably taken in the late 1940s’: 

I can spot drummers Alex Duthart sitting front right and Billy Stevenson standing in the back row. Anyone any other names?


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5 thoughts on “PP Ed’s Blog: 1970 Mod/ RSPBA Guidelines/ Historic Drumming Pictures/ Highland Dress Poll

  1. The picture of the Dalziel Highland brought back some great memories for me as a youngster, this photo was taken around 1949/50 towards the sad demise of this great band in the early 50s. The piper on the far left behind the bass drum in J.A (Archie) Templeton who was my first tutor and founding PM of the Vale of Nethan. I remember Archie taking me over to Motherwell to their practices, think the PM was ? Ross and of course the young Billy Stevenson and Alex Duthart had at that time a great drum Corp

  2. The Dalziel Highland pipe band this picture was taken around 1949/50 towards the time of its sad demise in the early 50s
    The piper on the far left behind the bass drum is J. A.(Archie) Templeton he was my first tutor in the Vale of Nethan band I remember going to their practices in Motherwell as a youngster

  3. The Dalziel Highland pipe band this picture was taken around 1949/50 towards the time of its sad demise in the early 50s
    The piper on the far left behind the bass drum is J. A.(Archie) Templeton he was my first tutor in the Vale of Nethan band I remember going to their practices in Motherwell as a youngster
    Bill Wright

  4. cherubic and innocent have never been used in the same stratosphere as the name Donald McBride! 😉 Great piece.

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