PP Ed’s Blog: Worlds Changes/ Northern Winter School/ Glasgow Police/ Hair Sporrans/ High Note

I hear the RSPBA’s Board of Directors are looking at ways of better using the Friday of the World Pipe Band Championships.

One suggestion is that the Friday becomes the Juvenile World Pipe Band Championship day with all Novice and Juvenile bands and Junior Drum Majors completing their contests that day with a separate prizegiving on conclusion.

Prizewinners from the Friday might be invited to take part in the finale on the Saturday.

All bands affected are being canvassed for their opinions and have until the end of the month to comment.



One problem I have heard is that state school bands, e.g. West Lothian School (pictured above), Oban Schools, North Lanarkshire etc, will be at a disadvantage given that they start their new term during Worlds Week and requests for a day off so soon may not find favour among head teachers.

Private schools, Dollar, George Watson’s etc, have not yet returned from their summer holidays by the time of the Worlds so they would be unaffected.


Well that’s the Northern Winter School over for another year and very enjoyable it was too. Hard work but rewarding. To hear the progress of the students at our nightly ceilidhs made the effort well worthwhile.

Principal Ronnie Bromhead drew students from all over Germany and two from Singapore. Here they are with the instructors at the closing concert:

Instructor Craig Munro, owner and Company Director of Wallace Bagpipes, says that his company has completed its target order book for the year with 80 sets of pipes due for delivery before Christmas, bringing his year’s production to around 500 sets. All I can say Craig is that that is what happens when you advertise on Piping Press!



I like this new logo from the Glasgow Police PB (below). As indicated, they were originally the Govan Police Pipe Band and you can hear them on the PP Audio Archive in one of the first – if not the first recording  of a pipe band.


I hear the band has a new clutch of pipers and are working hard over the winter to restore their fortunes. They have a new tartan too – but for corporate occasions only.

They will continue to wear Royal Stewart in competition but the Scottish Police Federation tartan is now available to them for other duties. Well done to the Federation for providing the necessary cash.

Here’s the tartan and the blurb: ‘Can only be worn by those authorised by the copyright holder the Scottish Police Federation.

‘Cannot be offered for sale or woven without the express permission of the copyright holder, the Scottish Police Federation.

The new Scottish Police Federation tartan

‘A fitting inspiration for the Scottish Police Federation’s 2019 centenary, is the 1790 City of Glasgow tartan.

‘Incorporating the colours of the Federation badge, the background comprises 100 black ‘centenary’ threads in which lies the now universally accepted policing symbol of the ‘Sillito tartan’ – the chequered band introduced in 1932 by Glasgow’s then Chief Constable, Sir Percy Sillito.

‘The blue commemorate the original 1779 police force of eight officers; the yellow symbolises the cultural and gender mix of the modern Force.’


Mark Rossi, a bass drummer in Florida, has written: ‘I was wondering if you can give me a bit of advice. I’ve had a difficult time trying to keep my horse hair sporran nice and straight for when we play formal events. I have tried hairspray, flat irons, and brushing yet I still cannot keep the hair from being disheveled. What am I doing wrong or what can I do to make this work?

My experts have advised the following course of action Mark:
1 Wash it with shampoo in warm water.
2 Lay it flat in a bath of cold water to rinse thoroughly.
3 Hang on a clothes line (inside the house) to dry.
4 Brush it straight to make sure dirt is out
5 Once satisfied it is clean repeat above operation using hair conditioner


Jason Briscoe (above): Wanted to shoot you a quick note with some High Note progress. We’ve had an incredible response thus far with over 25 nominations for 13 bands across five countries – this said, our pipe band community is super small and very much appreciate your support in spreading awareness and access to the platform. Thanks again for your support.

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5 thoughts on “PP Ed’s Blog: Worlds Changes/ Northern Winter School/ Glasgow Police/ Hair Sporrans/ High Note

  1. At this point is there any solution for the Grade 1 contest that has not been tried over the last forty years? At the moment we seem to try something, see what people moan about then change it in a never-ending cycle.

    One argument I have little time for is that bands don’t “have their moment in the spotlight”. You don’t get to waltz up to the Olympics to have a go in the 100 metres, and you should have to prove you’re good enough to play in the World’s final.

  2. an additional thought on grade 1 Worlds. Abandon the Qualifier on the Friday – definitely – but have all G1 bands play on Friday and Saturday in the same arena, so that the overall contest is judged on each band playing both medley selections and both MSRs. This is the premier pipe band competition, so it should be challenging for the elite bands, and having the competition judged on 4 performances over 2 days will really be a true test for the bands (and also help to eliminate any judging bias – should it occur)

  3. Removing the Friday Grade 1 Qualifier for the Worlds would be a very positive move by the RSPBA. The Qualifier creates more issues than it solves, and there has been widespread dissatisfaction with the current system as expressed previously on PipingPress, and social media

  4. Interesting idea regarding the worlds but do you think they would still have the Grade 1 Qualifiers on the Friday as I’m not sure the juvenile championship would pull in the numbers possibly needed to ‘pay for the day’ I do think the schools going back for the term might prove a problem and juvenile band from further a away may need two days off

    1. I think the idea is to do away with the Qualifying for G1, the space having been created on the Saturday for all G1 bands who enter. I think this a good move by the RSPBA as it cannot be pleasant for bands who travel considerable distances at great expense only to be told they can’t play on the big day.
      Having said that the state school issue will have to be resolved. RW

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