PP Ed’s Blog: One Day Worlds/ Abernethy Biscuits/ PS Ceilidh/ Coatbridge Bands/ LBPS

The dust has now settled on the decision by the RSPBA to continue with the Worlds as a two-day event. Personally I feel it is inevitable that it will return to one-day and if the Directors of the RSPBA are so minded I think they should begin planning now.

Irrespective of how many bands enter, I am sure that with some serious thought all Grade 1 entrants can be accommodated on the Saturday. Is there the space? Yes, Glasgow Green is huge.

No one day/ two day dilemma 40+ years ago when P/M RT Shepherd led his Dysart & Dundonald band to the Worlds title in 1978

Are there sufficient judges? I don’t have the inside run on that but the RSPBA Adjudicators’ Panel has risen to every challenge that they have ever been presented with and with the current administration I have absolutely no doubt that a solution would be found.

Would bands be encouraged to travel, to spend thousands of dollars/pounds whatever, by a one-day do? No question. The idea that their Worlds is over at 4pm on a Friday after spending huge sums of cash to get here is ludicrous.

They may put a brave face on it but when they get home and check the bank balance they must think to themselves ‘what was that all about?’



One story I forgot to mention from the Piobaireachd Society conference was about Abernethy biscuits. One of the delegates, Angus MacIntyre, lives in the eponymous Perthshire village and says the delicacy has nothing to do with the place.

They were the invention of a particularly handsome doctor based at St Bart’s Hospital in London. To get close to the dashing doc, ladies (married and un-) would present themselves with make believe tummy upsets.

Dr Abernethy got so fed up with the attention that he invented a placebo, his now famous biscuit, and sent them away if not completely satisfied, at least moderately pleased with the attention and the tasty accompaniment for their afternoon tea.

Angus helps with the local museum in the village and they have a display retelling and selling the above.


Attendees are still talking about the high standard of the playing at the PS ceilidh on the Saturday night.

I wish we had recorded it. One of the stand out performers was Secretary Bill Wotherspoon who played a moderately modern tune, the Salute to P/M William Ross by Angus MacPherson. Here’s Bill in action:


One of the great successes from the Society recently has been the availibility of downloadable digital books from our website.

For a mere £100 you can have the complete collection of books 1-16 available, with notes, on your iPad or tablet, within minutes. Here’s the link again or go to the home page and click on Shop at the top.



Bands and solo drumming at Coatbridge High School near Glasgow tomorrow (March 30). Disappointing that there are so few bands supporting this contest run by the Glasgow & West of Scotland Branch:

Grade 4B and Novice Juvenile B
14:30 North Lanarkshire Schools N/JB 
14:37 Strathendrick pipe band
14:44 Renfrewshire Schools pipe band
14:51 Greyfriars Pipes and Drums
14:58 Uddingston Strathclyde
Grade 4A and Novice Juvenile A
15:10 Strathendrick pipe band
15:17 North Lanarkshire Schools N/JA 
15:24 Fraserburgh RBL
Juvenile: 15:35 North Lanarkshire Schools N/JA 
Grade 3: 15:45 Fraserburgh RBL


Back to the Society conference…as I said it is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and new. Dr David Hannay was there and he told me of the piping community he has going down in Wigtownshire, mostly bellows pipes.

Indeed David was sporting a trophy he won at last year’s Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society annual competition. It’s for the over 65s, more wittily known as the ‘Seasoned Pipers’ trophy. David hopes to be defending his title at the next LBPS event on April 6.

Dr David with trophy

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1 thought on “PP Ed’s Blog: One Day Worlds/ Abernethy Biscuits/ PS Ceilidh/ Coatbridge Bands/ LBPS

  1. Congratulations Robert on your appointment as President of the Piobaireachd Society.
    Keep up the good work! Regards Gordon

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