Allistair Sinclair, Master Bagpipemaker

We regret to announce the passing of Allistair Sinclair of the William Sinclair Bagpipemaking dynasty. Allistair passed away after a long illness

Allistair took over the Wm Sinclair workshop in Leith near Edinburgh on the passing of his father. Allistair, a master craftsman, carried on the fine tradition of both his father and grandfather.

Allistair Sinclair working at the lathe

Modest to a fault, Allistair quietly worked away producing beautiful hand-crafted instruments and chanters for customers around the world.

In 60s and 70s the Sinclair chanter was THE pipe band chanter. The chanter was played by the Shotts band in the early years of their success and ‘Pa’ Sinclair worked closely with the MacAllister family on developing their reed to suit the chanter.

It was the Sinclair chanter that was played throughout the glory years of Strathclyde Police under P/M Ian McLellan – and MacAllister reeds that Ian used too.

Condolences to Allistair’s family at this time.


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4 thoughts on “Allistair Sinclair, Master Bagpipemaker

  1. I was honored to be Sinclair’s only dealer when I owned the House of Bagpipes back in the 90’s, thanks to Allistair.

    He will be missed by many!

  2. I well remember the huge excitement and trepidation I felt as a schoolboy when first stepping into the shop at 1 Madeira Street almost 40 years ago. I still play the pipes that Sinclair made for me that year (1980) though I’m not sure if it was Alistair or his father, William, who would have manufactured them. I feel very privileged to have been the beneficiary of their craftsmanship.

    As well as Alistair’s quiet, considerate manner, the primeval odour of dust and wood shavings and the rough wooden floor of the workshop are seared on my memory.

    My condolences to the Sinclair family.

  3. My condolences to Alastair’s family. In 1966, my piping teacher told me to write to Wm. Sinclair to ask if they would send me three silver-soled pipe chanters, so that he could choose one for me. On the strength of his name (P/M William MacLeod of Elgin, pipe major in the Seaforth Highlanders during the 2nd WW), the company sent me the chanters. That trust and fellowship helped make me the person and piper that I am today.

  4. Sincere condolences to the Sinclair family. I treasure my set of Sinclair pipes that my father purchased for me in the mid 1960’s. Still the only set of bagpipes I’ve ever owned. Had the pleasure of meeting Alastair once at his shop in 1999.
    Hugh Peden
    Vancouver BC

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