Editor’s Notebook: WW2 Piper/ RSPBA Reminder/ MacStig Poll/ N Mtg Ceilidh/ Band Filming

Thanks to Yahya Hussein in New York for this unique picture of a piper from WW2. Yahya: ‘Here’s a photo of the intrepid Pipe Major Rob Roy of Tobruk who survived the war and whom Jimmy McIntosh told me was a very good piper. His daughter wrote a book on him.’

The blurb: ‘This book is about Pipe Major Robert Roy MBE DCM of the Black Watch who became known as the Piper of Tobruk. Not only does it describe his heroic action at Tobruk, one of the fiercest battles of the Second World War, as well as his earlier military career in India, Greece, and Germany, but also the difficult personal issues he faced when he fell in love with a German woman at the end of that war.

‘Pipe Major Rob Roy is a legendary figure in the Black Watch, itself a legendary Highland infantry regiment. The Piper of Tobruk is an inspiring story of a distinguished and gallant soldier whose exploits in war and peace are genuinely remarkable.’

How did they maintain the pipe in the heat, the sand, the horror? How lucky are we to have been born in our generation. Get the book here.



Reminder from the RSPBA: ‘Band fees and overseas association fees for the 2020 season are now due for payment and payments can be made online. Reminder for UK Bands: Payment is due by 30th November 2019. Late payment will incur a penalty of 20% of the current registration fee. To make your payment please click here


Have you taken part in our latest poll yet? Whatever the findings we will abide by what our readers decide. If you want MacStig to stay on in Grade 2 let us know. Is he due a break in Grade 3A? He does brilliant service for the pipe band community wherever he roams but we are ever responsive to our readers so let us know your thoughts by participating in the poll. Very healthy response so far.


Reading again through the recent post on the 1970 Northern Meeting and the Cummings Hotel ceilidh, I can vouch for what a great evening it was. My first visit was in 1976 and I remember an outstanding performance by Allan MacDonald playing Bill Livingstone’s pipes. Super playing on a first class instrument.

Captain John MacLellan played that night too, and though clearly not at the level which won him the big four, you could still detect a master at work. Fond memories. I am sure that if this evening could be revived it would be tremendously popular and I am also sure many judges, like John, would be happy to give a tune. 



Looking back over the pipe band season I wonder if all the filming that went on had a detrimental effect on attendances. Why bother standing about in the rain when you can hear and see an approximation in your armchair?

Well that’s just the point isn’t it? It’s an approximation. You are not experiencing things in real time; you are not even hearing the true sound the band produces. So there you are at your next pipe band ‘do’ and someone asks you how you thought the British or the Scottish went. Having been there you can sound forth with your own honest opinion. Not having made the effort your opinion is not worth terribly much.


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