Editor’s Notebook: World Solo Drumming/ MacStig Poll/ WW2 Contest/ SPA Contest/ Brighde Chaimbeul

Congratulations to the amazing Steven McWhirter for his tenth World Solo Drumming title, clearly now the Alex Duthart or Jim Kilpatrick of today. Only one Scot in the top list, so well done too to Grant Cassidy of Uddingston Strathclyde for flying the flag. Grant is a protégé of the late Bert Barr, brilliant drummer, brilliant teacher and Alex’s loyal sidekick.

A word for all the pipers who slaved throughout last Saturday. It’s time they were announced when they come onto the stage. The drummers are, naturally, mentioned and so are the tunes. The poor pipers just stand there worrying about letting their bandmate down.

So if anyone has the name of the young chap pictured above who played such an important role in Steven’s success please forward it to us via the Comment section below.



For the final time we run the MacStig poll. Grade 2 or Grade 3A. Should he stay or should he go?


Jimmy McIntosh in South Carolina has responded re our WW2 piper picture and also the story on the ‘show of cards’ judging system tried out by the Scottish Pipers’ Association in 1969. Jimmy writes:

‘Re the Piper of Tobruck’ I was in Perth and attended the launch of the book. I met his son and daughter. I met Roy in Verdun, France, in 1945 at the Highland Division Highland Games.

‘They lasted five days and Roy played in the Senior events and won the piobaireachd playing Beloved Scotland. General Frank Richardson was the judge.

‘The light music was judged by Donald Shaw Ramsay and Angus McKillop. We lesser mortals were not allowed to compete against the Pipe Majors. Ian Angus, Seaforths, won the piobaireachd with Catherine’s Lament and I won the MSR with Southall, Inveraray Castle and Mrs McPherson of Inveran. The Highland Division was disbanded following the Games.



‘As regards the Scottish Pipers’ contest and the card judging system, I competed in the competition with the five judges. Bob Hardie and four others judged the March event and I was first playing Highland Wedding. There was a large entry, certainly over 30 competitors. It was only done once as far as I remember.’

Those unfortunate enough to have to stop at the House of Bruar just off the A9 on the road to Inverness can find some consolation by visiting this fine memorial to the Highland Division Jimmy mentions above:

The plaque reads:


Finally a word of praise for piper Brighde Chaimbeul who last week was awarded the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award for folk music. Here’s the official pic:

The award was for Brigdhe’s fine new CD ‘The Reeling’ (River Lea Recordings RLR003CD):

Brighde is a student of Iain Speirs and is playing in the Scots Guards Knockout in Edinburgh next Sunday, October 27th, against Auchtermuchty’s finest, Jamie Elder.


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