Editor’s Notebook: Callum’s Success/ Balmoral Room/ Inverness Piping Society/ Robert Turner/ Bob’s Funeral

Congratulations to Callum Beaumont after his remarkable success at the London Championship. To win two major piobaireachd prizes in one day takes a special player. To cap that with success in ceol beag and you are talking very special.

Having heard Callum playing and winning the Clasp at Inverness it doesn’t surprise me that he is repeating that success a couple of months later. As they say, he has the gift. Here’s what I wrote after the Northern Meeting:

Callum was one of the pipers at the Piobaireachd Society’s recital in St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh last year. Members can watch his performances again by going to the Society website and searching ‘St Cecilia’s’. The picture above is from the concert and displays Callum’s trademark concentration.

I’m told the new venue for the Bratach etc, the Caledonian Club in Belgravia, was a big success and the SPSL are hoping to return next year.

One attendee said: ‘A lot of positive feedback from everyone there about the new venue, including from the competitors. Vice President Billy Wardrope, who ran the show, is hopeful for a return next year. He had a good team behind him and it was run professionally with a friendly atmosphere.’



On a recent visiit to the old College building in Otago Street, now owned by the Piping Centre, I was pleased to see that the Balmoral Room has been re-instated to its former glory with all the memorabilia associated with ‘the Bobs’ Nicol and Brown, including the iconic clock, back where it belongs.

Bob Nicol’s clock…..the chimes can be heard in the background on the ‘Masters of Piobaireachd’ recordings

Pressure from certain quarters has borne fruit and the room is back to almost what it was before the desecration after I left. Looking round the room the only thing that I could see missing was the large framed Bartholomew’s map of the Grampians with which you could follow the source of the Dee high on Braeriach to the sea at Aberdeen.

The room was sponsored by Deeside Highland games and piping societies in honour of Nicol and Brown and it was upsetting when the misguided (I’m being kind) College board saw fit to do away with it. Braemar, Ballater, Aboyne, Aberdeen all contributed to our fund raising during the College re-build.



Alastair Campbell, Secretary of Inverness Piping Society: The Society’s November meeting will be on Wednesday 6th November at which we will welcome Yvonne Kelman and some of her pupils to give us a few tunes.  This is an informal evening so please bring your pipes for a tune, or just come along to listen.

Future date for the diary – Our first formal recital of this winter will be on 29 November, featuring Iain Speirs.  Please note in your diary and spread the word.


Gordon Ferguson in Australia has sent a nice letter following the passing of Robert Turner. Read it here.

More grieving…tomorrow is Bob Shepherd’s funeral. The details again:
The funeral will take place on Tuesday 5 November at 2.15pm at Kirkcaldy Crematorium, Rosemount Avenue, Kirkcaldy KY2 6HQ. Thereafter there will be a get together at the Dean Park Hotel, Chapel Level, Kirkcaldy KY2 6HF. Read Alistair Aitken’s tribute to Bob here.


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1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook: Callum’s Success/ Balmoral Room/ Inverness Piping Society/ Robert Turner/ Bob’s Funeral

  1. The new venue was a hit with the players. Perhaps a few niggles to work out for next year but for a first time at a new venue it was great. The Bratach worked well on the Friday night, although surely the result will need to be announced after the contest on the Friday night next time. Also. A huge shout out and thanks to Alison Gilmour who ran the event. Without her, London wouldn’t have happened.

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