Editor’s Notebook: Braemar Mock-Up/ Eilidh’s Trust/ Brian Bows Out/ Midge Spray/ Worlds 1970 Tunes

Braemar Gathering staged a sort of kid on games on Saturday, crowdless but with participants filmed in each discipline, the whole to be broadcast online later this month.

Aberdeen piper John MacDonald did the needful at the piping bench with an MSR and a rendition of the Glen is Mine.

I am not sure what the purpose was, probably just to keep everyone’s interest in the old gathering alive. Those taking part could avail themselves of a 37 page health and safety and risk assessment document which says it all really – as do the worrying words of press secretary Craig Nisbet: ‘Our hope for next year is that everything is back to normal; whether it is or not we really don’t know.’

There is absolutely no health reason why outdoor solo contests could not be held right now at Braemar or any other Games.



Eilidh’s Trust

Well done to all those runners and walkers across Scotland who took part in last week’s event in support of the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust. Eilidh, you will remember, was the young piper from Barra in the Outer Hebrides who was a tragic victim of the Manchester terrorist outrage three years ago.

The trust supports music education for young people, reflecting Eilidh’s own musical ability and enjoyment as a piper with the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band. The trust will also manage and maintain a permanent memorial to Eilidh and a garden of remembrance and reflection on Barra. 

Participants registered via the #TeamEilidh event page on running app Strava where their mileage was logged.

Donations to the trust will be very much welcome in light of this year’s charity fundraising events being scaled back and can be made via Eilidh’s Trust’s JustGiving page.


Brian Retires


Congratulations on his retirement to piper and pipemaker Brian Mulhearn. His firm, Ayrshire Bagpipes, will be taken over by his son Ben also a well known competing piper. The company statement:

‘After almost 30 years, Brian Mulhearn is retiring from Ayrshire Bagpipes. A knowledgeable and well known personality in the world of solo piping, Brian started the company in 1990 as a home-based operation.

‘In this time, he is proud to have seen it become a staple of the piping industry, producing unique, high quality, handmade products. For the past 10 years, his son Ben has worked for the company carefully learning the trade from his father while treading the boards himself as a solo piper. Eager to build on his father’s legacy, Ben is now excited to take over operations, ensuring that Ayrshire Bagpipes continues as a family-run enterprise. 

‘Ben would like to thank the loyal customers that continue to support Ayrshire Bagpipes. In these challenging times, every single order makes a difference. Furthermore, he would like to thank Brian for the trust and support he has shown in handing over the business, and hopes that the company will continue to flourish for the next 30 years.’ 


Covid Spray

Reader Ian Forbes: ‘You may recall I sent you in March or April, a link to an article on a citriodiol spray (a plant based insect repellent) being used by the Army as additional protection against Covid.

‘Now, there is more evidence that this spray can work against coronoviruses, and the Army are continuing to use it as an additional protective measure.  Here is the new link, published on Sky News

‘Like you, I am deeply worried about the future of pipe bands in the coming year, and it may be that a combination of measures can help mitigate the coronavirus risk. With more evidence emerging that Covid re-infections can occur, and efficacy/safety issues still unanswered on a vaccine, anything that can help protect against Covid is welcome.  This simple-to-use spray based on a plant extract could have a role to play.’


Worlds Tunes

Correspondent Trevor Clydesdale has kindly forwarded the tunes submitted by the Grade 1 bands at the ground-breaking 1970 Worlds, the first medley championship.

Check out the names of the P/Ms: Norrie Summors, Jock Innes (yes, Kelty in Grade 1), Alex Kiddie, Archie Pinkman, Johnny Barnes plus the better known ones, Willie Connell, Jock Weatherston etc.

The tunes? Just about every one a tried and tested nugget of melody – which is more than can be said for some of the stuff we hear these days.


1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook: Braemar Mock-Up/ Eilidh’s Trust/ Brian Bows Out/ Midge Spray/ Worlds 1970 Tunes

  1. Thanks to Trevor for the programme from the 1970 Grade 1 Worlds. The names of all these great pipe majors brought back wonderful memories… wee Johnny Barnes, big Ronnie Lawrie, Bob Hardie, Iain MacLeod, Tom MacAllister and all the others too. Marvellous. I wonder if any reader has some old Grade 1 MSR play lists from the 1970’s, to see if there was more variety in the MSR tunes then compared to nowadays?

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