Editor’s Notebook: PS Recital/ Mystery 6/8s/ Edinburgh PO Band/ Eden Court/ Games in 1998

The Piobaireachd Society have confirmed they are livestreaming their annual recital from the National Piping Centre on Sunday 29th November at 7.30pm

The Society had to move the concert from St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh following health and safety difficulties. Tickets cost just £5 each and are available from the society’s website here

The pipers, Sandy Cameron, Angus MacColl, Cameron Macdougall and Iain Speirs, will each play two tunes. There will be no tuning on stage and we anticipate the show will last two hours. This is a tremendous opportunity to hear these expert musicians playing in a more relaxed, competition-free environment. 

The Piobaireachd Society is very grateful to the Principal of the National Piping Centre, Finlay MacDonald, and his staff for making their premises available to the Society at relatively short notice. If further pandemic restrictions necessitate cancellation all ticket money will be refunded.

The tunes to be played are as follows: End of the High Bridge, Corrievreckan Lullaby, Struan Robertson’s Salute, Unjust Incarceration, MacDougall’s Gathering, In Praise of Morag, Lament for Donald of Laggan and Mackenzie of Applecross’s Salute.

A downloadable programme with full notes on the tunes and short bios of the pipers will be available to all ticket holders.

Former Strathclyde Police piper James (Seumas) MacLean is holed up in the Western Isles during the pandemic (safest place to be Jim) and has written: ‘I’m hiding in teuchterland on Benbecula. If it wasn’t for piping and your own site I don’t know what I’d do.

‘My last visit to Glasgow was 19 Aug till 3 Sept. I might make it back for Xmas and New Year. Wondering if I wrote a few bars of two 6/8s I would like to know the titles of would you send them out in the hope that some reader might crack them?

‘I’m unable to remember any more than four bars of No. 1 and have never heard the remainder of No 2. Meantime, thanks for keeping us all sane with your daily dose of interesting reading. Most grateful to you and look forward to any response.’

Thanks for getting in touch Jim and we’ll catch up once the bugs vanish. Here are the two snatches of melody:

If anyone has any suggestions please email editor@pipingpress.com

Reader Andy Edgar writes: ‘Good afternoon Robert. Please find attached images in relation to the article relating to the Royal Company of Archers. There are some images from the Post Office band and also an original photo of the RCA leading a parade. I believe that this was from 12th Aug 1937.

‘The original post creator may want to approach the current members of the Edinburgh Postal Pipe Band on Facebook to see if there is more to find with them? Many regards.’

Thanks Andy. Here are the pictures. If anyone can put names to the pipers shown please get in touch:

On the same story tartan historian Peter MacDonald of the Scottish Tartans Museum writes: ‘The article about the Royal Company of Archers sought confirmation of the tartan worn by them. The tartan is definitely Royal Stewart.

‘There is also a comment about the band wearing kilt and fly plaid. The only plaid that is obvious is that of the drummer in the RCA-3 picture. It is not a Fly Plaid (a relatively modern invention) but a Drummer’s or Half Plaid.

‘I had never heard of the RCA Pipe Band before now and will have to update my paper on the RCA tartans. I can’t find anything about the Edinburgh Post Office Pipe Band or what they wore. Given the source and small numbers involved in the RCA PB, I’d have thought it is possible that the majority of their uniform was borrowed from the EPO PB. I’m very happy for you to forward this email on to Mr Moulin.’

Further to his story on Eden Court Theatre – piping’s ‘Theatre of Dreams’ – Duncan Watson reports that the main auditorium is currently being used as a centre for pandemic supplies:

Hopefully come next Aug/Sept those seats will be filled with a host of Northern Meeting piping worthies all avidly listening to the best solo piping on the planet.

Round the Games….more from the north in 1998

1 Stuart Samson 2 Niall Matheson 3 Les Hutt 4 Stewart Shedden
1 Niall Stewart 2 Stewart Shedden 3 James MacPhee 4 Michael Grey
1 James MacPhee 2 Niall Matheson 3 Niall Stewart 4 Michael Grey

1 Allan MacColl 2 Niall Stewart 3 Frank Nicholas 4 John Don MacKenzie
Judges: J Burgess, J MacDougall
1 Allan MacColl 2 Graeme Roy 3 Pamela Whyte 3 Brendan Eade
1 Niall Stewart 2 Graeme Roy 3 Donald MacLeod 4 Allan MacColl
1 Niall Stewart 2 John Don MacKenzie 3 Colin Melville 4 Allan MacColl

1 Niall Matheson 2 Andrew Hall 3 Lewis Barclay 4 Michael Grey
1 James Stewart 2 Michael Grey 3 Calum MacKenzie 4 Lewis Barclay
1 James Stewart 2 Donald MacLeod 3 Niall Matheson 4 Michael Grey
1 Niall Matheson 2 Bruce Omundsen 3 Doanld MacLeod 4 James Stewart

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