Editor’s Notebook: Online Dodgers/ Missing Ian/ New Book/ 1971 Bands/ 1973 Set Tunes

I have it on good authority that that oldest of bagpipe dodges, the two-drone dodge, is being regularly employed by doubtful dodgers in online contests! This dodgy practice is easily done. Shut off one drone; start your video submission; hoist the pipes, 30 second pretendy three drone tune and off you go, drones seemingly in tune, judges none the wiser.

But I say this to competitors: don’t be a dodger. It is not doing you any good. When things go live you will be found wanting. Everyone will know what you are up to. Your tuning, your ear will suffer. The Great Highland Bagpipe has three drones for solid, harmonic reasons. You owe it to yourself to honour that. And promoters, please get your anti-dodger protocols into place rapido. You will be able to come up with a modus operandi I am sure. Root out the dodgers!


No news is good news as far as the Worlds and the Scottish Pipe Band Championships are concerned. Surely with the easing of restrictions in June we will be able to have bands on parade end of July and in August? Can’t help thinking North Berwick (scheduled for early August) were terribly premature with their cancellation last week.

I never thought I’d miss Ian Embelton’s deadpan delivery so much (see picture top). As he has now semi-retired we may never hear his cult-status prouncements again but I think he should be wheeled in just for the results and March Past. No one does it quite like our Ian. Do you agree?



Reader Michael Hubbard on a new book on his pipe band: ‘This announcement was sent out to interested parties and we felt that there might be some in the Piping Press universe (and your announcements are always passed on to our band members). 

‘In any event, this is a book that started out as a project to establish the formation date of one of the longest, continuously existing pipe bands in N. America.  It obviously grew into much more.  The following announcements was sent out to band members, friends of the band, and many others.  Thank you for considering any wider notifications:

‘The book on our band is ready for pre-orders! Hellgate Press is offering a pre-order price of $18.95.  When the book hits the retail market (e.g., Amazon), it will be $26.95.  I wanted our former band members and friends to get the first word on this:
The book is now live on the Hellgate website and ready for pre-orders: https://www.hellgatepress.com/product/clan-band-michael-c-hubbard/


Allan MacDonald, Glengarry, Ontario: ‘I came across the breakdown of the 1971 season when going through a publicity booklet published for the initial Scottish World Festival in Toronto, 1972.

Note how well the St Thomas Police fared, nipping Glasgow Police and Muirheads in separate competitions:

Thanks for that Allan. I think I understand it, but then again….


Thanks to Ken Rogers in Calgary for this, spotted in a local magazine:


Some big tunes this year for the senior events at the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering. Same in 1973. Here’s John MacFadyen in the Oban Times that year:

1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook: Online Dodgers/ Missing Ian/ New Book/ 1971 Bands/ 1973 Set Tunes

  1. I hope the Clan MacLeay book doesn’t describe me climbing out of a newspaper dropbox at daybreak after the Garibaldi Days parade.
    It was the 80s!.

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