Editor’s Notebook: Piping Times Archive/ Online Contests/ Brian Lamond/ Gavin Stoddart

Director of Piping Finlay MacDonald continues his positive work at the Piping Centre with his announcement this week of the plan to archive the Piping Times and make it accessible to all online and free of charge.

It would be criminal to allow this resource to be lost to piping and I hope everyone will support the project. Much of the indexing work has already been carried out. Annie Grant, former RSPBA adjudicator and teacher of renown, completed a huge part of the cataloguing several years ago, all for no recompense other than the satisfaction that she knew she was doing something worthwhile for piping.

It may be useful as a start point for the NPC archive team. Annie’s monumental work, starting from the first edition in 1948, should still be in the library the NPC inherited from the CoP. It was certainly there when I left in 2014. Here’s part of it from April 2010:

The hard work will be in scanning all the individual magazines, around 850 issues.

I liked this from my Miscellany column in the October 2010 issue:

  1. Quick March – What a drum major does to avoid being trampled underfoot
  2. Reed               – What you do with riting
  3. Slow March   – What a pipe band does when the pipe major is tired 
  4. Kilt                 – Deid
  5. Sporran         – Something worn over nothing
  6. Plaid Brooch – Sharp pain in the left shoulder   
  7. Sgian Dubh   – Sharp pain in the leg or pigeon on snow

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The power of Piping Press! Greig Canning sold that excellent D Naill pipe in under 24 hours after advertising it with us. If you’ve something to sell there is only one marketplace for you to consider! Check out our rates here.

John Dew has been in touch: ‘Just emailing to let you know about our online solo piping competition this year. The 2020 online contest was such a success that we’re launching another one this year with additional events. You can find all the information here: https://bagpipespecialists.com/product/uttl-competition/.’

The Scottish Pipers are busy too. Gary Nimmo, their ‘Online Contest Administrator’, writes: ‘We are delighted to be able to host the Scottish Pipers’ Association Professional Solo Contest online for 2021.

‘Entries for this event will close on 5th of June 2021, with each competitor being assigned their assigned tune by Sunday the 9th of June. Our judging panel will be announced closer to the closing date.

‘We are also intending on running a pay per view event showcasing the A Grade events on Saturday the 26th of June, which we will release further details of in the coming days.

‘For more details of the event, and to keep an eye on the latest updates from the Scottish Pipers Association please visit our websitewww.scottishpipersassociation.co.uk or check out our social media channels.’

Hopeful that the Northern Winter School can go ahead in Germany this coming Novemeber. Hopeful, but not holding my breath. It is a very enjoyable school, not only thanks to the enthusiasm there is in Germany for the bagpipe and its music, but because it affords downtime with a super bunch of fellow instructors.

Highlight of our evenings is often a rendition or two from the multi-talented Brian Lamond. If Brian’s not playing the pipe he’s strumming his guitar and singing. Doing the rounds at the moment is this video he’s made of him performing an arangement of the ground of MacIntosh’s Lament:

Brian with part of MacIntosh’s Lament

Found this picture of a young Gavin Stoddart in the PP Archive. It must be from the late 1960s or early 70s. The caption reads: ‘At the range for the day to practise his piping was Gavin Stoddart, son of Pipe Major George Stoddart BEM.

‘Whilst there he met an old friend, Flight Lieutenant A. Syme, an Edinburgh insurance broker, who is on the wing staff of Edinburgh and South East Scotland Air Training Corps. Gavin is a former ATC member.’

As everyone knows Gavin went on to enjoy a stellar piping career with the Scots Guards and then as Pipe Major in the Royal Highland Fusiliers. He won both Gold Medals and many other awards and later became a successful Director of Army Bagpipe Music.

How many of you have played his melodic 4/4 march Murdo’s Wedding? An enjoyable tune to play when warming up the pipes. If you don’t know it, dig out the music and play along with this:

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