Picture Poser Solved/ Solo Contest Round Up: Bratach, Captain John, George Sherriff

In reply to yesterday’s photograph poser, Donald Mackay, Pipe Sergeant of Scottish Power, was first out of the blocks. Donald writes: ‘This photo was taken in 1999 out in Pakistan.

‘The Pipes and Drums of the 1st Btn The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons & Camerons) were out taking part in Queen’s Birthday celebrations all over the country.

‘The band played at various engagements and functions in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore and even and Beating Of the Retreat at the Khyber Rifles Officers Mess up in the Khyber Pass.

A great trip and great experience. Pictured here and ranks at the time are (L to R):
Pipe Major Stuart Samson (Laurencekirk)
Corporal Donald Mackay (Alness)
Lance Corporal Paul Tweedley (Rothesay)
Pipe Sergeant Michael Gray (Elgin)

Thanks for posting, brought back some great memories. Of course the date of posting this photo has great regimental links as 17th September 1994 was the day that the Queen’s Own Highlanders amalgamated with the Gordon Highlanders in Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh.’

Donald started piping at school taught by John Burgess MBE until the latter’s death in 2005. On leaving school he served with the Queens Own Highlanders (now known as the 4th Royal Regiment of Scotland) for 11 years, qualifying as a Pipe Major from the Army School of Piping in 1996. 

Scottish Power P/Sgt, Donald Mackay (centre)

In 2001, Donald joined Strathclyde Police, was appointed Pipe Major of their band, and led them to Scottish, European and Cowal Grade 1 Championships.

Thanks to all the others who replied to this: Niall Matheson, Michael Gray, Joe Hardy, Yahya Hussein and Will Carter.



The Scottish Piping Society of London have confirmed that this year’s professional competitions will go ahead ‘live’ on November 5/6.

President Michael Fitzhenry writes: ‘I am delighted to let you know that the 81st Annual Competition of the Scottish Piping Society of London will be held on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th November at The Caledonian Club, Halkin Street, SW1X 7DR.

‘Following the move to a new venue in 2019, the SPSL committee sought feedback from adjudicators, competitors and guests which was hugely positive. There was substantial support for continuing to host the event in the new venue and as a result of feedback we are again hosting the Bratach Gorm as a signature competition event on the Friday evening.

‘The annual competition is now publicly launched and entries are open. Further information on the Bratach Gorm will be announced later this month.’


Pipe Major Peter MacGregor has confirmed that the Captain John MacLellan Memorial competition will take place at Inchdrewer House, Edinburgh, on October 2. All solo grades catered for.

There will be events in Piobaireachd and MSR for P/A/B/C and an Open H&J competition. 

Entries will be taken through the CPA website. There will be a cap of 25 players in each event.

Entries open on Monday (20th September) and close a week later on Monday, 27th September.


Bob Worrall has confirmed that this year’s George Sherriff amateur contest will go ahead online in November. This will be the 25th year of the competition. Website here.


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