Editor’s Notebook: MFD/ Sherriff Pipers/ ‘Royal’ Games/ Duncan and the Prince/ Hector’s Book/ Round the Games

The late Ronald Morrison, winner of the Piobaireachd at Cowal in 1965. See ‘Round the Games’ below

Final word on MFD. Clive Douglas believes there should be a formal recognition of the condition and a warning about over-zealous, obsessional practice. Clive writes: ‘l’m not sure if you could ever stop the condition appearing in a person, but I do think there is a set of circumstances that should probably be avoided.

‘I wonder if there’s a place for some education in this area through the Piping Centre, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Army School. These organisations will probably deal with the most driven individuals, and I suspect they will be the ones most at risk.

‘It’s good to get this all out in public. I suspect most sufferers drift away and either stop playing altogether or they are too embarrassed to play in public or in a band because their standard of playing dropped so much.

‘It’s a bit of a double whammy. The condition destroys your ability to play to any standard and then, because you were always so concerned about what others/ yourself thought about your playing, you step back from piping altogether. Thanks for covering this subject, most pipers want to avoid even mentioning it!’

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Bob Worrall has sent the invitees for the forthcoming George Sherriff amateur competition. They are: Jessica Bain, Nova Scotia, Callum Bevan, British Columbia, Sean Buchta, Florida, Zippa Curiskis, Minnesota, Trevor DeMass, Utah, Mark McClennan, Ontario, Stuart Marshall, North Carolina, Charles-David Mitchell, Ontario, Andrew Prioli, Rhode Island, Caleb Thibodeau, Ontario.

The online contest results will be on Facebook on Nov 20.

HM The Queen has approved the ‘Royal’ assignation for the Scottish Highland Games Association, the body that has done so much to maintain the country’s unique gatherings. Henceforth the SGA are to be known as the Royal Scottish Highland Games Association. Decimated for the last two years, I hope summer 2022 sees a return to better times for them.

HRH Prince Charles is Patron of the RSGHA and this allows me to segue neatly into our recent photograph of his audience with piping royalty in the shape of Duncan Watson, Aberdeen.

The two met at the Braemar minor games in August and Brian Yates of Cabar Fèidh Bagpipe Supplies in Inverness suggests the following conversation:

Duncan: ‘Well, that was quick; I heard you had only just landed in Moidart.’
HRH: ‘Ah, yes, well helicopters dear chap, helicopters. The boat would have taken too long in its condition. Fancy a little supper?’
Duncan: ‘Now that you’ve kissed my hand, absolutely. Where can we go?’
HRH: ‘Anywhere dear chap, anywhere. After all, the glen is mine.’

Former Scots Guards piper Hector Thomson has produced a book ‘Hector of the Glens’ about a young man’s dream of becoming a piper in the Army.

Hector and book

The blurb reads, ‘Even as a child Hector displays a zest for life, which makes Alexander the Great seem like an anaemic Boy Scout. Hector’s hedonistic world is made up of his unbridled love of bagpipes, unswerving friendships and a life of riotous excess.

‘At the age of 16, Hector and his childhood friends join the Army to fulfil their dream of becoming pipers in the finest of Scots regiments……’

The book is available on Amazon priced £12.50.

Round the Games 1965

Cowal, Dunoon August 27
Piob: 1 Ronald Morrison, Glasgow, Unjust Incarceration 2 Finlay MacNeill, Port Glasgow, Unjust Incarceration 3 John Graham, Avonbridge, Bells of Perth
March: 1 Hector MacFadyen, Pennyghael 2 Ronald Lawrie, Oban 3 John MacKenzie, Dunblane
S&R: 1 Hector MacFadyen 2 Ronald Lawrie 3 James Elmslie, Glasgow
Open Under 18 Piob: 1 AJ Wilson, Campbeltown, 2 Duncan Bell, Dumfries, 3 Robert Stewart, Inveraray

Strathpeffer, Aug 7
Judges: Angus MacPherson, Invershin, DP MacGillivray, Nigg
Piob: 1 J Matheson, Lairg 2 A MacKay, London 3 Jean Francois Allain, Brittany
March: 1 Iain McLeod, Edinburgh 2 Duncan MacFadyen, Johnstone 3 Thomas Pearston, Glasgow 4 J Mathieson
S&R: 1 T Pearston 2 D MacFadyen 3 I McLeod

Aboyne, Sept 8
Piob 1: John MacDougall 2 William MacDonald 3 Bert Barron 4 Neil MacEachern, Islay
March: 1 J Miller 2 R MacCallum 3 J MacDougall 4 R Barron
S&R: 1 J MacDougall 2 J Miller 3 D Stewart 4 R Barron

North Uist, July 20
Piob: 1 Iain MacFadyen 2 Ronald Morrison 3 William Morrison 4 Calum Campbell
MSR: 1 I MacFadyen 2 C Campbell 3 R Morrison 4 W Morrison
Jigs: 1 I MacFadyen 2 R Morrison 3 C Campbell 4 W Morrison

1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook: MFD/ Sherriff Pipers/ ‘Royal’ Games/ Duncan and the Prince/ Hector’s Book/ Round the Games

  1. Good to see Hector keeping up his spirits (!?) following his recent diagnosis of Covid 19. He is always a source of humour and bonhomerie at band practices and gigs and I am proud to play alongside him in the Scots Guards Association (Scotland) Pipe Band. Well done Hector.

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