Restrictions Pose Threat to British Pipe Band Championships

Welcome back folks and right away I must apologise for being the bearer of un-glad tidings. If we are to believe what the Scottish Government and its medical apparatchiks are saying, we need to start worrying about early season pipe band contests.

Just look at the front pages from Monday’s Times newspaper (above). In England (r) we had talk of a lessening of restrictions whilst in bonnie wee benighted Scotland it was all the usual doom and gloom – there will be no large outdoor gatherings – 500 audience cap – ‘well into spring’. That neatly puts the kybosh on the British at Gourock on May 21.

By The Editor

Of course it may not come to pass. Everything will be sorted a couple of months from now and we will be able to throw away the face nappies and start breathing and living as normal. But remember, that’s what we thought this time last year, wasn’t it?

Fear not; I have a solution. Assuming current attitudes are to persist, start planning now to hold the British in Carlisle or Newcastle.

Laugh if you like, but why not? Busloads of revellers showed us the way at Hogmanay taking their custom and good cheer south of the Tweed and Solway.

Carlisle would be perfectly placed for the Irish bands too (turn right at the M74 instead of left). Just over an hour from Washington Street, what’s not to like? We’ve had championships in England before and very successful they were too.

After two years of nothing we need some lateral thinking. Ensuring that there is going to be a British Championships come what may would help the RSPBA restore some of its prestige and get new Executive Officer Alison Burke’s tenure of office off to a flyer. At the very least we need a plan B to cover a cancellation of the British, some sort of event that could be held within the rules.

More than anything what bands want right now is a sign that they must get back practising again. Every week that passes without a strong committment from on high and the death knell for the 2022 season sounds louder.

It is the uncertainty that is the killer. Bands need to know they have something to work towards else what is the point? I suspect those drum pad and chanter sessions are rather half-hearted at the moment. Why go full-on when your time may be wasted?

Other RSPBA business from the Board of Directors meeting in December:

  • Lothian & Borders Branch President John Hughes has expressed the Branch’s ‘disappointment and frustration’ at the news that the RSPBA cannot facilitate any SCQF exams until further notice. He requested the BoD publish a detailed road map leading to their resumption as a matter of urgency.
  • Pipe Band College Principals are to continue in post for another year.
  • Julie Brinklow has stood down as Music Board representative for the North of Scotland.
  • The ‘standing start’ project for Novice B and G4B bands will be piloted at the European Championshps in Inverness on 25th June and three minor competitions beforehand. An ‘explainer’ video is planned.
  • Mrs Irene Black, a long-serving member of the Association’s results compiling team, has retired and is to be honoured with a Life Membership.
  • An approach is to be made to the Royal Family with a view to obtaining Patronage for the RSPBA.

2 thoughts on “Restrictions Pose Threat to British Pipe Band Championships

  1. Now there’s a poll question if ever I saw one !
    Which Royal would the readership of the PP want as patron for the RSPBA?
    The PS has her majesty the Queen, National Piping Center has Prince Charles; who could stand for the RSPBA.
    Being an American I have no idea how a royal patron is picked.

  2. Agree 100%. We cannot have the nanny state Scottish Government control our lives in perpetuity. If excessive restrictions continue, other options and venues for piping events must be investigated. The future of our piping/pipe band culture and heritage is at risk from the inept micromanagement emanating from Bute House.

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