Editor’s Notebook: Imminent U-turn Will Save Early Pipe Band Season/ Piping in Pitt Street/ Piobaireachd by the Sea/ Ottawa Games 1976

Twelve hours after Tuesday’s blog suggesting the 2022 British Pipe Band Championships should be moved from Scotland to England, Sir Ian McGeechan proposed the same for the forthcoming Calcutta Cup rugby match.

Newcastle would be the perfect spot for the battle with the auld enemy, a max crowd permitted and guaranteed, said Sir Ian.

Twenty-four hours later our football pundits were suggesting the same for Scottish Premier League matches.

The brain cells at Holyrood see the way this is going. Stand by for a rapid reverse ferret, the ‘restrictions till spring’ mantra consigned to the dustbin, the caps on numbers at outdoor gatherings scrapped.

I now think it unlikely that we will have to cancel or move the British away from Battery Park, Gourock, on May 21.

So bandsmen and ladies, get the serious hat on and get serious about the forthcoming season. In five short months I believe we’ll all be on the grass again enjoying the greatest sound in the world. Thanks due to Sir Ian and his soccer counterparts.

Correspondent Allan Hamilton: Regarding the birth of the College of Piping in Pitt St., Glasgow, (PP yesterday) it is my understanding that this building, its dark basement used by Seumas and others for teaching, eventually morphed into the rather grand Headquarters of Strathclyde Police.

The basement became a large Assembly Hall with a stage which had several access points. This was the practice hall for the police band for many years from just after P/M Jimmy Wark’s tenure until sometime in 2015 when the building was eventually closed prior to demolition for new housing etc.

Polis practice in Pitt Street

The Assembly Hall was particularly effective when the band practised for concerts with other instrumentalists. When I was there tuning the drones I reflected often on the awakening of the piping echoes from around the College fires harmonising with our melodies and thrashed back into the stone walls by the heavy drumming. These walls that are no more and the band that is no more. And the College that is no more.


How good is your French? It looks like Brittany’s annual ‘Piobaireachd by the Sea’ event is to go ahead on the third week of September:


Around the Games….Ottawa, June 1976

Piobaireachd for the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal
1 James MacGillivray 2 William Livingstone 3 Ed Neigh 4 Dave Martin
Clasp to the medal: James MacGillivray
MSR: 1 Robert Worrall 2 William Livingstone 3 James MacGillivray 4 Ed Neigh
Jig: 1 Robert Worrall 2 James MacGillivray 3 William Livingstone 4 Ed Neigh

Amateur Piob.: 1 John Elliott 2 Brian Williamson 3 Ellen Mole 4 Bruce Annandale
Amateur March: 1 John Elliott 2 Lindsay Kirkwood 3 Bruce Annandale 4 Ellen Mole
Amateur S&R: 1 Lindsay Kirkwood 2 Duncan Pringle 3 Ellen Mole 4 David Hanson
Amateur Jig: 1 John Elliott 2 David Hanson 3 Brian Williamson 4 Lindsay Kirkwood
Amateur Champion: John Elliott

John Elliott, Amateur Champion at Ottawa in 1976 and now proprietor of Ontario-based Sound Supreme Reeds

Bands
Grade 1: 1 Clan MacFarlane 2 Guelph 3 City of Toronto 4 Worcester Kilties 5 St Thomas
Grade 2: 1 Toronto Scottish 2 Denny & Dunipace 3 Clan Sutherland 4 Burlington Legion 5 Gen. Electric

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