There has been quite a lot of overheated speculation about the Worlds and Nat Russell, most of it rather wide of the mark. I have gathered considerable information on what actually happened and what Mr Russell’s placings were but cannot in all honesty share it with you. Nothing would be gained by such exposure.
Nat Russell is a Worlds-winning Pipe Major. He is a senior adjudicator with 60 years dedication to pipe bands. Let’s just say that on August 18, 2023, at Glasgow Green, he had an off day – an off day that no one could possibly have seen coming.
RSPBA adjudicators have to retire at 75. If Nat is in the twilight of his career, then let him finish it with some dignity.
That said, and on considering the evidence, it is my view that the Association made the right call when they discounted his prizelist, and since the brouhaha surrounding that decision have acted with creditable discretion. They realised early on that they have a duty of care to their judges.
If the Association’s Board of Directors have shown commendable propriety over this matter, then so too have our new World Champions, Peoples Ford Boghall and runners-up Field Marshal Montgomery – and all the other Grade 1 bands who will by now be privy to what happened.
One last thing. The suggestion that John Wilson, Chairman of the Adjudicators Panel, judged Grade 1 on Worlds Day 2 in full knowledge of the Friday outcome is wrong. Knowing he could be compromised, John recused himself from all discussion and decisions on the Friday result. It was handled entirely by the Board of Directors.
On a more light-hearted note, I hear they continue to celebrate down Bathgate way. The sun is still shining for the Walker Brothers (check your 60s discography) snapped below. Thanks to former Boggies P/M Ross Walker for forwarding this picture:
Ross writes: ‘Two clapped out Pipeys and the remaining Walker still playing. Incidentally, Grant has played in every single G1 championship win with the Boggies. Left to right – Craig in civvies, Grant, then me.’
New Job for William
Congratulations to Bill Geddes (above) on his appointment as piping instructor in South West Scotland where he will work in local schools and for the excellent South West Scotland Pipe and Drum Academy.
Bill has now retired from his police job and takes over from Calum Moffat of the Scottish Power Pipe Band. We wish Bill well in his new role.
Still in the south west, thanks to the local pipers who keep the memory of Angus MacKay alive in their parish by maintaining the memorial cairn on the banks of the Nith, the point at which our first Sovereign’s Piper left this earth.
It is now 12 years since readers of the Piping Times chipped in to have the cairn erected to much fanfare in the national press.
Angus’s Winning Jig
The final, final games of the season was held at Bowhill in Fife a week or so back. It attracted a very good entry. There is a jig contest but only one prize. It went to young Angus MacPhee, Inverness, a piper who has blazed a trail round the games this season.
Thanks to Peter McCalister for forwarding the winning performance. Angus’s tune is Inspector Donald Campbell, Ness by Peter MacLeod jnr. and anyone who can play this jig finger perfect twice through, as Angus does, deserves his prize:
Bagpipes – DN4A – High Quality Set in Plain Silver£150.00 – £1,830.00
Bagpipes – DN5 – The Finest Bagpipe Available£250.00 – £3,424.00
Bagpipes – DN1, High Quality Instrument£100.00 – £1,250.00