George Lumsden, one of the former Pipe Majors of the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band, has died. He was in his 98th year and was being cared for in a nursing home.
George was a native of Fife where he first learned his piping. A was also keen amateur boxer and a keep fit enthusiast throughout his long life. He was one of the young pipers recruited by the legendary Donald Shaw Ramsay after he became Pipe Major of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band in 1949.
Thereafter George served as a police officer in Edinburgh and as a member of the band until he retired from the police in 1988.
During his time as a member of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band, George served as Pipe Sergeant for a year in 1958 under another piping legend, Pipe Major John D Burgess.
As many readers will know, the Edinburgh City Police band became Lothian and Borders Police following changes to local government in Scotland in 1975. The band ceased to exist following the amalgamation of eight forces into the unified body Police Scotland in 2013.
George was a member of the band when it won five World Pipe Band Championships under the equally renowned Pipe Major Iain McLeod (1963 in Dumfries, 1964 in Ayr, 1971 in Lanark, 1972 in Hawick and 1975 in Corby, just after the change of the band’s name).
George became Pipe Major of Lothian and Borders Police in 1984 for a four-year period until his retiral in 1988. Overall he had an illustrious career in this famous band, travelling widely to other countries and participating in a variety of films and recordings.
George Lumsden was also a prize-winning solo piper and his name figures in many of the prize lists of the 60s and 70s and these included a placing in the Gold Medal at Inverness.
He served for many years as an RSPBA piping and ensemble adjudicator, and was a respected solo piping judge. He was also well known for the manufacture of quality cane drone reeds from his house in Dollar.
George made a significant contribution to piping and always worked to the highest standards in the way he ran the band and latterly in his reed making and judging duties.
Sincere condolences to his wife, two sons and wider family and friends. Funeral arrangements will be provided when available.