History: The London Championship of 1968, John MacFadyen, P/M Angus, Ian Cameron, Bob Brown, Ed Neigh, in the Prizes

This is from the ‘London Correspondent’ of the Oban Times. The contest was held at Buckingham Gate on April 6 that year. Pictured above is John MacFadyen with the Bratach Gorm…..

In the piobaireachd for the Bratach Gorm. the winner for the third successive year, was John MacFadyen, Glasgow, with an outstanding performance of the Red Speckled Bull.

Second was Robert U. Brown, Balmoral, with another excellent rendition of Patrick Og MacCrimmon’s Lament. Third was P/M Angus MacDonald, Scots Guards, who gave a splendid interpretation of MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart but was unfortunate to have his pipes go out of tune in the last variation.

Seumas MacNeill, Glasgow, played MacKay’s Salute [sic] in very musical style, and had his pipes remained in tune he no doubt would have been in the prize list. Willie M. MacDonald, Inverness, played a tune not often heard today, the Fingerlock; very musical, good timing, but his pipes went off.

P/M JB Robertson, London, who was the first winner of the Bratach Gorm in 1938, played the King’s Taxes.

John MacFadyen has now created a record in the Bratach Gorm and the committee have decided to award him a medal specially made for the occasion. The judges were Lieutenant John MacLellan, Edinburgh Castle, and Andrew Pitkeathly, The Queen’s Piper.

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In the Open Piobaireachd for the William Gillies Cup, 20 competed out of 26 entries. RU Brown made no mistake with a beautiful rendering of the King’s Taxes.

The second prize went to Seumas MacNeill with an equally splendid Bells of Perth and the judges, Mr James Campbell and Mr Andrew Bain, had no easy task to separate first and second. Pipe Major Angus MacDonald took third with MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart and John MacFadyen was fourth playing the Battle of Auldearn No 2.

Angus MacKinnon, South Uist, was playing I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand very well until he reached the variations and mistimed some notes. The Open Piobaireachd and the Bratach Gorm were running concurrently in two halls and it was not unusual for a piper finishing his tune in one to be called at once to play in the next hall.

P/M Angus MacDonald winner of the Bronze Star. Angus is pictured above 13 years later winning the Falkirk Tryst Bi-centenary contest of 1981

There were eight competitors for the March, Strathspey and Reel for the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society Bronze Star, open to pipers eligible to compete in these competitions at Oban and Inverness, or previous winners in London.

First prize went to P/M Angus MacDonald with his grand playing of Lochaber Gathering, John Roy Stewart and Lochiel’s Awa’ tae France. Second, with another fine performance, was John MacFadyen with Blackmount Forest, Arniston Castle and the Grey Bob.

Third was L/Sgt. John Slattery, Scots Guards, who gave his own sound interpretation of Loch Katrine [sic], Cabar Feidh and Pretty Marion. He is the son of one of the notable pre-War competitors, P/M John Slattery then KOSB.

The winner of last year’s Bronze Star, RU Brown, made a slip on this occasion that marred very good playing. The judges were Lieutenant John MacLellan, and Andrew Pitkeathly.

The Strathspey and Reel for the Strachan Cup was very keenly contested with hardly a poor performance from 13 competitors. Captain Ian C. Cameron, President of the Eagle Pipers’ Society, was a a clear winner. Ian, a notable competitor of 35 years ago, played his tunes Highland Harry and Miss Proud in very fine rhythm.

Captain Ian C Cameron, winner of the Strachan Trophy

Second prize was Piper Gavin Stoddart, Scots Guards, with very nice playing of John Roy Stewart and Lochiel’s Awa’ tae France. Third prize was Ed Neigh, Stratford, Ontario, a town 100 miles from Toronto. He gave a very impressive performance of Arniston Castle and Alick C MacGregor. Ed is over on a visit and he left no doubt that Canada is producing great players.

Among the regular patrons were Mr and Mrs Seton Gordon who make the journey from Duntuilm, Skye, each year. Mr Seton Gordon was a regular judge here in the early years of the competition.

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