Editor’s Notebook: Glass Chanter/ Jimmy Anderson/ CLASP Invitational/ Capt. John Dinner/ John Balloch

Reader Les Hutt has commented on the news this week of the new trophy for the North Games. Les writes: ‘Many thanks to Andrew Grant and Jean Cameron for the new trophy.

‘The Glass Chanter was an institution for those who competed on the Northern circuit and hopefully this will inspire a good turnout in the future competitions.’

Yes, a terrific gesture by Jean and Andrew Les. I am sure pipers will respond to the challenge. Every little helps as they say in the supermarkets and anything that further encourages pipers to cement and support our Highland Games tradition has to be good.

We had a few shaky years before covid hit. No piping at Crieff, Perth – but thankfully both now restored. However we’ve lost Balloch this year, and Cowal makes do with juniors only. Away from the graded events it’s not always large numbers that we see competing. Initiatives like the Glass Chanter have to be welcomed and supported.

Games updates: I hear there are only a few places left for the piobaireachd at Pitlochry; Markinch is on Sunday, June 2. Entries on the field at John Dixon Park by 10am. Piobaireachd and M,S&R for both seniors and juniors.

  • I think the last winner of the Glass Chanter was P/M Alasdair Gillies. Have a listen to his masterful playing:

MacRaeBanner ’19
Ayrshire Bagpipes Nov 2020
shepherd banner ’22
silver chanter banner 2024

The funeral of Jimmy Anderson, former Worlds-winning Muirhead & Sons piper and smallpipes pioneer, is tomorrow, May 31, at Falkirk Crematorium, Camelon, at 11.30am.

I had forgotten I wrote this after his 70th birthday celebration: ‘Everyone in Jimmy’s wide circle of friends from the piping, pipe band and folk music worlds was there and provided the music and entertainment on what was often an emotional occasion – none more so than when the man himself rounded the evening off by giving us a tune.

‘I first met Jimmy when I joined Muirheads in 1970. He was an outstanding piper and a gifted guitarist. More than anything he was a friendly guy with a keen wit and intelligence. That has not changed and was attested to by the reciprocal humour and affection shown at his birthday celebration………

‘There were some interesting pictures pasted on the walls of the club for the evening. This one shows (l-r) Jimmy, Peter and Tommy in their early pipe band days’:

Margaret Houlihan: As a celebration of 20 years of CLASP, an invitational online competition ran on 27th April, 2024. The nine most successful amateur solo pipers of 2023/2024 were invited to take part. Results:
Piob.: 1 C Bonar 2 H Pulach 3 C Forrest 4 G Blaney 5 J Martin 6 CD Mitchell
MSR: 1 G Blaney 2 C Bonar 3 C Forrest 4 J Martin 5 H Paluch 6 B Webb
Overall winner of Naill DN2 pipes: Cameron Bonar 


Douglas Gardiner: ‘Tickets are now on sale for the Captain John A. MacLellan MBE Memorial Dinner on 24th August, 2024. The venue will be the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh. Dress code is black tie.  

‘Tickets are £60 each and can be bought on the Eagle Pipers’ Society website. Iain Speirs, Callum Beaumont, Stuart Liddell and Ian K MacDonald have accepted invitations to play. Numbers are limited and we expect demand to be high.’

I am grateful to Ronan Maguire, Dublin, for working his colouring magic with the picture we had of John Balloch the other week. If you remember P/M Balloch was the ‘forgotten man’ of pipe music composition despite his well known tunes such as the 25th KOSB’s Farewell to Meerut. Here he is with his wife and child in before and after shots:


2 thoughts on “Editor’s Notebook: Glass Chanter/ Jimmy Anderson/ CLASP Invitational/ Capt. John Dinner/ John Balloch

  1. PM Alasdair Gillies will be remembered by all who were fortunate enough to hear him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *