‘Playing the Bagpipe Made Women Look Ugly’: Ladies’ Pipe Bands – A History Part 6

By Jeannie Campbell Eleven members of the Caledonian Ladies under P/M Nan Stevenson played in Spain in 1956 and it was reported that the band had more overseas requets than they could cope with. The Jean Carnie Girls from Edinburgh were competing in the Juvenile grade during 1956 and are pictured above in their very smart attire. Helen Mallan, wife of the late Scottish singer Peter Mallan (‘For These Are…

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Ladies’ Pipe Bands – A History Part 5

By Jeannie Campbell The Clan Stewart Ladies Pipe Band (above) was founded in Glasgow in 1947 under Pipe Major Miss Annie MacNeill and band secretary Miss May Knox. At the first meeting it was decided that the ladies themselves would be wholly responsible for the administration of the unit, and this was continued during the future years. P/M John Weatherston BEM [Red Hackle] and Mr Ian McNair were responsible for…

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Ladies’ Pipe Bands – A History Part 4

By Jeannie Campbell The City of Christchurch Ladies Band in New Zealand (pictured above in 1969) was formed in 1941 by Mr Joe Patterson from Tapanui in the South Island. He had been a piper from an early age and was taught by Alex Duncan and Albert MacIntyre. The band had to compete against the men but were regular winners of the trophy presented for the best Ladies’ band.  The…

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Ladies’ Pipe Bands – A History Part 3

We continue with our very well received history written and researched by Jeannie Campbell. Readers might like to consult the PP Comments column for interesting information we have received on this subject. The Lochgelly Ladies’ Band (above, 1951) was founded during the war years. Two Lochgelly girls were attending the dancing organised by the Lochgelly Public Pipe Band and jokingly remarked that it was time the girls of the town…

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Ladies’ Pipe Bands – A History Part 2

By Jeannie Campbell It is interesting to note that in the days before the advent of the ladies’ pipe band most lady solo piping com­petitors were pictured wearing a tartan skirt with dark stockings. The subject of dress and whether ladies should play at all has caused controversy over the years. In 1938 Mr Thomas Reid, a member of the Canadian Parliament, wrote that ‘Although women may become efficient mistresses…

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