WW2 Piping: Stalag 383 Pipe Band and John Wilson, Edinburgh

Reader Bob Ash has kindly supplied the above photograph. He writes: ‘Here’s a photo of WW2 pipers and drummers in the Stalag 383 PoW Camp. ‘In the middle of the seated front row (4th from left), is my first pipe major, when I played with the 57th RAMC (T.A.) Pipe Band in the 1960s, P/M Bob Hill (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and Scots Guards) and, also in seated front row…

Scotland’s Traveller Pipers and Their Link to Campbeltown

Former RSPBA historian Iain Duncan has followed up on Andy Hunter’s piece on traveller pipers published last week It’s a strange thing how few photo images of the Travelling People were taken in times past. It’s possible that back then precious few would own a camera, even the ‘old’ box or bellows camera, which were a devil to focus. My friend Angus Martin has retrieved the only ‘traveller’ image he…

News from the Piobaireachd Society: Conference, Summer School and Plea for Stewards

The Society has reluctantly had to cancel its 2022 Annual Conference, writes President Robert Wallace. Difficulties over dates at the venue, the National Piping Centre, and ongoing covid concern over attendance made the decision inevitable The Society’s General Committee has determined on a re-launch of the Annual Conference for 2023, the venue again being the Piping Centre and the dates March 24/25. The Society has also announced that it has…

Piping In WW2: Prisoners of War Keep their Music Alive

There was piping activity in the POW camps and this was supported by the pipers on the home front. Piping societies were raising money to send instruments to the prisoners and the monthly magazine Piping and Dancing encouraged readers to write to prisoners.  A member of the College of Piping Veteran’s Association, Sinclair Swanson, remembered his time as a prisoner: ‘My father was a piper in the first war and…

Pipe Major’s Job for George Watson’s

One of the most sought after jobs in the pipe band world is now advertised. The new Pipe Major for the award-winning George Watson’s School band will replace P/M Ian Simpson who is retiring after a stellar career leading the juvenile World Championship winners. The spec reads: George Watson’s College wishes to appoint a Pipe Major to be the lead teacher of bagpipes within the Pipe Band. Teaching individual pupils…