Blair Atholl Games Draw and Tribute to Alex

I attach the draws and judges for the piping competitions at the Atholl Gathering to be held this Sunday, May 29, on the Atholl Estate, Blair Atholl, writes Dr Jack Taylor. Readers may be interested to know that at the Atholl Highlanders Parade the previous day, Saturday May 28, from 2.30-3.45pm, there will be a Moment of Remembrance for piper Alex Duncan, Atholl Highlanders (1994-2020). Alex is pictured above in his…

Famous Pipers: Fifty Years Since the Passing of Robert U. Brown, Balmoral – Part 2

We continue with excerpts from the tribute edition of the South Australian Pipe Band Newsletter from 1972 which marked Bob Brown’s death after a teaching and recital tour there. The above photograph of Bob was taken during the trip. The caption reads: ‘Pipe Major RU Brown at Port Pirie Highland Games in South Australia. Invited as Official Guest to open the Games. Driven 200 miles north of Adelaide. Occupants of…

British Pipe Band Championships 2022 – A Spectator’s View

It was a relief to be able to attend the British Championships at Greenock last Saturday, the first time I have been anywhere near a live pipe band contest for more than two years.  The venue was perhaps appropriate for the first Major following the pandemic as Battery Park is on the Firth of Clyde, not far from where, on the ferry coming back from Cowal in 1930, the original…

Famous Pipers: Fifty Years Since the Passing of Robert U. Brown, Balmoral

Bob Brown, King’s Piper, renowned teacher and competitor is well known in the solo piping world. He was a direct link to the teaching of John MacDonald, Inverness, and after retiring from his job on the Royal estates on Deeside dedicated himself to passing on what he had learned to the next generation of pipers. This teaching involved travel. In 1972 he was to make his last fateful tour abroad,…

Expert Analysis of the 2022 British Pipe Band Grade 1 Championship

We are very grateful to RSPBA Adjudicator P/M Robert Mathieson for this exceptional view of yesterday’s British Pipe Band Championships Grade 1 contest. It was typed ‘live from the dugout’ and is by kind permission from the RSPBA. Robert is a five time Worlds winner with Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia PIpe Band and a highly respected figure in the piping and pipe band worlds. This was the long awaited first…