World Championship Winning Pipe Bands

8243951491_ac4e9259cf_oThe present day World Pipe Band Championship was inaugurated by the then Scottish Pipe Band Association in 1947. Prior to that the winners of the Cowal Championship were considered World Champions. The decision to break away from the Cowal tradition caused a great deal of controversy at the time but from its first year the RSPBA’s ‘Worlds’ has been un unqualified success. Each August  it regularly attracts 30 – 40,000 people to its current home, Glasgow Green. It is watched by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide via the BBC’s livestreaming over the internet. At home, recorded highlights of the championship attract upwards of 500,000 viewers on prime time television.  Changed days from the shaky start at Murrayfield rugby ground in Edinburgh where the first contest was held, and a vindication of the bold initiative taken by the Association’s leading lights such as P/M Willie Sloan BEM (below) almost 70 years ago.

Willie Sloan BEM, one of the founding fathers of the RSPBA and a prime movere in the establishment of the Association's own World Pipe Band Championship
P/M Willie Sloan BEM, one of the founding fathers of the RSPBA and a prime mover in the establishment of the Association’s own World Pipe Band Championship

The list of winners of the RSPBA championship in Grade 1 feature some of the greatest names in pipe band history. They are as follows:

1947 Bowhill Colliery, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
– P/M Chris Sutherland
1948 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Tom McAllister Snr., B.E.M.
1949 City of Glasgow Police, Edinburgh,
– P/M John MacDonald, South Uist

Edinburgh City
Edinburgh City Police under P/M DS Ramsay

1950 Edinburgh City Police, Dundee
– P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay
1951 City of Glasgow Police, Edinburgh,
– P/M John MacDonald, South Uist
1952 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Ayr
– P/M Tom McAllister Snr., B.E.M.
1953 Clan McRae Society, Edinburgh
– P/M Alex MacLeod
1954 Edinburgh City Police, Aberdeen
– P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay
1955 Muirhead & Sons, Stirling
– P/M Jackie Smith
1956 Muirhead & Sons, Belfast
– P/M Jackie Smith

1957 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Paisley,
– P/M John K. McAllister
1958 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Aberdeen,
– P/M John K. McAllister
1959 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Kirkcaldy,
– P/M John K. McAllister

JK and Shotts
JK and Shotts

1960 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Inverness,
– P/M John K. McAllister
1961 Muirhead & Sons, Edinburgh,
– P/M Jackie Smith
1962 277 (A. & S.H. Regt. R.A. (T. A.), Belfast,
– P/M John Weatherston, M.B.E.. B.E.M.
1963 City of Edinburgh Police, Dumfries,
– P/M Ian Macleod
1964 City of Edinburgh Police, Ayr,
– P/M Ian Macleod
1965 Muirhead & Sons, Forfar,
– P/M Robert G. Hardie

Muirheads complete five-in-a-row
Muirheads complete five-in-a-row

1966 Muirhead & Sons, Inverness,
– P/M Robert G. Hardie
1967 Muirhead & Sons, Oban,
– P/M Robert G. Hardie
1968 Muirhead & Sons, Grangemouth,
– P/M Robert G. Hardie
1969 Muirhead & Sons, Perth,
– P/M Robert G. Hardie
1970 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Aberdeen,
– P/M Tom McAllister Jnr.
1971 City of Edinburgh Police, Lanark,
– P/M Ian MacLeod
1972 City of Edinburgh Police, Hawick,
– P/M Ian MacLeod
1973 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Ayr,
– P/M Tom McAllister Jnr.
1974 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Stirling,
– P/M Tom McAllister Jnr.
1975 Lothian & Borders Police, Corby,
– P/M Ian MacLeod

Strathckyde Police…record breakers
Strathclyde Police…record breakers

1976 Strathclyde Police, Hawick,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1977 Dysart & Dundonald, Aberdeen,
– P/M Robert T. Shepherd MBE
1978 Dysart & Dundonald, Lanark,
– P/M Robert T. Shepherd MBE

P/M RT Shepherd and his Worlds winning band pictured in 1978
P/M RT Shepherd and his Worlds winning band pictured in 1978

1979 Strathclyde Police, Nottingham,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1980 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Tom McAllister Jnr.
1981 Strathclyde Police, Aberdeen,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1982 Strathclyde Police, Glenrothes,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1983 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1984 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1985 Strathclyde Police, Hamilton,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1986 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1987 78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M William Livingstone
1988 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1989 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1990 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.
1991 Strathclyde Police, Glasgow,
– P/M Ian McLellan B.E.M.

FMM line up in the rain at Glasgow Green
FMM line up in the rain at Glasgow Green

1992 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
1993 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
1994 Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Robert Mathieson
1995 Simon Fraser University (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Lee
1996 Simon Fraser University (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Lee
1997 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Robert Mathieson

An early pic of Vic Police
An early pic of Vic Police

1998 Victoria Police (Australia), Glasgow,
– P/M Nathaniel S. Russell
1999 Simon Fraser University (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Lee
2000  Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Robert Mathieson
2001 Simon Fraser University (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Lee

Check out the front rank of SFU
Check out the front rank of SFU

2002 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2003 House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Robert Mathieson
2004 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2005 House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow,
– P/M Robert Mathieson
2006 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2007 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2008 Simon Fraser University (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Lee
2009 Simon Fraser University (Canada), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Lee

shotts-celebrate
Shotts return the title to Scotland in 2015

2010 St Laurence O’Toole (Eire), Glasgow,
– P/M Terry Tully
2011 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2012 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2013 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2014 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow,
– P/M Richard Parkes M.B.E.
2015 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Glasgow
– P/M Ryan Canning
2016 Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow
– P/M Richard Parkes MBE

 

3 thoughts on “World Championship Winning Pipe Bands”

  1. There are a lot of recordings tucked away in various places of many of these world championship runs. Gathering them in one place, especially the early ones, would be a real service.

  2. I’d like to find a photo of my fathers band 277 A&SH on the field at the worlds when they won in 1962 if anyone has it. They made a record after but he isn’t on the cover photo as he was out of the TA by 1963.

  3. I’d like to know if anyone familiar with the photo of the 277 can identify the piper Alec Price? I played in the City of Thorold Pipe Band ( Ontario, Canada) with Alec during the mid 1980’s and into the early 1990’s. Great chap…..chain-smoking king of the one-liners!!!

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