Organisers of VE Day 75, which was to have taken place on May 8-10, hope to re-schedule the event for the weekend of August 14-15 – the same weekend as the World Pipe Band Championships.

Gourock Highland Games had been set to play a leading role in VE Day 75, which was to mark the 75th anniversary of the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. However, two weeks ago, promoter Inverclyde Council cancelled the games as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Subsequent guidance from governments around the world has meant that many activities such as this have had to be either postponed or cancelled.

VE Day 75 spokesman, Bruno Peek, said: “I am hoping that all the events that those thousands of pipers who have registered had planned can be moved to the weekend of August 15-16. This will mean we will be able to mark the 75th anniversary of both VE Day and VJ Day, both momentous points in our history.

Bruno Peek.
Bruno Peek.

“My sincere thanks go to everyone who registered their participation and were looking forward to ‘having a tune’ on May 8.

“We only request now that, on that day, pipers find time to play When the Battle’s Over at the new time of 2.55pm local time either at home, outside their front door, in their garden, on their balcony or any other place of their choice that will not bring danger to them or any third party.”

Thousands of pipers from around the world had registered their participation. Among the places some had chosen were infamous concentration camp sites in Poland and Germany while others were playing their tributes from the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales. May 8 has been designated a public holiday in the UK to mark the anniversary.

To register your participation, go online to:

Meanwhile, in Scotland, the National Piping Centre is calling on pipers from across Scotland and beyond to pay tribute to the thousands of key workers who are still working to keep the country fed, cared for and safe.

This Thursday at 20:00 (8.00pm BST), the Glasgow-based centre of piping excellence is asking all pipers to go into their gardens, be at their front doors or strike up in their living rooms, or wherever they can play safely and still keep socially distant, and play Scotland the Brave to support #NHStheBrave. 

A spokesman said: “This rousing tune will demonstrate the gratitude to key workers across the nation, supporting those who are helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as hopefully fortifying them to carry on through this tough time.

“So grab your pipes and join the National Piping Centre at 8.00pm BST on Thursday, April 2 and Pipe Up for Key Workers by playing Scotland the Brave for #NHStheBrave.”

In the past week, households around the world have participated in similar activities ranging from mass applause, singing and other music initiatives.