PM John Whyte / Braemar and Aboyne / NPC resumes online lessons

The Scottish Horse (with PM Whyte) marching past Winston Churchill.
The Scottish Horse (with PM Whyte) marching past Winston Churchill.
Wife, Joan with her and John’s two sons. Right: John’s father, Andrew, was also a piper. He lived in nearby New Alyth and worked as a farm labourer. His father, John’s grandfather, was also a piper. Andrew died in 1937 after falling off a lorry whilst returning from working in Coupar Angus. His widow, John’s mother, was awarded £375 in compensation which is roughly £25,000 in today’s money.

Our story yesterday about Pipe Major John Whyte was seen by one of his descendants. Pat Sedakat is a niece of Whyte and lives in Coupar Angus, the Perthshire village where Whyte was from.

Pat has kindly provided information on her uncle and also a few family photos. John, Pat says, was known to his friends and family as Bunt and served as a Bombadier in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. As stated in our article, John’s wife and two sons lived in Norfolk. One of his sons, Colin, still lives there. John’s surviving relatives in Coupar Angus are Pat, her brother Eddie and cousin Mary.

Pat sent us this photograph of the Scottish Horse marchng past Winston Churchil some time before D-Day:

The Scottish Horse (with PM Whyte) marching past Winston Churchill.
The Scottish Horse (with PM Whyte) marching past Winston Churchill.

The Scottish Horse has been somewhat overlooked in terms of its piping importance and Bagpipe.News hopes to address this soon.

In addition, we understand a tune is to be compsed by a member of the Atholl Highlanders in memory of Pipe Major Whyte.

As expected, Braemar Gathering and Aboyne Highland Games will not take place this year. Both have now confirmed their respective cancellations

Aboyne was due to take place on August 1 and Braemar on September 5. Tickets already purchased for Braemar will automatically transfer over to the 2021 Braemar Highland Gathering which will take place on Saturday September 4, 2021.

Organisers for both cited the Coronavirus pandemic and the latest advice from the Scottish Government as the reasons for cancelling.

A spokesman for Aboyne said: “It is believed that this is the first time in the 153-year history of the Games that it has been cancelled in peacetime. The only times it is known that the games were not held was during both world wars. The health and wellbeing of residents, competitors, visitors, judges and partners is the most important factor. For everyone to stay at home and stay safe and healthy is what is important right now and in the months ahead.”

Globally, only two piping events are holding off making a decision: the Argyllshire Gathering and the Skye Gathering. Nevertheless, the piping world believes it is only a matter of time before both announce their cancellations.

Dan Nevans conducting an online lesson.
The NPC’s Dan Nevans conducting an online lesson.

The National Piping Centre will resume online lessons from Monday (11th). Slots can be booked now.

In addition, anyone who has purchased a Starter Pack or NPC Complete Tutor (blue cover) can join a free online group lesson.

Lessons must be booked through the NPC website.