Date change to Archie Kenneth Quaich / The Sloedam / Gandy contest for charity


Next year’s annual Archie Kenneth Quaich competition has been moved to the spring in the hope that it may be able to take place in-person.

A spokesman for The Piobaireachd Society said it is keen to hold a face-to-face contest but considers that February is too early even with the prospect of COVID-19 vaccines being adminstered in the months ahead. The venue has always been in the historic rooms of the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society in Edinburgh.

The new date proposed is Saturday, May 22, 2021 with a closing date for entries until April 12. The 2021 contest will be the 28th.

The competition is for amateur piobaireachd players and usually takes place in February. It is organised by The Piobaireachd Society in memory of Archie Kenneth (1915-1989) who was a member of its Music Committee and almost single-handedly compiled Books 11, 12, 13 and 14 and most of 15.

Reader, George Delanghe tells us that in 1987, while participating in a dedication ceremony in Holland commemorating the actions of the Calgary Highlanders at Walcheren Causeway, Pipe Major Robert Henderson was inspired to compose a tune called The Sloedam.

The Sloedam is the narrow causeway that connects the island of Walcheren from the South Beveland isthmus. During the Second World War, it was the scene of two major battles.

The engagement there on August 13, 1944 is commemorated annually by The Calgary Highlanders with a parade and church service on the Wednesday night or weekend closest to the anniversary of the battle.

The 2011 commemoration on the Sloedam.

The causeway itself no longer exists as such; land on both sides of the former railway embankment has been reclaimed and the Sloe Channel is now farmland.

George has been unable to find sheet music for this tune. Can readers help? Contact us in the usual way.

Photo: Derek Maxwell.

A charitable online solo competition has been announced by Bruce and Alex Gandy. On behalf of the Bruce Gandy Bagpiping Deveopment Society, the duo are organising a Hornpipe & Jig video submission contest with proceeds going to the Society. All that is required to enter is a donation to the Society (of at least $10).

One of the tunes should be by a Canadian composer, another must be written since in the 2000s, and the third tune can be whatever he/she wishes wants to play.

Bruce [pictured in 2014], who launched his Bagpiping Deveopment Society in 2011, said: “This will potentially be a great, fun show later on plus a chance for people to brush up on some other tunes.”

In May this year, the Society established a piping scholarship fund to honour a young Canadian piper who was killed in a military helicopter crash on April 29

Readers may recall our post on Duggy Day, who has built a website in tribute to his illustrious relation, Pipe Major John McLellan DCM, Dunoon [pictured]. Duggy has been in touch again to tell us that he now plans to create a Wikipedia page on McLellan.

Duggy hopes the page will be comprehensive and says he will be drawing much information from the Piping Times and from Bagpipe.News with which to populate the page.

He tells us the page should be ready very soon.

We have added a photo and caption to an article that we posted here on February 23. The article was written by Captain John A. MacLellan MBE on the subject of understanding the sheepkin bag.

In the piece, MacLellan reinforced much of what Seumas MacNeill wrote (posted here last week) on a similar subject.

MacLellan’s article touched briefly on moisture and the importance of water-traps. We have added some brief information to this in the caption.