Geordie Syme, town piper of Dalkieth in the mid-18th century, Geordie Syme, the piper of Dalkeith, was allowed, beside a small wage, a suit of clothes: this consisted of a long yellow coat lined with red, red plush breeches, white stockings and shoes with buckles.
Geordie Syme, town piper of Dalkieth in the mid-18th century.

The annual competition held by the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS) took place yesterday online. Competitors from all over the world played live via video conference software.

Founder member, Gordon Mooney, who adjudicated from his home in Florida, USA, remarked that it had been nearly 40 years since the first meeting was held – in Edinburgh – that led to the founding of the Society. The popularity enjoyed today of bellows bagpipes has been down solely to the work of the LBPS since then.

Those present at the that first event – in the Teviot Halls in Edinburgh – were: Captain John A. MacLellan MBE, Gordon Mooney, Mike Rowan, Professor Hugh Cheape and Jim Eaton. It was agreed there and then that there should be an organisation established that would revive Scotland’s bellow pipe tradition. The inaugural meeting took place soon after in Glasgow at the College of Piping.


1. Alexander Sime-Scott, Edinburgh, Scotland (The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow, Lassie Gae Milk On My Cow Hill);
2. Ruari Black, North Berwick, Scotland (The Rose of Allendale , Knucklehead, Johnny the Tree Wrecker);
3. Caroline Barden, Southport, England (Wee Totum Fogg, Pawkie Adam Glen).
Judge: Iain MacInnes.

Seasoned Pipers
1. Pete Stewart, East Lothian, Scotland (Wo Betyd Thy Wearie Bodie, An Old Man Is A Bed of Bones, I Am A Silly Old Man);
2. John C. B. Kelly, Polmont, Scotland (Mary Scott, the Flower of Yarrow, Linkumdoddie);
3. Jodi Lynch, County Cork, Ireland (Teddy O’Neill, The Clare Jig, The Nora Criona Hornpipe, The Wonky Table);
4.= David Hannay, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland (Bonnie Galloway, The Galloway Hills, Kirkdale House); James Moffat, Kent, England (Sine Bhan, Dream Angus, An Ataireachd Ard); Allan Sturrock, Edinburgh, Scotland (Sine Bhan, Dream Angus, An Ataireachd Ard).
Judge: Lee Moore.

Solo Piper and Song
1. Ian Crane, Cleveland, Ohio, USA (Tha Mi Sgith);
2. Pete Stewart (The Ballad of Jock Elliot).
Judge: Iain MacInnes.

Open Scottish Smallpipes
1. Stuart Letford, Perthshire, Scotland (John Anderson My Jo, Jack Latin, The Lasses of Melrose);
2= Norman MacLeod (Dark Lowers The Night, Hacky Honey; John Charles Bauschatz (Shuidh Mi air Cnocan an t-Siùil, A Bhean Ud A-staigh Hì Rì a Bho, Horo Hug Gur e an Latha, He Mo Leannan, Ho Mo Leannan Clo Mhicllemhiceil);
3. Bill Bennett Perthshire, Scotland (My Home Town, Scarce o’ Tatties, Drops of Brandy, Aye Walkin O).
Judge: Hamish Moore.

Allan MacDonald.

Open Border Pipes
1. Stuart Letford (The Rowan Tree [Arr: Mark Stewart], The Lasses Bushes Brawly, Dixon’s Highland Laddie);
2. David Faulkner, England (Joyful Days Will Come by David Faulkner, Dorrington Lads [from the Rook manuscript]);
3. Ian Crane (Wat Ye What I Got Late Yestreen, Kiss’d Her Under the Coverlet).
Judge: Gordon Mooney.

• The next event in the LBPS calendar is next month’s online pibroch-teaching weekend with Allan MacDonald. It takes place from April 24 and 25. Six pibrochs will be covered. The cost is £20 for one afternoon or £30 for two afternoons. Numbers are limited. To book and for further information go to