Veteran Scottish piper, George Steele (80) and his moisture control product have received a glowing write-up in an online newspaper in Virginia, USA.
The South Uist native splits his time between homes in Glasgow and Fredericksburg and has done for many years. When he is not perfecting his moisture control stock he teaches people in Spotsylvania County to drive.
George’s product was first brought to the attention of the piping world in the March 2020 issue of the Piping Times. His device is essentially a watertrap that is located inside the blowstick stock. The product is called the Piper’s Friend.
The moisture is trapped in the stock but the air circulates inside the bag from holes around an inch from the bottom of the stock. In effect, it prevents moisture from entering the bag.
George says he’s had the idea for many years but the real inspiration came a few years ago when he drove across the Queensferry Crossing near Edinburgh and pondered air flow.
George has engaged McCallum Bagpipes to produce his device. He said: “I sent a few prototypes to some well known pipers and judges and they have all given me really positive feedback. I’m delighted with it. There is no restriction experienced with it whatsoever and it’s incredibly efficient. It’s easy to remove and clean, too.”
A very well-known character on the Glasgow piping scene for many years, George is also a popular figure in Fredericksburg. In the article – on fredericksburg.com – George, one of 13 children, talked of his childhood on South Uist where he began his piping.
He later served in the US military during the Vietnam War as well as the police forces of the Washington Metropolitan area and Strathclyde Police where he played in the pipe band (under both Ronald Lawrie and Iain MacLellan BEM).
• To purchase, go to https://pipersfriend.com/ and use the Contact Us form. Cost is dependent on the type of ferrule required.
- The Bagpipe Shop hopes to have some in, er, stock soon.