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, a famous piper in his time.

Enthusiasts of Scotland’s other piping tradition – the bellows-blown Lowland one – will gather in the Scottish Borders town of Galashiels on October 30.

The 2021 annual conference (the ‘collogue’) of the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS) will go ahead in person and will feature three guest speakers: James MacDonald Reid, John Nichol and Jules Horne. The conference is open to all although only members can vote at the AGM.

James MacDonald Reid was one of only a handful of pipers playing Lowland pipes in the decades before the LBPS was formed. John Nichol is an actor, raconteur and playwright while Jules Horne is a multimedia writer from the Borders who uses spoken word and film to tell new stories about the people and place where she lives. The LBPS’ mascot is Geordie Syme, pictured, who was employed as the Town Piper of Dalkeith in the mid-18th century.

In addition, the Society is taking the opportunity to hold two categories that weren’t able to take place at its online annual competition earlier this year, New Composition and Skeely Piper. The latter has a theme that changes each year. This year the theme is tunes that have a connection to Sir Walter Scott, whose 250th anniversary of his birth was this year. Well known piper and pipe maker, Hamish Moore will judge the competition.

Hamish Moore and LBPS Pesident, Gary West at the 2019 ‘collogue’.

A spokesman for the LBPS said: “We are looking forward to this immensely. It will be the first time we’ve gathered since our 2019 conference in Kilsyth and we sense much enthusiasm.

“It’s also fitting that we return to the Scottish Borders as well. It’s been a few years since we ventured outside Scotland’s ‘central belt’ and we expect many of those attending – members and non-members – will also take the opportunity to visit the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which is displayed permanently in the town. It promises to be a memorable day.

“One aspect of the online competition earlier this year was that overseas members were able to participate. We hope to facilitate this again at the conference.”

• The conference runs from 09:30 in Old Gala House, with the competition taking place first.

Further information can be found on the LBPS website shortly. Those that wish to view the Great Tapestry of Scotland should book in advance HERE.