The Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS) held its annual conference on Saturday in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders region.

The conference – the ‘Collogue’ – was held in Old Gala House, which dates to 1583.

The Society held two competition categories that were unable to be included at its annual competition earlier this year. The results are below. Presentations were heard during the afternoon from James MacDonald Reid, John Nichol and Jules Horne.

James MacDonald Reid.

The day was anchored by Convenor, Stuart Letford. He said: “The LBPS has held many superb conferences over the years. This year’s was yet another cracker and was topped off with a great session in the evening.

“The three speakers delivered fascinating presentations, particularly James MacDonald Reid who really should write a book about his life.

“His presentation on the bellows-piping scene going back to the 1960s was very interesting. Not many people can say they played Border pipes with the Grateful Dead!

“John Nichol is well known actor from the area and he spoke with humour, knowledge and eloquence about Walter Scott.

“The proceedings will, as ever, be written up in full in our journal, Common Stock later.”

Competition results:

Skeely Piper (2021 theme: tunes associated with Walter Scott)
1. Robert Porter, London, England (originally Belfast) – Jack Lattin.
2=. Matt Seattle, Hawick, Scotland (pictured) – Soor Plums, Hoop Her and Gird Her; Anne Duncan – Uamh an Oir.
3. Pete Stewart, East Lothian, Scotland – The Border Widow Lament, Hoopers and Girders, Round Headed Cuckolds Come Dig.

New Composition (for the London Trophy)
1. Matt Seattle – The Little White Rose of Scotland.
2. Pete Stewart – The Auld White Road.
3. Rod Nevin, Pennsylvania, USA – Whitmire.

Like most piping organisations, the LBPS hopes to return to in-person events next year.

The LBPS was founded in the early 1980s and is credited with reviving the bellows-blow bagpipes of Scotland and its distinct musical tradition.

• Read Pete Stewart’s article on 40 years of the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society in the Piping Times Annual which will be on sale later this month.

Ian K. MacDonald of Whitby, Ontario won the Glengarry Cup solo piping competiton at the weekend.

Ian K. MacDonald.

Held online, the competition was organised by the Ottawa branch of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario as part of a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary year of the branch.

The Glengarry Cup has been awarded since the 1980s when the Glengarry Pipe Band donated the trophy.


Ceòl Mòr – 1. Alastair Murray (The Big Spree); 2. Ian K. MacDonald (Lament for Donald Bàn MacCrimmon); 3. Bruce Gandy (The King’s Taxes); 4. James MacHattie (Old Men of the Shells); 5. Ross Davison (Lament for the Earl of Antrim); 6. Aidan Bowen (The MacKay’s Banner).
Judge: Colin MacLellan

MSR – 1. Bruce Gandy; 2. Ian K. MacDonald; 3. Dan Lyden; 4. James MacHattie; 5. Daniel Carr; 6. Ross Davison.
Judge: Ken Eller.

Overall – 1. Ian K. MacDonald; 2. Bruce Gandy; 3. Alastair Murray; 4. James MacHattie; 5. Dan Lyden.

After two years of being held virtually due to COVID-19, the branch plans to hold next year’s competition in person.

The PPBSO produced this video of the top three performances in both categories: