by SCOTT ARMSTRONG, Auckland, NZ.
Pipe Major Neil Campbell McGougan died peacefully at Redwoods Care Home Alness on June 5, 2022 aged 92 years. Campbell was one of kind, with a lifelong involvement and love of piping, its music and people.
He was born in Campbeltown where has was taught by Peter McCallum. He went on to join the Glasgow Police Pipe Band under Pipe Major John MacDonald and continued his tuition under Charles D Scott.
Campbell went on to lead the Lanarkshire Police Pipe Band in 1969. Campbell had a vision for the band’s sound and worked with Willie Sinclair to create 20 identical chanters all individually matched to a master chanter. The outcome was a distinctive Lanarkshire Police sound.
He also recruited world class players including Hugh McInnes, John Walsh, Gordon Campbell, Barry Donaldson and John Scullion.
The band went from Grade 4 to winning the Grade 2 World Championships (scoring 99¾ out of 100 for piping). The band was on course to enter Grade 1 but ended up being amalgamated into the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.
Campbell also played in the British Caledonian Airways Pipe Band as a guest player travelling around Europe, Africa, USA and Canada.
Campbell retired to Bridge of Awe, near Oban, with his wife Netta then later to Dingwall where he was a stalwart of the local piping communities. He continued teaching, organising recitals and supporting competitive piping, and was one of the founders of the Netherlorne Piping Society, along with Arthur Gillies, which was established to promote piping in Oban and the surrounding areas.
Campbell was known for his mastery of sound, great ear and fantastic bagpipe.
Pipers of all ages were welcome at Campbell’s house!
He will be greatly missed.