The third part of Jeannie Campbell’s 1923 retrospective gives the lists of bands at the Cowal Games and all the solo and pipe band results from the competitions in August. The solo results has GS McLennan, John MacDonald of Inverness, PM Willie Ross and Robert Reid featuring in the prize lists.

By JEANNIE CAMPBELL MBE • PART 3 • August 1923

The Oban Pipe Band, PM Angus Lawrie and L/D Walter Balfour, was featured in the Oban Times on 4th August, with the names under the photograph. The article stated: “Formed in December of last year, the Oban Pipe Band is now an established institution in the town, and the selections rendered in the evenings at the Corran Parks attract large numbers of visitors and townspeople, who listened with genuine enjoyment to the stirring music of the pipes and drums. Clad in blue tunics and in kilts and plaids of bright MacDougall tartan, the pipers present a picturesque spectacle. In Pipe Major Lawrie the Pipe Band has a leader of experience and no small attainment in piping. He, as well as his brother, Piper Kenneth Lawrie, have gained prizes at many important Highland Gatherings. Under the tuition of Pipe Major Lawrie and Leading Drummer Balfour, the band should, before long, be able to enter with confidence into competition with any like combination in the country. Pipe Major Lawrie, Leading Drummer Balfour, Pipe Sergt McPhee and Pipers Stewart, K Lawrie, and McIsaac were members of the old Oban Pipe Band, which ceased to exist on the outbreak of war.”

The Lonach Gathering

The Lonach Gathering in August began as usual with the march of the Lonach Highlanders, but numbers were depleted with only a score or so marching. Among them were three veterans who recalled the days when the parade was numbered in hundreds instead of tens. The group also included several young men wearing war medals. The Highlanders were entertained to lunch at the Lonach Hall then assembled outside. Armed with Scottish Pikes and headed by pipers McGregor and Michie they marched to the haugh, where they were dismissed after making two circuits of the park. The prize list was:

Marches (society)

  1. A Michie, Strathdon
  2. J G F McGregor, Bellabeg

Strathspeys and Reels (society)

  1. A Michie
  2. J G F McGregor

Piobaireachds (open)

  1. PM McLennan, Aberdeen
  2. PM Ewen, Aberdeen
  3. R Nicol, Dunecht
  4. R Brown, Banchory.

Marches (open)

  1. PM McLennan
  2. R Nicol
  3. PM Ewen
  4. R Brown.

A ball was held in the Lonach Hall in the evening.

Strathspey Games

At Strathspey Games on 8th August the results were:

Marches

  1. PM Taylor, Dunblane
  2. PM MacDonald, Inverness
  3. PM Mathieson, Fort George

Strathspeys and Reels

  1. PM MacDonald
  2. PM Mathieson
  3. Callum MacPherson, Invershin.

Highland Games in Glasgow

A Highland Games was held on Saturday 11th August at Nelson Grounds in Glasgow. The winner of Glasgow Championship and Gold Medal was R Jack, Glasgow. The results of the amateur piping events were:

March

  1. A McKechnie
  2. D McQueen
  3. A MacColl

Strathspey and Reel

  1. R Jack
  2. J Taylor
  3. A MacLeod

Banff Games

The results at Banff Games on 15th August were:

Piobaireachd

  1. PM GS McLennan, Aberdeen
  2. Cpl Cruickshank, Aberdeen
  3. Pipe Sgt MacDonald, Fort George

Marches

  1. PM GS McLennan
  2. Pipe Sgt MacDonald
  3. Cpl Cruickshank

Strathspey and Reel

  1. PM GS McLennan
  2. Cpl Cruickshank
  3. Pipe Sgt MacDonald

Marches – Amateurs

  1. E Findlater, Forglen
  2. A Findlater, Forglen
  3. J Murdoch, Banff

Strathspey and Reel – Amateurs

  1. E Findlater
  2. A Findlater
  3. J Murdoch

Games were advertised for August at Mull and Iona, Kyleakin, Skye, Taynuilt and Strathallan.

Breadalbane Gathering

At the Breadalbane Gathering, held in Victoria Park, Aberfeldy, on Thursday 16th August, the piping judges were Thomas Bett, Aberfeldy, A C McLaren, Mull, Captain Willison, MC Killin and E MacDiarmid, Aberfeldy. The results were:

Piobaireachd

  1. PM Ross, Edinburgh
  2. PM GS McLennan, Aberdeen
  3. Cpl McLennan, Scots Guards,
  4. PM Reid, Shettleston.

Marches

  1. PM McLennan
  2. PM Ross
  3. PM Reid and Sgt MacDonald – 3 and 4 equal.

Local Marches

  1. W Laing, Aberfeldy
  2. John Fraser, Fortingall

Local Strathspeys and Reels

  1. W Laing
  2. John Fraser
•John MacDonald of Inverness, Lt John McLennan and GS McLennan.

Lochaber Gathering

The Lochaber Gathering was held on Tuesday 21st August in Victoria Park, Fort William. The Championship Gold Medal was won by GS McLennan. The Gold Medal open to competitors who have never won the championship was won by R Reid. The results were:

Piobaireachds

  1. PM J MacDonald, Cameron Highlanders
  2. PM W Ross, Scots Guards
  3. PM GS McLennan, Gordon Highlanders
  4. PM R Reid HLI.

Marches

  1. PM R Reid
  2. PM W Ross and PM GS McLennan – 2 and 3 equal
  3. PM J MacDonald

Strathspeys and Reels

  1. PM GS McLennan
  2. PM W Ross
  3. Sgt Piper J D MacDonald, Scots Guards
  4. Cpl Piper D R McLennan, Scots Guards.

Local Marches

  1. Duncan Lamont, Mull
  2. PM A Paterson, Fort William
  3. E J Cameron, Fort William.

Local Strathspey and Reel

  1. PM A Paterson
  2. John MacCulloch, Oban
  3. E J Cameron.

Gold Medal for local champion PM A Paterson. The chieftain was MacLean of Argour and Mrs Gooch, Torcastle, presented the prizes. A Highland Concert was held in the Town Hall in the evening.

Strathardle Gathering, Kirkmichael

The 48th Annual Strathardle Gathering was held Aldchlappie, Kirkmichael. The results were:

Piobaireachd

  1. PM Taylor, Dunblane
  2. M McMillan, Kirkmichael
  3. PM McPhee, Perth

Marches

  1. PM Taylor
  2. H McMillan
  3. PM McPhee and M McMillan equal.

Strathspey and Reels

  1. PM Taylor
  2. PM McPhee
  3. H McMillan and M McMillan equal

Local Marches

  1. M McMillan, Kirkmichael
  2. H McMillan, Kirkmichael
  3. D Stewart, Pitlochry

Local Strathspeys and Reels

  1. M McMillan
  2. H McMillan
  3. D Stewart

Inveraray Games

The Inveraray Games were held on Wednesday 15th August on the stable Park. At 11 o’clock the Inveraray Pipe Band under Pipe Major Charles Maitland, marched down Main Street, followed by competitors, judges and a large crowd. The pipers carried the beautiful banners presented by the late Lord Archibald Campbell. The Duke of Argyll was the Chieftain. The results were:

Local March, Strathspey and Reel

  1. Nicol McCallum, Kilmartin
  2. J P MacDonald, Argyll Police
  3. Donald Miller, Ormidale
  4. P McCallum, Campbeltown.

Open Events. Piobaireachds

  1. PM W Ross, Edinburgh
  2. Pipe Cpl D R McLennan, Edinburgh
  3. Allan M Calder, Edinburgh. 

Marches

  1. PM Ross
  2. Pipe Cpl MacLennan
  3. McEachern

Reels

  1. PM Ross
  2. Pipe Cpl MacLennan
  3. Angus MacLean, Ardfern

Middle Music (gold medal by Sir Bruce Seton) Pipe Major Ross. The prizes were presented by Lady Elspeth Campbell. The judges for piping were Captain Graham Campbell yr of Shirvan and Pipe Major Sutherland, Royal Scots.

Mallaig Games

At Mallaig Games the results were:

Marches

  1. Allan Paterson, Fort William
  2. D Kennedy, Invergarry
  3. E J Cameron, Fort William
  4. Colin Foster, Mallaig

Strathspeys and Reels

  1. D Kennedy
  2. A Paterson
  3. E J Cameron
  4. C Foster

Cowal Games entries closed

The Oban Times reported on 25th August that entries for Cowal had closed with a total of 39 bands, numbering over 700 pipers and 75 solo pipers including boys. 16 of these were entered for the Piobaireachd contest for youths under-18. As several non-competing bands had intimated their intention of joining in the march past, the great gathering of 1000 pipers and dancers was assured. A condition of entry to the band contest was that bands must report in the Castle Gardens and play up through the town to the park.

Piping in Paisley

In August there is also a report of a two-day piping and dancing competition in Paisley for ages 12 to 17. Winners were Martin John Smith on Thursday and Miss Mary Fitzpatrick on Friday, both competitions for the playing of a two-part march.

There followed several letters about the Gesto canntaireachd, then one more about Cowal, after the event. Two competitors in the juvenile event were stopped by the judges for repeating the ground before the crunluath although it is distinctly marked in the books to do so. The tunes were Glengarry’s Lament, MacKay Collection, and the Little Spree, D. Glen Collection. Were the judges right and shouldn’t a standard be fixed?

Taynuilt Games

At Taynuilt Games on 22nd August the piping judges were Mr T M Macdonald of Barguillean and Mr John MacColl, Champion Piper. The competitors and committee met at the Secretary’s Office and, along with spectators marched in procession to the field led by Pipers McLean, McCulloch and McDiarmid playing a local march, Beiteadh an Daraich. The prize list was:

Piobaireachd

  1. A McLean, Craignish
  2. J McCulloch, Oban
  3. D McDiarmid, Glasgow

Marches

  1. McCulloch
  2. McLean
  3. A Macdonald, Dalmally

Strathspeys and Reels

  1. McLean
  2. McDiarmid
  3. McCulloch.

Skye Games

At Skye Games on 24th August the judges who very kindly came forward at their own expense were for piping Major D H Huie, Scottish Pipers’ Society, Edinburgh, and Mr Malcolm MacInnes, MA LLB Director of Education, Johannesburg. The prize list was:

Piobaireachd

  1. PM GS McLennan, Aberdeen
  2. PM John MacDonald, Inverness
  3. Cpl MacLennan, Scots Guards and PM Young, Cameron Highlanders – 3 and 4 equal 

Marches

  1. PM GS McLennan
  2. Piper Thomson, Cameron Highlanders
  3. PM John MacDonald

Strathspeys and Reels

  1. PM GS McLennan
  2. Cpl MacLennan
  3. Piper Thomson
  4. Piper D Lamont, Tiroran, Mull

Local Marches

  1. John MacInnes, Snizort
  2. Sam. Mackenzie, Clacharnish
  3. J Macphie, Roag
  4. D A Macdonald, Sasaig

Band Race:

  1. Cpl Pentland
  2. Piper Mackenzie
  3. Piper Macphie

Cowal Games

The Oban Times reported: “At Cowal entries far exceeded those of the previous year. For the six pipe band contests there was an entry of 48 and the solo pipers numbered 75.

“On Saturday the forenoon was dry, but unfortunately the weather broke down in the course of the afternoon, and as a result the march past of the massed bands was abandoned. Additional interest was added to the pipe band contests by the presence of a Dublin band. The City of Glasgow Band was again successful in winning the Argyll Shield, which carries with it the world’s championship. The County Territorial Band, whose members included Drummer W Balfour and Piper K Lawrie of the Oban Pipe Band and Piper Ian Macfarlane, Oban, received an ovation. The prizes were presented by Lady Elspeth Campbell.”

Results on Friday

Juvenile March

  1. J C Smith, 8th A and SH Dunoon
  2. Neil Henderson, Dunoon
  3. Archd Moodie, Dunoon

Piobaireachd

  1. PM R Reid, 7th HLI
  2. PM W Ross, Edinburgh
  3. Philip Melville, Glasgow Police.

Reel and Strathspey

  1. PM W Ross
  2. PM Chas McEachern, Islay
  3. Philip Melville

Results on Saturday

Juvenile (under 16) March, Strathspey and Reel

  1. John Keir, Dollar
  2. Cameron Hutcheson, Dalmuir
  3. Ian C Cameron, Bridgend, Islay
  4. Alex MacLeod, Glasgow

Piobaireachd

  1. PM R Reid, 7th HLI
  2. PM W Ross, Edinburgh
  3. PM J O Duff, Edinburgh

Best Dressed Playing Piper PM W Ross.

Local Piping (Burgh Cup)

  1. Neil McNicol, Islay
  2. John P MacDonald, Argyll Police
  3. Jas McNicol, Islay
  4. D McPhedran, Inveraray

Pipe Bands

Contest No 1. — Juvenile Bands of not more than 12 performers.

  1. 139th Glasgow Company Boys’ Brigade
  2. 40th Glasgow Company Boys’ Brigade
  3. 5th Paisley Company Boys’ Brigade.

Contest No 2. — Confined to bands who have not won a prize at Cowal Highland Gathering

  1. 40th Glasgow Company Boys’ Brigade
  2. 5th Paisley Company Boys’ Brigade.

World’s Championship

  1. City of Glasgow, PM W Ferguson
  2. Millhall, PM Geo D MacDonald
  3. 7th (Blythswood) HLI PM T Baillie
  4. Glasgow Tramways, PM G R Robertson.

Territorial Bands

  1. 7th (Blythswood) HLI
  2. 6th Bt HLI.

Civilian Bands

Contest No 1. – bands of not more than 12 performers

  1. Millhall, PM G MacDonald
  2. City of Glasgow, PM W Fergusson
  3. Glasgow Tramways, PM G R Robertson
  4. Dalzell, PM C Hastie. 

Contest No 2. – Confined to bands which have not yet won a prize at Cowal Highland Gathering

  1. Gartness, PM James Walker
  2. Wallacestone, PM J D Sharp

The following week the Oban Times published the full list of bands and their points out of a maximum of 100.

World’s Championship

  1. City of Glasgow – 92½
  2. Millhall 91½
  3. 7th HLI 88½
  4. Glasgow Tramways 87½
  5. 6th HLI 83½
  6. Singers 82
  7. 4/5th Royal Scots 81½
  8. Dalzell 81
  9. 6th HLI 80½
  10. 8th A&SH 77½
  11. 7th A&SH 76½
  12. 5/8 The Cameronians 74½
  13. Kirkcaldy and District 73½
  14. Eddlewood 70½
  15. Paisley Burgh 69½
  16. Wallacestone 68½
  17. 9th A&SH 68½
  18. 52nd Lowland Division Signals 67½
  19. Springburn and District 66
  20. Gartness 64½
  21. St Rollox Temperance 62
  22. Dublin James Connolly 55½

Civilian Contest – maximum 90 points

  1. Millhall 83
  2. City of Glasgow 82½
  3. Glasgow Tramways 75
  4. Dalzell 72
  5. Singers 72
  6. Gartness 68½
  7. Wallacestone 63
  8. Springburn and District 60
  9. Eddlewood 59½
  10. Greenock Highland Memorial 58½
  11. Partick and Hillhead 57
  12. Paisley Burgh 57
  13. Carron and District 56
  14. Bothwell Park and District 52½
  15. St Rollox Temperance 50½
  16. Kirkcaldy and District 47½
  17. Dublin James Connolly 43½

Juvenile Contest – maximum 100 points

  1. 139th Glasgow Coy BB 83
  2. 40th Glasgow Coy BB 74½
  3. 5th Paisley Coy BB  74½
  4. 4th Clydebank Boy Scouts 73
  5. 5th (R) Greenock Boy Scouts 70½
  6. 16th Glasgow Coy BB 70½
  7. Eddlewood 47½.

The Motherwell Times reported that the Dalzell Pipe Band led by PM Hastie had attended almost every contest in Scotland that year, winning several prizes, were placed fourth in the civilian contest, the same prize they had gained the previous year. The band was accompanied by over 50 supporters. Pipe Major A Hastie had taken charge of the band in 1921 and had worked hard to raise the standard of playing since then.