Features

Balvenie Castle.

Any Balvenie?

By MacGregor Kennedy. A mile north of Dufftown where Fiddich meets Dullan is Balvenie. On the west side stands Balvenie Castle on an eminence, readily seen from the A941. It was in times past called the ‘Castle of Mortlach’ and was the centre of the locality long before Dufftown was […]

"… microscopically massage the wood perched on their loving shoulders."

The time (wasting) machine

As the Piping Times always acknowledged, sometimes its Letters pages contained more enjoyable reading than the rest of the magazine. Here is an example. It is a letter written by Allan Hamilton – he of Pipers’ Persuasion – to Seumas MacNeill and published in the June 1996 PT. Allan had […]

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #68, 2014. Angus MacKay. He’ll be known, at least by name, to many of you. Born on September 10, 1813 — under the astrological sign of Virgo — on Raasay, an island off the north-west coast of Scotland, he was to become one […]

The Arms of MacDonald: Clan Donald’s heraldic crest: 1st quarter, silver, a lion rearing red, tongue, claws and teeth bright blue; 2nd quarter, gold, a hand in armour horizontal holding a small burning cross red; 3rd quarter, Gold a one-masted galley sails furled and oars in action black, flag red; 4th quarter, green a salmon swimming horizontal in its natural state; placed over all quarters on a shield, Gold an eagle with wings spread red overlaid by a one-masted galley sails furled, oars in action black (as Chief of the Name and Arms MacDonald).

Stories of the Tunes – The Red Hand in the MacDonalds’ Arms

By Seumas MacNeill What wonderful titles people have given to piobaireachd. Apart from the long lists of laments and salutes, we have such gems as My Dearest on Earth Give me Your Kiss, and All the Men Paid Rent but Rory, as well as this Red Hand tune, and many […]

I now dissociate myself from my Foreword in ‘Sidelights’

I now dissociate myself from my Foreword in ‘Sidelights’

By Lt. Col. D. J. S. Murray In the year 2000 there was published Dr William Donaldson’s seminal The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, a well written, well researched and well sourced book which one thought would have been well received by the serious piping fraternity. The contrary was the […]

Famous pipers: PM John MacLean

Famous pipers: PM John MacLean

 By Archie MacLean My father, John MacLean, was born in the solitary house on the small tidal island of Kirkibost, North Uist, where his father, Angus, was the herdsman. My father’s birth certificate shows his birth date as April 23, 1900. There was no doctor present at the birth (not […]

Stuart Letford: a sense of déjà vu

Stuart Letford: a sense of déjà vu

While clearing out my garage last month I stumbled across two boxes. Each was packed with VHS video cassettes – remember them? – of various films and comedies over the years. Mostly from the 1970s and 80s, of course. There were three piping tapes in the box: MacKinnon Productions’ West […]

Jonathan Greenlees, the winner at the 2008 SPA Professional.

A judge’s ramblings – part 3

Another summer passed and some regrets at having to return home By Malcolm McRae The last day of August saw Dugald MacNeill and me judging the Piobaireachd event at the Scottish Pipers’ Association Competition at the College of Piping in Glasgow. The new recital auditorium is an ideal venue for […]