Haddington Pipe Band News Bulletin Board

Haddington Pipe Band News Bulletin Board


News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Tue, July 25, 2017 12:20:35

Another band Boot Camp is to be held over the weekend of 29/30 July. The venue is the Scout Hall in Haddington and it will again be a great opportunity for pipers and drummers to work on new tunes, performance skills and drill.

“This will be our second Boot Camp,” said pipe major Fraser Wilkinson, “and if it’s as successful as the previous one, we will all benefit greatly.

“We are planning to work on a number of tunes and look at our ensemble playing, our musicality and our performance expertise. We’ll also be practising our marching and other drills.

“It’s really helpful to have an intense working weekend such as this when we can focus on improving our all-round performance as a band. Although it can be demanding, it’s also very enjoyable and very sociable.”

The weekend will also feature the return on the Saturday of the band’s BBC Fellow, Ailie Robertson, who worked with us over a twelve-month period in 2013/14. Ailie recently won the Award for Achievement in New Music at this year’s Scottish Awards for New Music and it will be a real pleasure to welcome her back.

Below: Gary West and Ailie Robertson at our last Boot Camp. (Photo: Emma Campbell)

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News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Fri, April 14, 2017 10:30:14
Our annual May dance/family ceilidh, with music by the excellent Clappy Doo (and Haddington Pipe Band of course), will be held at the Corn Exchange, Haddington, on the evening of Friday 26 May, starting at 7.30pm with a performance by the pipe band.

All are very welcome, and please bring your own food and drink. Under 16s to be accompanied by an adult.

Tickets are available from Joe Forte Sports (High Street), The Maple Tree (Court Street), and committee members. Ticket prices: £12, concessions (under 16, over 60) £10.

Look forward to seeing you there. Please spread the word!

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News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Wed, January 04, 2017 12:57:34
Our annual Burns Night will be held this year on Saturday 28 January, 7.30pm at the Scout Hall. As ever, it will be an entertaining, informal, fun, family-friendly evening to celebrate our national bard. A meal, speakers, music and dancing - and bring your own bottle.

Tickets are £12, £10 for concessions (over 60/under 16). They're available from Joe Forte Sports, 65 High Street, Haddington; from Davie Leckie - 07952 327644; and from other board members.

All very welcome.

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News BulletinPosted by David Leckie Mon, January 02, 2017 20:55:35


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News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Thu, October 06, 2016 15:19:06

A calendar for 2017 with the theme of ‘Haddington Old and New’ has been produced by Haddington Pipe Band – and it will be officially launched at the opening of an exhibition of the photos at the Loft Cafe this Saturday (8 October) at 10.30am.

The 13 photos - ten from Haddington and others from East Linton, Gifford and Pencaitland - have all been created using 19th and 20th century photos sourced from the archives at the John Gray Centre and then merged with new photos taken at the same places by professional photographer Nick Callaghan. Among the shots are the long-gone Bothwell Castle in the Hardgate, the train accident of 1937, the High Street in 1895, St Mary’s Kirk before (and after) its renovation, the ford at the Nungate Bridge, the 1927 flood, and the motor engineers’ garage in East Linton in the 1920s.

“For this year’s calendar, we have drawn on old photographs and sought to create a window into the world of those who lived in our community in these times by staging new photographs of the same locations and blending them with the old scenes,” said Alastair Bruce, chairman of the band.

“The final images, we believe, not only highlight the developments in or the constancy of our environment and built heritage, but also allow us to share space, and seemingly time, with our predecessors. These are not ghosts from the past but real people who walk the same pavements, work in the same streets, sit in the same resting places, and cross the same river.

“We are extremely grateful to the many businesses who have sponsored the production. We are also very grateful to our superb photographer Nick Callaghan – the quality of his work is there for all to see in the calendar and exhibition. And the support of the John Gray Centre, in particular local history officer Bill Wilson, was invaluable.”

This year’s cover photo draws on a photo of Court Street in Haddington in 1910, with the modern photo capturing members of the pipe band as well as the work of the award-winning community organisation, Blooming Haddington.

The exhibition will open at the Loft in the town’s Peffers Place on Saturday morning, with the band playing to mark the occasion. The exhibition will run at the Loft until after Christmas.

The calendar, meanwhile, will shortly be on sale for £5 at various shops, libraries and other outlets - including the Loft - locally. It can also be purchased online by emailing calendar@haddingtonpipeband.co.uk.

All funds raised from this calendar will be used to pay for tuition, instruments, uniforms and other initiatives which help the band to develop and make a positive contribution to the town and the community.

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News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Wed, August 17, 2016 14:54:59

Some wonderful memories of the first visit of a Haddington pipe band to our twin town, Aubigny-sur-Nere, in 1966

Bill Bradford

1) Arriving at Orly airport after what was the first ever flight by most if not all the BB band. To the horror of our French hosts who were there to greet us and transport us to Aubigny, we were dressed in our travelling kit - black blazers, grey flannels, BB tie etc. They apparently were expecting big hairy Scotsmen dressed in full number 1 uniform. Before we knew where we were, out kit was offloaded from the plane and we were ushered into the airport manager’s office and told to change. It turned out that we were part of the publicity for a French star of the stage who was arriving from USA about the same time as we arrived. We then spent a good while posing for photographs with her. At least we got some publicity as our photo featured in the Express in UK the following week.

2) Playing in parades up the main street in Aubigny with the police having to force a way for us through the crowds and being covered with blue confetti which which was thrown over us. I was still getting confetti in the folds of my plaid two years afterwards.

3) Sitting in the bakery opposite the sword-in-the-stone monument eating croissants and drinking coffee with the bakers in the early hours of the morning after our many late-night performances.

David Murray

It was a hectic time for a teenager - a three-week trip to Denmark as part of the Kettinge twinning in early July, leading to the first performance of Haddington BB pipe band in the Aubigny twinning arrangement.

Arrival at Orly airport - hustled into a lounge to dress for a photo shoot with a French actress on her way to the US, was the first activity. Francoise Gall was her name. The pic appeared in UK press and is included in the Pipe Band publication.

A Beating the Retreat ceremony in the Chateau created a few tears - it was the first time the pipes had been heard since the liberation in 1945.

I played the lament at the war memorial as part of the seven-year celebration, and was enrolled as the 'First Honorary member of the Committee of Feasts of Aubigny'. I've never taken advantage of the post, although I still hold the certificate - written on the back of the menu of the celebration evening!

We attended a concert by 'Francoise Hardy and les Haricot Verts' - as part of the celebrations which led to a pen pal relationship with a Breton family.

Loads of memories!

Kenneth Thomson

One event in 1966 at Aubigny sticks out. There was someone who we would call the local squire who lived in the local ‘grand property’. Let’s call him the Count in the Chateau.

One evening we were asked to play in his grounds and there was an arch which had been barred up since 1945 because the Nazis had marched through this in 1940 and after the war the count did not want anyone else to do so as he wanted nothing to do with it. Until we arrived, no one else had ever gone through it again. On this particular day, he had changed his mind and he told us it would be an honour for him and his family if we went through the arch. He took the grating down. We did so and he and his family were quite emotional about it.

Ian McDonald (Adelaide, South Australia)

It is hard to believe that it was 50 years ago. I remember that the weather was very warm. We stayed in an old house or school and ate peaches, a rare treat at that time.

My most enduring memory is of the great kindness of the townspeople from the moment we were picked up at Orly Airport to the time we left.

I am pleased that the association with Aubigny is still going strong and the pipe band makes such a contribution.

Good luck with the beating of the retreat and all the best to the band for the future

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News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Mon, August 15, 2016 12:18:07

More than 100 pipers and drummers will be marching and playing in Haddington this Friday (19 August) evening to celebrate the local pipe band’s 35th anniversary.

Musicians from a number of pipe bands are joining Haddington Pipe Band for a Beating Retreat ceremony, followed by a performance by the massed piped and drums in the town’s Court Street.

In addition to the piping and drumming, there will be food stalls and other music, and the evening will finish off with a family ceilidh in the Corn Exchange.

“The evening will begin at 6.30pm and we’re absolutely delighted that a number of local bands, including North Berwick, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Preston Lodge and the Edinburgh Postal Band will be performing, as well as young players from Knox Academy,” said Haddington Pipe Band chairman, Alastair Bruce. “Each band will play on its own and then we’ll have a massed pipes and drums parade to provide a rousing climax to the event.

“Court Street will be closed off and, of course, the event will be free for folk to come and enjoy. East Coast FM will be broadcasting from the ceremony and the whole evening will be compered by a former chairman of Haddington Pipe Band, John McMillan.

“The venue is great, and we are very much looking forward to the evening, which we see as a form of thank you to the local community for all the support we’ve had from them over our 35 years.”

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News BulletinPosted by Alastair Bruce Fri, July 08, 2016 10:58:28

Haddington Pipe Band is to hold a Beating Retreat ceremony and a Massed Pipes and Drums Parade in the town’s Court Street on the evening of Friday 19 August.

The event is being organised to mark the band’s 35th anniversary and is sure to be a spectacular and colourful occasion. Four pipe bands – including a number of East Lothian bands - have already accepted the invitation to join the host band at the ceremony, and organisers are confident that others will be joining them.

In addition, other musicians and dancers will be performing on the night, a number of food and other stalls will be open for business, and the evening will be rounded off with a family ceilidh in the Corn Exchange.

The ceremony and parade will be free for all spectators, and the street will be closed to traffic for the evening.

“Court Street is a great venue,” said Haddington Pipe Band chairman, Alastair Bruce, “and we’re putting together a busy programme which we hope will provide great entertainment. The various pipe bands will all play individual sets and the climax will be a massed pipes and drums parade, which is likely to feature around 100 pipers and drummers.

“It’s been a number of years since we held an event of this scale in the town and we are very much looking forward to staging this one.

“The local community have been wonderfully supportive of the band over its 35 years and this is a way for us to say thank you to everyone.”

The final programme will be published ahead of the event and details will also be posted on the band’s website (www.haddingtonpipeband.co.uk) and on its social media.

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