Society President Julian Goodacre has been preparing the Society’s archives for eventual deposit at the National Library of Scotland. This is a surprisingly complete record of the history of some very significant changes in the Scottish music scene and it is planned to include a series of extracts in subsequent issues. Here, Dr David Hannay, destined to become Society treasurer in the following year, describes the opening event of the 1982 Edinburgh Folk Festival.

“The Edinburgh Folk Festival this year  had a contribution from the Lowland Pipers’ Society, with two of their members, Ian MacDonald and Dr David Hannay – playing at the “Proclamation of the Folk Festival” at the Mercat Cross on March 27th. The opening ceremony included a pipe band and groups of dancers who paraded along the High Street and across George IV Bridge with the two Lowland pipers playing in the procession. This may have been the first time that Lowland pipes have been heard in the streets of Edinburgh for about 200 years.
“Later that day Ian MacDonald gave a talk at the School of Scottish Studies on “The Lowland Pipes in relation to the European Tradition”... As well as the Lowland pipes, he gave a demonstration on the Uilleann and Breton pipes, amongst others. Great interest was shown by an enthusiastic audience which included Francis Collinson, William Sinclair and Jimmy Wilson. Mr Sinclair had made Lowland Pipes with Robertson’s of Edinburgh in the 1920’s and for many years Jimmy Wilson was probably the only person still playing them in Scotland…
“At the end of the meeting the chairman of the Lowland pipers’ Society, Mike Rowan, … said that the Society now had sufficient members to be put on a more formal basis and this would be done at the next meeting of the society on June 6th”
When asked for his memories of this event, David said:
“I do not have a copy of what I wrote at the time [Ed.- fortunately the archive does], nor can I remember what I played, but I do remember the event. Myself and another lowland piper,  were due to play at the Mercat Cross by St Giles Cathedral, for the opening of the Edinburgh folk festival. I was playing a set of half long pipes I had recently acquired from Colin Ross. We started playing outside St Giles with various groups of dancers milling around, causing sufficient obstruction for us to be eventually moved on by the police. We then all marched, or rather ambled, up the High Street and up George IVth Bridge before stopping at the Bedlam Theatre. I had never really marched with the bellows pipes before, nor have I done so since.”