This year’s competition was the 28th; the first was held in 1984. Since both competitions featured the same winners, it seemed appropriate to look back at that competition. Here then are the advance publicity, the published report and the play lists of the competitors.

From the December 1983 edition of Common Stock (the first issue to be produced)

Below we reproduce the report of the competition, as published in the November 1984 edition of Common Stock (the next issue to be produced)

(There seems to be a typesetting error here: para 3 line 5  should presumably read: ‘its heyday seems not to have been’)

The judges comments, and the impact on Iain McInnes’ result of his choice of repertoire, stand out particularly here, since the list of music played at the 1984 competition actually consists almost entirely of tunes which we would class as ‘Lowland’.
Although we now have the digital files of the recordings of this first competition, a full playlist has yet to be prepared. However, the recordings of the following three years are accompanied by full details of who played what and on what instruments. On the following page we reproduce the list of the 1985 competition. It is revealing to compare this list with the tunes played by the prize-winners at this year’s competition [see p. 28].

1985 competition tune list

Mike Ward    The Mousewald Tragedy/The Beggar Man/The Carles o Dysart
David Taylor    Freedom Come All Ye/Jocky said to Johnny [sic]/Robin Shure in Hearst/Kenmure’s Up an Awa/Coorie Doon/Drink the Water and Spill the Beer[sic]/ The Carles o Dysart
Hamish Moore    Country Dance/ Drink the Water and Spill the Beer[sic]/Drops o Brandy/The White and the Yellow Barrel
Gordon Mooney    Lament of the Border Widow/The Cat that Chased its Tail
Iain MacInnes        Highland Laddie/Wooed and Married an A’/Hay Ca Thru/Ranting Roaring Willie/Hunt the Hare
Andy Hunter        The Cockle Gatherers/The Gallowa Hills/Rattling Roaring Willie
Jeannie Campbell    O Gin I were a Baron’s Heir/Teribus/Willie’s Gone to Melville Castle/Skinner’s Cradle Song/ The Border Jig
Lowland Pipes
David Stevenson    Mary Scott/Noble Lord Dacre/The Dawning of the Day
Paul Roberts        Soor Plums O Galashiels/Drops o Brandy
Gordon Mooney    Johnny Armstrong/O’er the Border
David Hannay        Christmas Day in the Morning/Haste to the Wedding. The Piper’s Prayer/I’ll Gae Nae Mair to Yon Toon/The Hen’s March over the Midden

Pipe duet
Mike Ward & Andy Hunter    Bonny Glenshee/Jamie Gilchrist/Drops o Brandy
Paul Roberts and Gordon Mooney    Mary Scott/Keelrow
Hamish Moore & David Taylor    Lonely Loch nan Eun/Rock and wee Pickle Tow/The Miner’s Greyhound
Jeannie Campbell & Andrew Sharp    Skye Boat Song/10th Highlanders Crossing the Rhine

Mixed duet
Gordon & Barbara Mooney [flute]    Can ye Sew Cushions/The Piper’s Wedding
Andy Hunter & Mike Ward [harmonium]    Macpherson’s Lament/a Man’s a Man/ Duncan Gray/Blue Bonnet
Iain MacInnes & Patsy Seldon [clarsach]    Inverness Gathering/Little Cascade

Recordings of all these performances exist, recorded by Pete Cooke of the School of Scottish Studies. These are now available in digital format and it is hoped to make them available on the website just as soon as we have permissions from the performers themselves. If your name is on this list, or if you played at the 1984 or 1985 competition, and you have not yet been contacted, please let the editor know whether you are happy for these sound files to be broadcast.