page 7

page 8


WELL OVER a year ago, I was "temporarily" seconded as chairman of the Society, due to Mike Rowan having to give up the post because of family and work commitments. Having been dropped in it, there was an inevitable period of chaos as mailing lists, funds etc were all inaccessible for a time. However, having overcome, hopefully, these teething troubles, the Society has run fairly smoothly since. Successes during the past year or so have   ncluded the publication of the Tutor, the organisation of talks at meetings, the instigation of monthly pub sessions, the growth of membership and funds, the continuing development and status of Common Stock as an international piping voice.

The 1986 competitions attracted a large attendance but entries in some classes were low in numbers, although the audience was full of eligible candidates. This year saw a greatly increased entry and the quality just gets better and better...

The Tutor hit the streets at Christmas 1985 and has sold steadily since. There are not many of the first printing left, so if you haven't got a copy, don't wait too long. The idea of having workshops/talks/recitals at the bi-monthly meetings has worked well when they are held in Edinburgh, but in Glasgow attendances have been erratic. The talks given by Colin Ross, Peter Cooke, Iain MacInnes, Rab Wallace and David Moore were immensely enjoyable and sparked off much animated discussion and playing. I'm sure everyone who attended went away greatly enlightened, and the evening pub sessions held on the last Thursday of the month in the Oxford Bar in Young Street, Edinburgh, have by and large been very successful, and always provide a varied evening's entertainment. An attempt to organise a similar session in Glasgow unfortunately went down like a lead balloon (or a punctured pipe bag) when nobody turned up.

On a positive note, membership has continued to grow and it is worth noting that nearly two thirds of the membership live outwith Scotland. This emphasises the fact that Common Stock has a major role to play in the continuing vitality of the Society and its financial ‘security. It is for this reason that the last edition of Common Stock was expanded and it is intended to commit further resources to developing it and broadening its scope. All suggestions and articles should be sent to the editor, Jim Gilchrist.

Other developments worth noting are that Lowland pipes and Scottish small pipes are now being made by Jim Anderson in Larbert, Stirlingshire. Jim must have been one of the first people playing Scottish small pipes in the folk revival; he played with the Clutha group as well as with the Muirhead pipe band. Since returning from a stint in Oman he has been turning his considerable knowledge of bagpipes to good effect. The sets I have seen and tried have been of the highest quality.

Hamish Moore continues his piping career following the success of his album. He has toured in America and has other piping courses on the cards. In association with his father, David Moore, he is also making pipes; again, the quality is very high.

The London members, under the guidance of John Agnew, have been busy organising evening meetings and events. They have kindly offered a cup to the Society for the Original Composition class in the competition, first competed for at this year's event.
So far as the future is concerned, I would hope to continue the format of having a guest speaker/performer at the bi-monthly meetings. Volunteers or suggestions for forthcoming eetings would be welcomed. It is also intended to develop the scope of Common Stock, and in the immediate future I envisage committing the lion's share of current funds in this direction.

I would expect that this would be in the interests of the majority of our members; also, through increased exposure/readership the society can expand and develop, while knowledge and information on piping and traditional culture can be freely exchanged.I also hope that the Society may have an active part to play in the “Piping Festival" which had its inauguration at this year's Edinburgh Folk Festival.

It is also worth noting that a bagpipe museum has opened-- wait for it--in England. Well, more correctly, in Northumberland, at The Chantry in Morpeth. From what I hear it should
be visited by everyone with an interest in Border or Lowland pipes. Congratulations to everyone who has made this possible... but when will we ever get one in Scotland?

Ideas for further publications by the Society would be welcomed. Current ideas include workshop plans for pipes, publication of the "pastoral pipes tune book" associated with the Reid set of pipes in the National Museum of Scotland at Queen Street, Edinburgh, and a cassette of highlights from our competitions over the past four years.

Overall, I get the feeling that the idea of bagpipes blown by bellows might just catch on!
See you all at the next meeting.