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Bill Telfer

Jock asked me to jot some notes about the experience of coming from overseas and taking part in this Event

The LBPS competitions have a reputation for laid back ambience, emphasising enjoyment of the music rather than the competitive element. I nevertheless found out the hard way that it’s easier to have fun if you’re well prepared.

Mistakes to avoid in future:
  • Opting to park as close as possible to the pleasant venue, in the heart of the Old Town (at

£1 an hour), entailing slipping out to dodge traffic wardens and shift the car every 2 hours. Next time I’ll travel by train or park and ride.

  • Arriving (Well, it was to be a laid back affair wasn’t it?). Then discovering I was eli- gible for the first event of the day, whereupon finding a drone reed in the bag left me with only a few minutes to extricate it and get tuned.. .was I flustered?
  • Over-anxiety to have the pipes well played-in for the Border Pipes Open, the last class of the day, led to spending too much time back-of-house tuning etc., missing out on hearing many of the
  • Having made prior arrangements for the evening, then finding there was to be a session in the pub immediately after the competition. Tantalising and disappointing given that such sessions are a rare pleasure where I come from.

Highlights: Renewing auld acquaintances and making new ones; discussing, comparing (and in free moments and back comers, trying out) one anothers’ instruments; discovering that Jock’s and my pipes were in tune with one another, and after one run through on the back stair entering as a duet; my dear daughter, piping-tolerant but no aficionado, affably spending the day with me, but dodging the start of each class lest she be asked to judge!

Suggestion: I was already travelling by the time the pre-Easter issue of the Newsletter was posted, so I missed it. In any case it doesn’t explain the “Classes and Rules”. The rules, which were only seen on arrival at the venue; earlier notification and more details about the programme format and rules would be welcome.

A Coincidence: Receiving the Goodacre trophy, which turns out to be half a Montgomery chanter, when I'm already owner of ‘the other half’, i.e., a prize awarded years ago when there was an overseas section of the competition. Needless to say I’m already at work with the superglue.