Ladies and Gentlemen we are a registered charity, number SC045878. This involves many obligations on us and you, including you giving us money. This band was re-established in the early naughties to plug a gap in the cultural life of the village, I remember following the pipe band as a child, I remember my sister vanishing at the first skirl of a drone or bray of a chanter and reappearing in a kilt so we could run behind the band. It was part of childhood and it just stopped. We were too young to grasp the politics, it just stopped. For a long time.
Well it’s back and it’s growing, 2015 has been the best year the band has had since its re-inception; numerous trophies and shields have been won, we qualified for the European Championships final (placed first in our qualifier) and qualified for the final of the World Championships. Our drummers finished 7th in the champion of champions table but took many Best Corps of Drums awards during the year. No mean feat for a wee village band.
We are a rare thing in the pipe band world, we teach beginners on the pipe and drums. This year we face an unknown experience as many of the beginners we nurtured look to join bands in higher Grades, to advance in the trade of piping and drumming. While this saddens us it should be a time for pride in the ability of our young players and the teachers. We face a challenge trying to recruit replacements for Big Stewart and StuPo but I saw our drummers step up to the mark and give lessons to our newest recruits. It’ll be good to see The Medic on the tenor line next season, if you hang about with this band eventually you get handed something to play; Richard buy a set of sticks mate or a triangle.
Next June the band plans to travel to Albert, France for the centenary commemoration of the start of the Battle of the Somme. We go as guests of the town and will be royally looked after if the last time was anything to go by. We plan to subsidise this and will be fundraising to that effect. The organisers believe we need to raise £10,000 over and above our normal finances as band funds pay for instruments and uniforms and general band activities. To this effect we are holding a Beetle Drive/Bring and Buy Sale on the evening of 3rd October (7pm) in the Scout Hall, Kilbarchan. There will be games, tuck and raffles, BYOB. This should be a fun night for the whole family, bring your Grannie, she’ll not have been at a Beetle Drive since the 70’s.
The social side of the band is now getting into full swing and the list of events over the next month is quite staggering; next weekend the band ‘do’ the Sub Crawl in Glasgow (Kentucky if Facebook is to be believed), then the beetle drive, then the AGM on the 15th and a bag pack for France at Tescos on the 24th, some of our pipers will be playing at the Warp and Weft story event on the evening of the 24th and then the fancy dress ceilidh on the 6th of November. I do believe we are playing at Cardwell next weekend as well. It’s looking like a lot of fun.