Winter is generally a quiet time for pipe bands with preparation for the forthcoming pipe band season and fundraising featuring heavily in band activity. Innerleithen Pipe Band has been no different. This post is a summary of Band activity in the first few months of 2017.
New Year’s Day saw the Band play round pubs and clubs in Innerleithen, a long standing tradition. Starting off at the Vale Club and moving on to Lodge 856 Social Club, the Union Club and St Ronan’s Hotel in turn, the Band played half a dozen well received sets before partaking of some light refreshment in each establishment.
The Band held its AGM on Sunday 22 January 2017 at 1.00pm in the Vale Club Innerleithen. Below is a brief report and summary of the information reported and decisions made that will affect the Band and its members over the course of the next year :
1. ATTENDANCE – 17 band members attended.
2. MINUTES OF 2016 AGM – the minutes of the 2016 AGM were approved by the meeting. There were no matters arising.
3. ACCOUNTS – the treasurer tabled accounts for 2016 and spoke to them. Total receipts in 2016 were £14,611.00; total payments were £13,860.00 leaving a surplus of £751.00. Bank account balances at the year-end comprised £3426.84. Complete Band accounts can be viewed on the Band Administration page.
4. COMMITTEE REPORT – the secretary tabled the committee report, which was accepted by the meeting.
5. COMMITTEE ELECTION – the current committee stood down and all bar Bethany Thomson were proposed for re-election. Rhiann Hamilton was nominated for election. No other nominations were received therefore the committee of Charles Gray (Secretary), Steven Gibb (Chairman), Linda Ridley (Treasurer), Bruce Gillie, Rosemary Gordon, Ross McLaren, Jim Doherty, Lynsey Thomson and Rhiann Hamilton was elected for 2017.
6. ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS – the current Pipe Major, Leading Drummer and Drum Major stood down but were proposed for re-election. No further nominations were received therefore Pipe Major Bruce Gillie and Leading Drummer Ross McLaren, were re-elected for a further year. The position of Drum Major was left vacant.
7. SUBSCRIPTIONS – the meeting was reminded of the current arrangements for subscriptions and bus fares – the subscription rate for all band members was £10 per annum and bus fares to each contest was £5 (players/non-playing members), £7 (non-players/non-members) and £2 (under 16’s all). An amendment was proposed that if a band member had not paid their membership fee by the end of April, then that member should be charged the non-member non-player bus fare rate of £7. This was agreed by the meeting. MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE THEREFORE DUE NOW!
8. CONTESTS AND ENGAGEMENTS – after discussion it was agreed to try and attend the local pipe band contests at Dunbar, Bathgate, Edinburgh, North Berwick, Peebles and Innerleithen and the Majors at Paisley (British), Dumbarton(Scottish) and Glasgow(Worlds) as well as the usual street engagements, dependent on band member availability.
On Saturday 04 February, the Band held a fundraising Burns Supper in Lodge 856 Social Club, Innerleithen. The event was a great success for the Band, raising £600.00 for band funds whilst everyone who attended had a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment celebrating our national Bard. Many thanks go to everyone who turned up to support the event, all who donated raffle prizes, and especially our speakers and performers whose contributions were invaluable – Rhiann Hamilton who gave “The Selkirk Grace”, Rachel Anderson who piped in the haggis, John Connor who Addressed the Haggis with customary gusto, Jim Borthwick who gave an impressive “Immortal Memory”, Steven Gibb who gave a witty Toast to the Lassies, Kerrie Gibb who gave an equally witty Reply from the Lassies, 11 members of the Band who gave a fine tag-team rendition of “Tam O Shanter” and Rosemary Gordon who demonstrated a fine command of highland dancing to the piping accompaniment of Bruce Gillie, all of which was presided over in masterly style by the MC for the evening, Alan Thomson. Interspersed amongst the speeches were fine musical contributions from Vi and Charlie Graham which were much appreciated by the company. Special thanks are also due to our chef for the evening Mr David Fulton who provided the company with a wonderful three course meal, ably assisted by Emma Gray, Anne Tunnah, Sharon Heath and Stevie Potts. The Band would also like to extend its thanks to the committee, members and staff of Lodge 856 Social Club for the use of their function hall to hold the Burns Supper.
The rest of February was a quieter month with little Band activity. Band members though were busy with various members guesting with the pipe band that annually visits Bailleul in northern France for Carnival. Band members also welcomed friends from Wales for the Six Nations rugby, performing in various local pubs and clubs.
March (as well as January and February) has seen the Band hard at work preparing for the forthcoming pipe band competition season. Competition sets have to be prepared based on the criteria laid out by the RSPBA. Sets were chosen before Christmas and now the Band has them up on the pipes and drums. The sets chosen for this years contests comprise the following tunes – a quick march set of “Greenwoodside”, “The Earl of Mansfield”, “McKay’s Farewell to the 74th” and “The Pipers Cave” which is the same set as 2016, and an MSR set comprising “Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban”, “Men of Argyll”, “Molly Connell”, “The Keel Row”, “Lexy McAskill” and “Captain Lachlan McPahil of Tiree” which has only slightly altered from the 2016, with a change of tune for the last reel.
The Band’s next fundraising event is also in hand. The annual PipeBand-A-Thon will be held on Saturday 01 April from 8.00am to 8.00pm in the Vale Club Innerleithen. Not only is this one of the main annual fundraisers for the Band, it is a great opportunity for the playing Band Members to have a practice day working on tunes and instruments prior the the new pipe band season commencing in early May. The Band is still registered with JustGiving to allow supporters to pledge donations online. The Band’s campaign page can be found here – PipeBand-A-Thon 2017, where supporters can donate direct to the Band or donate to individual fundraisers who are listed on the right hand side of the page.