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 2016.
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 24 January 2016 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 – 19 band members attended.
2. MINUTES OF 2015 AGM – the minutes of the 2015 AGM were approved by the meeting. There were no matters arising.
3. ACCOUNTS – the treasurer tabled accounts for 2015 and spoke to them. Total Receipts in 2015 were £8379, total payments were £12973 leaving a deficit of £4594. The deficit was mostly comprised of tuition costs, increased expenditure on buses(resuming competitions) and expenditure on the Band Hall refurbishment. Bank account balances at the year-end comprised £2675.
4. COMMITTEE REPORT – the secretary tabled the committee report, which was accepted by the meeting.
5. COMMITTEE ELECTION – the current committee stood down but were proposed for re-election. No further nominations were received therefore the committee of Charles Gray, Steven Gibb, Linda Ridley, Bruce Gillie, Rosemary Gordon, Ross McLaren, Jim Doherty, Lynsey Thomson and Bethany Thomson was re-elected for a further year.
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 – there was some serious discussion on the subject of subscriptions and after much debate and voting the following arrangements were voted for by the AGM:
a. SUBSCRIPTION – a £10 per year subscription fee for ALL BAND MEMBERS was introduced for the first time.
b. TUITION CHARGE – it was agreed that a tuition charge be introduced, the level of which was to be set by the committee after the AGM. A meeting with all affected parents/interested parties would then held.
c. BUS FARES – for travel to pipe band competitions on band hired coaches, the level of bus fares was set as follows Adult Players £5, Non-Players £7, Under 16s £2.
8. CONTESTS AND ENGAGEMENTS – after discussion it was agreed to try and attend the 5 local pipe band contests at Dunbar, Bathgate, North Berwick, Peebles and Innerleithen and the Majors at Paisley (British), Dumbarton(Scottish) and Glasgow(Worlds) as well as the usual street engagements.
On Saturday 30 January, the band held a fundraising Burns Supper in Lodge 856 Social Club, Innerleithen . The event was a great success for the band, raising £475.00 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 – Miss Rachel Anderson who gave The Selkirk Grace, Archie Cousins who piped in the haggis and entertained with a few tunes, John Connor who Addressed the Haggis with customary gusto, Bobby Heaney who gave an impressive Immortal Memory, Jim Borthwick who gave a witty Toast to the Lassies, Rosemary Gordon who gave an equally witty Reply from the Lassies and Jim Calder who gave a fine rendition of Holy Wullie’s Prayer, 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 Mr Darren Heath and the waiting staff of Anne Tunnah, Anne Shirley, Sharon Heath and Jackie Tunnah. 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.
In comparison with January, 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 made the bi-annual pilgrimage to Wales for the Six Nations rugby, performing in various pubs and clubs.
March has seen the band hard at work preparing for the forthcoming pipe band competition season. With the band having been downgraded at the end of the 2015 season, new competition sets have to be prepared based on the criteria laid out the 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 contest comprise the folloing tunes – a quick march set of “Greenwoodside”, “The Earl of Mansfield”, “McKay’s Farewell to the 74th” and “The Pipers Cave, and an MSR set comprising “Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban”, “Men of Argyll”, “Molly Connell”, “The Keel Row”, “Lexy McAskill” and “Flora, Mrs MacLeod of MacLeod”.
The bands next fundraising event is also in hand. The annual PipeBand-A-Thon will be held on Saturday 26 March 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 band members to have a practice day working on tunes and instruments prior the the new pipe band season commencing in early May. New for this year is the band signing itself up for JustGiving to allow supporters to pledge donations online – this has been a spectacular success with the band raising well over £1000 by the first week of March. The band’s campaign page can be found here – PipeBand-A-Thon 2016.