Tweedvale Pipe Band travelled to Paisley on Saturday 21 May to take part in the British Pipe Band Championships at St James’ Playing Fields, the first major championship of the RSPBA season. The event enjoyed good weather, sunny though breezy – notwithstanding a heavy shower mid-afternoon after the band had played. – though a more pressing distraction for some bands was the sound of aircraft taking off from Glasgow Airport, which was separated from the contest venue by the width of the M8 motorway. The band was drawn to play 15th out of 18 bands and all entered bands played. Playing their March, Strathspey and Reel set of “P/M Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban”, “Men of Argyll”, “Molly Connell”, “The Keel Row”, “Lexy McAskill” and “Flora, Mrs Macleod of MacLeod”. Tweedvale put in an improved performance from the previous week’s effort at Dunbar, with the general consensus of band opinion afterwards was that the performance was pretty solid with good sound and tempo, and few errors.
When the results were announced Tweedvale found that it had been placed 16th overall, which was a disappointment to the band who thought their performance was worth a higher placing. The piping judges gave the band placings of 17th and 15th whilst the drumming judge placed the band 17th and the ensemble judge 10th. The Grade 4A contest was won by the City of Inverness Pipe Band. Tweedvale Pipe Band’s attendance at the British Pipe Band Championships was made possible by a generous donation towards coach costs from The Royal Bank of Scotland Peebles Branch, to whom the band extends its grateful thanks. Band thanks are also offered to BARC Coach Hire for supplying the coach that took the band through to Paisley.
Reflecting on the Paisley result Pipe Major Bruce Gillie, in charge of Tweedvale Pipe Band said, “Whilst I’m obviously disappointed with the overall result, I’m quite pleased with the band’s performance today. The sound was solid and the playing was generally better than the previous week at Dunbar. We’ll just have to continue practising hard and concentrating on doing the basics well at every contest, and the results will improve. I’d like to offer my thanks to The Royal Bank of Scotland Peebles Branch for their generous donation towards coach hire costs, and to BARC Coach Hire for the coach. I’d also like to encourage the band members not to be too downhearted with the British result – we’ve only just started competing seriously again and there will be set backs on the way.”
Tweedvale Pipe Band’s season continues this Saturday 28 May when the band will be found heading to West Lothian to take part in the pipe band contest at the West Lothian Highland Games in Meadow Park, Bathgate. The Bathgate contest will see the band performing three times – once with its March set of “Greenwoodside”, “The Earl of Mansfield”, “MacKay’s Farewell to the 74th” and “The Piper’s Cave” in the Grade 4 March contest and twice with its MSR set of “P/M Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban”, “Men of Argyll”, “Molly Connell”, “The Keel Row”, “Lexy McAskill” and “Flora, Mrs Macleod of MacLeod” in the Grade 4 & NJ MSR contest and the Grade 3 competition. A slightly later departure time of 08.00am will see the band through to West Lothian in good time to take the field 1st out of 8 bands in the Grade 4 March contest commencing at 11.15am, followed by the other events throughout the day.
Details of the Day
Contest venue – St James’ Playing Fields, Paisley
Grade 4 MSR – P/M Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban, Men of Argyll, Molly Connell, The Keel Row, Lexy McAskill and Flora, Mrs MacLeod of MacLeod.
Number of Pipers – 9.
Number of Side Drummers – 3.
Number of Bass Drummers – 1.
Number of Tenor Drummers – 1.
The full results of the British Championships Grade 4 MSR contest can be found here.