'... hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, Put life and mettle in their heels'...... Robert Burns

About Haddington Pipe Band

Aubigny 2005

Haddington Pipe Band - formed in 1981 - takes its name from the former Royal Burgh of Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland. The band, a registered charity, is based there and many of the members live locally. Our home town is twinned with Aubigny-sur-Nère, France, which also has a pipe band and we visit each other regularly. Here our band can be seen on a recent visit.

Haddington Pipe Band 1981 - 2009

Haddington Pipe Band first performed in public at the Haddington Festival in June 1981. This first makeshift band had been pulled together by former members of the 1st Haddington Boys' Brigade Band (1958 - 1967) in response to a request for help from the Chairman of the Community Council (a former Captain of Haddington BB) who had had difficulty finding a pipe band to play at the Festival that year. The 'Early Days' - before uniforms. This makeshift outfit was based at the local hostelry, the Tyneside Tavern, and took the name the Tyneside Tipplers. Haddington Festival 1982 Because it had no uniform it performed in the very early stages in fancy dress.

Despite the rather low key, unorthodox entry to the piping world, the band, such as it was, proved popular and an initial trickle of follow-on engagements rapidly became a steady flow.First Official Photo 1983/84 In addition we had a queue of youngsters and parents seeking tuition in both piping and drumming. So much so that after a couple of years of making do four members of the makeshift band (our founder members: Ramsay Borthwick, Bill Bradford, Alan Brotherston and David Leckie) decided that the time was ripe for putting the band on a more formal footing. What could be described as a steering committee was established, the name was changed to Haddington Pipe Band, a constitution was developed, a uniform was decided upon Green/modern Douglas Tartan, Black Argyll jacket, black Glengarry, cream hose and black shoes, a place was found for weekly practice (Haddington Rugby Club), a bank account was opened and fundraising was started in earnest. Lennoxlove House

For the next few years the band worked steadily raising funds, taking on more pipers and drummers, increasing the number of engagements and buying equipment. The Band history "Chasing a Pipe Dream" contains quite a bit of detail about these early years and can be purchased (£5.99) from the Secretary.

The next major step for the Band was our first visit to Haddington's twin town in France - Aubigny sur Nere in 1989 - which was organised by Bill Bradford. Aubigny lies about 100 miles due south of Paris and our first visit coincided with the bicentenary of the French revolution. Aubigny - first visit 1989 That visit was a major success for the Band and the first of very many visits to France. Indeed the Band have become almost a fixture at the town's annual fete Franco/Ecossaise. The Band was also a major factor in the establishment of Aubigny sur Nere's pipe band and retains very strong links with that band.

Since late 1980's the Band has worked away steadily building strength in numbers and we hope quality. There have been a number of notable events over the period - competing at the Cowal games to allow us to fulfil one of our member's long held wishes to join the parade through Dunoon from the park to the ferry, the Band's celebration at its coming of age in 2002, members of the Band taking part in East Lothian Council's twinning celebrations in East Germany, and new town celebrations in Shanghai, publication of a short Band history and most recently the organising of a "Pipe Idol" competition which attracted entries from as far a field as USA. Pipe Idol 2009

What makes our Band unique if indeed it is unique. We are a family/community Band; we provide tuition for pipers and drummers of any age; we do not compete but any of our members who wish to go on to compete are free to join a competing band with our best wishes and support; our committee, and we probably have one of the best and most hardworking committees, exists to assist the Band -it does not control the Band; it must have a majority of playing members on it. Major decisions - appointment of pipe major etc, fees to charge where appropriate, whether to compete or not etc are taken by the playing members not the committee; we do not have a junior section - every playing member regardless of age or experience has an equal say in Band decisions.