Jim Hardie

A few members have advised me of the passing of Jim Hardie.

Robert Wallace has blogged on his piping press website that

The death has been reported in Victoria, British Columbia, of James Hardie son of the famous pipe major RG Hardie. James was 63.

Click here to read the full pipingpress article.

Jim who was a very successful solo player, played in the 214 band at the same time as Dougy McColl, Robert McQuillan, Iain Morrison etc…

Jim Hardie at Cowal 1972 with his winning solo trophies, he would have played in the band 1970-73 roughly.

214th Glasgow Company Pipe Band at ‘Cabaret’ playing in the Concert Hall, Glasgow 1971.

Back Row:- Gus MacLennan, Kenny Hamilton, Ronnie Elmslie, Dougy McColl, Martin Gilfillan, Captain Bob Alderdice.

Middle Row:-Frank Gilfillan, Iain MacDonald, PM Alex MacIver, Jim Hardie, David Duncan, Iain Morrison.

Front Row:- Kenny MacLeod, John MacLennan, Robert McQuillan, Eoin Ashford.

Jim tuning up at Cowal 1971.

Jim won the first ever Silver medal at the Northern Meeting in 1979.

The 214 Ex Members all send their condolences to Jim’s family at this sad time.

World Pipe Band Championships 2019

After a mixed day of weather on the Friday and a warmer though blustery Saturday, Grade 1 was competed for by each band having four performances. (One MSR and one Selection on each day).

The moist air on the Friday played its part, (along with no doubt nerves), as I heard three of the bands with early chanter sounds.

Consistency proved to be the key and this years Grade 1 World Champions were Inveraray & District.

I’m sure a lot of us remember being 15 years old and seeing the top bands of the day and thinking how good it would be to play at that level?

That dream came true at the weekend for one of our 214 young boys son.

Our goodly Treasurer, Stephen McQuillan’s son Kerr, who plays with Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.

You may remember Kerr playing Alex Connell’s composition of ‘Drum Major George Seymour’, on the side drum at the reunion a couple of years ago along with Donald MacKenzie on pipes.

(Click here to see DM George Seymour content)

I spoke to Boghall’s leading drummer Gordon Brown on Saturday evening, he was so happy to see Kerr make it to the big stage at the Grade 1 Worlds.

‘It was great to play alongside him, he is such a composed player for someone so young in his years’.

Well done Kerr, you made your family so proud.

As usual I bumped onto a few 214 faces over the two days, Brian & Stephen McQuillan, Alasdair McKay (who was competing in Grade 2 with Annan), Gordon Medlow was over from Belfast and John MacLeod.

I was also talking to Gordon Rennie the son of the last 214 Captain, John Rennie who sadly passed away a couple of years ago.

Myself, Alasdair, Gordon and John enjoying the sunshine.

The BBC Worlds programme airs this Friday 23rd August @ 7pm.

UK Pipe Band Championships 2019 – Lurgan N.I.

The latest major Championship of the year was held at a very damp and wet Lurgan, Northern Ireland on Saturday 15th June 2019.

Preston Lodge High School from East Lothian won the 214th GCBB Ex Members Association Trophy, taking first place in Drumming from an entry of 3 bands in the Novice Juvenile B grade.

The Band results were:-

1st Lochgelly High School (who won the 214 Trophy at Paisley)

2nd Preston Lodge High School

3rd Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

PLHS were the inaugural winners of the Drumming trophy in 2016.

Previous Winners

2016   Preston Lodge High School

2017   Boghall & Bathgate Juveniles

2018   Boghall & Bathgate Juveniles

Grade 1 Champions were St Laurence O’Toole -Eire, making it two out of the two championships for the season so far.

2019 British Championships -Paisley

The first major Championship of the year was held at a cold changeable St James Playing Fields in Paisley yesterday.

Lochgelly High School from Fife won the 214th GCBB Ex Members Association Trophy, taking first place from an entry of 17 bands in the Novice Juvenile B grade.

They were the inaugural winners back in 2016.

Previous Winners

2016 Lochgelly High School

2017 Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band

2018 North Lanarkshire Schools


The Grade 1 Championship was won by St Laurence O’Toole from Ireland.


Alex Connell Funeral details

Alex Connell’s funeral will be held on

Tuesday the 7th of May 9.45am at Daldowie Crematorium.

I’m sure there will be a large turnout and I would advise getting there early with your 214 tie.

Click here for map & directions to Daldowie Crematorium.

Lots of great comments have been appearing on various websites about Alex.

Click here to read Ian MacLellan’s tribute on pipingpress.

For those of you who haven’t seen the excellent interview of Alex on Pipers Persuasion please click here.

Alex Connell

It is with great sadness and shock to learn that one of our Ex Members Alex Connell passed away this morning at the age of 85.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DM-AC-KM-2017-reunion-768x1024.jpegAlex seen here at the 2017 Reunion with Donald MacKenzie and Kerr McQuillan, who played Alex’ drum score for the Angus Lawrie pipe tune DM George Seymour.

I’m sure all our Ex Members send their condolences to his wife Molly and daughter Heather.

I will intimate the funeral details once arranged and known.

Alex and Ian McLellan were the architects of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Bands success.

Click here to see the George Seymour article which Alex is mentioned in and their is a link to the video of the tune being played at the 2017 reunion. Click here and scroll to Video Clip 5 under the Media section.

214 Ex Member elected as President of the Piobaireachd Society

Ex- members may be interested to know of the recent success of one of our number Robert Wallace. Robert (wee Boab to Alex Ibell) has just been elected President of the Piobaireachd Society one of the most prestigious positions in world piping.
The appointment was made by acclamation at the Society’s AGM held in Glasgow last month. In his recommendation to the meeting retiring President Dr Jack Taylor issued a warm endorsement of Robert’s candidacy stating: ‘I have no hesitation in recommending Robert, your Vice President for the last 12 years, as my successor. He has been a great support to me during that time. Though we have had our differences we have always put the Society first in all our dealings. No one knows more about piobaireachdthan Robert; no one knows more about the Piobaireachd Society than Robert.’
After his appointment Robert said: ‘I am honoured to follow a long line of distinguished Presidents of the Society and will do my best to continue Jack’s good work for the Society and for piobaireachd music.’
The Piobaireachd Society was founded in 1903 with the aim of preserving and promoting the classical music of the bagpipe. Its Patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
Robert began his piping in 1960 when, aged nine, he went to Alex Ibell’s house in Whiteinch for his first lessons. He then graduated to the full 214 band winning the World Juvenile title in his first contest in 1964 at Dam Park, Ayr. Robert went on to play with the Muirhead & Sons band and started piobaireachd tuition there with the pipe major, RG Hardie. Roberts solo awards include winning Gold Medals at both Oban and Inverness plus many other esteemed piping trophies and medals.
(Robert with retiring President Dr Jack Taylor)
We wish Robert every success in his office as President and are sure he will provide to be a ‘Stedfast’ appointment.
(Not bad for a wee boy from Whiteinch!)