Robert Turner 1944-2019

Sorry to inform you all that Robert Turner passed away this morning in New Zealand at the age of 75.

Robert was one of the major influential drummers of the 20th Century within the Pipe Band world.

He played in the 214 in the 60’s, seen here on the far right at the Highland Shield Competition at Kelvingrove Park in 1961……which of course they won!

After leaving the 214 Robert played in the Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band, winning the World Championships five times in a row. (from 1965-1969 inclusive)

Muirhead’s Leading Drummer Robert Turner on the left.

He then went on to become Leading Drummer of British Caledonian Airways Pipe Band.

Thereafter Robert went to the Middle East to teach in the UAE and Oman. He then eventually emigrated to New Zealand, and had short stints playing in a couple of bands including New Zealand Police, and doing some judging.

On the 1st of January 2013 the first “Robert Turner Drumming Championship” was held in New Zealand and is now competed for annually at the Waipu Highland Games.

The organisers kept the name of the Championship a secret from Robert, until just before, as they knew he would have tried to change the name.

He greatfully accepted and presented the prizes.

Joe Noble would regularly meet up with ‘Bobby’ when he was out in New Zealand.

Joe Noble and ‘Bobby’ in Sept. 2018.

I was talking to Joe today and he is devastated at the news, ” I’m so glad I managed to speak to ‘Bobby’ on the 10th of October, the day before I headed out to judge the South American Championships”, Joe said.

On the 9th of October 1994 Robert was in attendance to play at the 214BB’s 70th Anniversary Parade at Scotstoun. He can be seen in this picture wearing a red tie holding his drumsticks.

and also can be seen here in the 70th Anniversary video that has been added to Media Video Files clip 3.

The Ex Members Association would like to extend their condolences to Robert’s wife Marion and the rest of the family at this sad time.

We will keep you informed of any further news on this.

Andante World Solo Drumming Championship 2019

On Saturday 19th October 2019 the RSPBA’s World Solo Drumming Championships were held at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Kerr McQuillan (15) (son of our Treasurer Stephen) became the World Champion in the Juvenile section 4 MSR.

We would like to extend our congratulations to Kerr, who you may remember played at the Reunion in 2017.

Kerr has now held five Tenor Drumming World Championship titles and this is now his second Snare Drum World Championship title.

He is now an accomplished player with Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, having completed his first season in Grade 1 this year.

Kerr with competition sponsor Andante’s Nigel Hodgen and RSPBA President George Usher.

Kerr played Balmoral Highlanders, Cameronian Rant and Charlie’s welcome.

His performance can be seen below.

The Adult Solo Championship was won by Stephen McWhirter of Inveraray and District, this was his tenth time winning it!

Kerr in action

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.