Piping

Miss Joan Campbell’s Pipe Band

The Square, up stairs where Miss Joan Campbell of Strachur Pipe Band used to practice

Chanter classes took place at The Square, upstairs in the Laundry Room.

Pupils were kept a long time on the scale before being allowed to progress to tunes.

When ready to move on to pipes, Lady George gifted MacRae bagpipes and gave uniforms for the band. Ancient Campbell tartan jackets and kilts.

Competitions


Tutors;

  • Pipe Major G.D.MacDonald
  • Iain MacFarlane
  • Pipe Major Nicol MacCallum
  • Pipe Major Ronnie MacCallum

Under Ronnie MacCallum’s leadership the band won quite frequently at Cowal and had a win at a competition held at the Empire Exhibition, Bellahouston in 1938.

1946 they were placed 5th in the World Championship at Cowal.

1947 They competed at Cowal. It is thought that players from Campbeltown joined the band.

When Miss Joan Campbell Pipe Band had ended the uniforms were given to Campbeltown Pipe Band.

Pipe Major George MacDonald

Pipe Major MacDonald (8th Bn.Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders), had been the first recorded tutor for piping in Strachur, starting lessons for Miss Joand Campbell Pipe Band.

He was Pipe-Major of Dunoon Graymmar School Cadet Pipe Band in the 1930’s. Other bands he lead were Millhall Boy Scouts, Fallin Juvenile which eventually became Millhall Pipe Band and later he became Pipe-Major of Ballochyle Band.

He composed the ‘Miss Joan Campbell’ pipe tune.

photo of Miss Joan Campbell of Strachur Pipe Band

Pipe Major Ronnie MacCallum M.B.E

1936 Ronnie MacCallum moved to Strachur, working for Lady George, Strachur Estate, staying first of all at High Hall then Glen Sluain. He took over from Pipe-Major Nicol MacCallum the running of Miss Joan Campbell Pipe Band. Under his instruction the band won many prizes.

It is believed he played his pipes to waken Lady George in the morning.

At the outbreak of war, Ronnie was Pipe Sergeant in the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He then became Pipe-Major of the 11th Battalion.

In 1951 he became personal piper to the 11th Duke of Argyll. He moved from Strachur to Inerary to be gardenera as well as piper to the Duke.

In 1951 he won the coveted Highland Society of London’s gold medal for Piobaireachd at the northern meeting in Inverness. None was more delighted than Ronnie himself, for, apart from having fulfilled his great ambition, he was glad to share his pleasure with his father, whom he phoned immediately. His father had given him first lessons.

In the mid 60’s he became teacher to pupils of Oban High, Inverary, Furnace and Tarbert. In 1964 he was awarded M.B.E. for his services to piping.



Back Row – Niall Campbell, Murdo MacLeod, Mary Beaton, John Anderson, Alistair McLachlan, Duncan MacNicol.

Front Row – Margaret Campbell, Catherine Limbert, Mary Munro, Flora McLachlan, Nancy McLean, Ronnie Currie