Peebles Ex-Servicemen's
Pipe Band





The first engagement of the year was a late request to play at the Old Age Pensioners Treat held at the Hydro. Despite the short notice the Band were able and delighted to help out. The performance was, as always well received by the Pensioners.



Two members of the Band teach the children at Kingsland Primary School. Sally Swinney and Emily Watson attended the nursery on 24th January to help the children celebrate Burns day. The children were told about the chanter and pipes and then marched behind two pipers round the playground.


The school held its annual Scottish afternoon, on the 25th, Scott Johnstone and Sally Swinney guided a large number of children playing chanters, pipes and drums who performed in front of the entire school. For most of the children, this was their first public performance and they all did extremely well.






As always the Band helped the town celebrate the switch on of the Christmas Lights. It was a very mild night and the Band welcomed the first outing of the tenor section. A number of drummers and pipers encountered their first outing with the Band and it is hoped they enjoy many more outings.


Several junior band members played at the High School Christmas Concert.



The last engagement of the year before a well earned break over Christmas was the AGM and Presentation Night. In its fourth year, all learners and members played for their parents. The hall was packed and the young learners did themselves, their parents and the Band proud. Some of the learners had been learning for a short while but their enthusiasm was self evident. It bodes extremely well for the future of the Band that so many youngsters are interested in playing.




A number of awards were presented during the evening:


The George Fairbairn Endeavour Shield presented to Callum Cameron and Heidi Holt

The Peebles Highland Games Association Plate for the Most Improved Learner was presented to Skye Combe

Most Improved Piper was presented to Alistair Gemmell

Most Improved Drummer was presented to Ellie McGovern

Players Player was presented to Scott Johnstone




A busy September saw the Band engaged with Peebles Highland Games, Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships and a booking in Stirling when the played at another Wedding


A first for the Band was an invitation to play at the Scottish Parliament. The Band assisted the Charity Mellow Parenting to celebrate their 10th Birthday. As the Charity deals with children, three of the younger members attended



Alistair Gemmel; Arran Cameron; Mark McDonald, MSP; Rosemary McKenzie, CEO; Humza Yousef, MSP; Evan McIver


There was the now customary appearance at Sanquhar, this is an engagement which the Band has played for a number of years. It consists of a parade round the town in the morning, a competition in the afternoon and massed bands in the early evening. The weather, once again was kind and the Band were exceptionally proud to win the Champion Band trophy at the competition.



August continued with the annual outing to Cowal for the weekend. Again a superb weekend was had by those making the journey, much enjoyment in the parade through the streets to end the weekend.


The Band were invited to play twice at Innerleithen Games Week. On the Thursday evening the sun shone whilst we played for the Fancy Dress Parade. There were food crowds and the event was enjoyed by those members who were Present. We again played on Saturday morning as the parade was taken round the town. We also played in the Union Club for the members which was well received by those in attendance


The next week on the 4th of June the Band made an appearance at the Alex Lucas Memorial Football Tournament. Again the weather was extremely warm with sunshine all afternoon. The Band also played on Tweed Green prior to the Red Arrows appearance, there were huge crowds and every member of the Band enjoyed the appearance. The engagement was concluded with an appearance in the Ex-Servicemen’s Club prior to the guests sitting down to dinner. It was a special day enjoyed by all.


June 11th was the Band's annual appearance at Newtongrange. Shannon Bisset's first appearance with the Band and she coped admirably with it. This is a massed Bands event and is a change from the other outings of the year. The Band played with five other Pipe Bands in a street parade and then later in the afternoon on the towns park.


The Bands biggest event of the year was our own annual festival, The Beltane. A much anticipated event and although a long week, an extremely enjoyable one. Various pipers kicked off the week and had the pleasure of piping the Beltane Queen home from her party at Kingsland on the Friday before the Beltane started.


Sadly the weather let us down on the Sunday with the service being held in the Parish Church. A shorter march along the High Street and back again got the week off to a damp start.


Monday saw the Band playing for the residents at Dovecote Road, this is an annual commitment which was much appreciated by the residents. After that appearance finished the members re-formed at the Community Centre to pipe the Beltane Queen home after the children’s disco.


The Band were out again on the Tuesday when they participated in the Beltane Sports. There was the usual excitement for the Band race with a number of members fancying their chances. Eventually won by Scott Murdoch, so we are told! The photo shows the effort put in by many of the members to win this prestigious event.



Another annual engagement on the Wednesday evening, this time playing for the patients at Haylodge Hospital. The patients, as always, showing their appreciation for the appearance. A return to the High Street in time for the playing of the reel for the Cornet and his supporters. Brilliant night, enjoyed by all members. Stevie Mathieson from Off the Back Barbers has allowed us to use his photograph taken after the reel.





Thursday night has traditionally been the night off for the Band, however this year the Beltane Committee asked us to play for the Junior Rideout. The weather was fantastic and the youngsters had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Although a much smaller Band for this evening performance the sound was nonetheless not diminished, but some of the older members needed a night off!


Friday night was the fancy dress parade and the weather was awful. Lots and lots of fantastic costumes as evidence of the hard work undertaken by many residents over the previous weeks and months. It was a large parade as always and the weather didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the participants. The Band received an anonymous donation which they used to purchase a medal. The medal was presented on Friday evening to Shannon Bisset as the Best New Member at Beltane.


Saturday started badly with more rain, the Crowning had to be held in the church but the weather improved significantly ensuring that the parade was able to continue as usual. Another fabulous Beltane week with the Band the biggest it has ever been. The playing was of a high standard throughout the whole week and although most members were extremely tired, many memories were made.


The Band undertook some fundraising during Beltane week, people were asked to guess how many steps Sally Swinney would take during the week. The total was 42,775 or just over 20 miles. The winner was exceptionally close with 42,602 and came from Edinburgh winning a prize of £50. (Photo courtesy of Rye Swinney)



The Band were booked to play at a wedding at Portmore. We played whilst the Bride entered the church in Innerleithen and at the evening reception. Once again, another enjoyable occasion and we wish the happy couple all the very best for their lives together.


The Band extends a huge thank you to Leyla Anderson at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club who arranged a Stars in their Eyes event at the Club on the 7th of May. A number of artists sung and this was an extremely enjoyable evening of entertainment. The result was some fantastic fundraising in aid of the Band and First Responders. £2700 was raised and split between the two organisations, a fantastic effort.


The next outing of the Band was a rare appearance with the Queens Archers on the 14th of May. It was a privilege and pleasure to lead the Company of Archers to Haylodge Park where they competed for the silver arrow. The weather was kind with some spring sunshine all afternoon. Once the competition had concluded the Band returned the Archers to the High Street.



On the 27th of May the Band were once again invited to play at Eddleston for their annual festival. The weather held and we managed to play the entire way round the village without rain. An enjoyable engagement as always.


The next day on 28th May the Band visited Penicuik for the Penicuik Hunter festival. This is another annual event and again was played in lovely sunshine. A large parade with a number of pipe and brass bands ensured the residents of Penicuik were well entertained.


The first outing of the Band is as always the Cornets Introduction Night on 16th April. It is always a very exciting night, not only for the principals but also as this is the night the Band uses to introduce new members to their first outing. This year was no exception with a number of new members making their first appearance. As always they performed really well, keeping nerves in check and enjoyed the experience.