Latest Information

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Sunday 26th March

Draw

GRADE 4 TRIOS (Marches) - Start Time : 12.00

SEAFORTH LRC 'C'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'C'

SEAFORTH LRC 'A'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'A'

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE 'A'

NOTTS POLICE 'C'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'C'

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE 'B'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'A'

SEAFORTH LRC 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'B'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'B'

 

GRADE 4 MINI BANDS (Marches) - Start Time : 14.00

SEAFORTH LRC 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'B'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'B'

SEAFORTH LRC 'A'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'A'

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE

WOLVERHAMPTON 'A'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'B'

 

GRADE 4 MINI BANDS (MSR) - Start Time : 15.10

BIRMINGHAM IRISH

WOLVERHAMPTON

SEAFORTH LRC 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

SEAFORTH LRC 'A'

 

GRADE 3 MINI BANDS (MEDLEY) - Start Time : 15.40

GREATER MANCHESTER FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE

NOTTS POLICE

WOLVERHAMPTON

 

GRADE 2 MINI BANDS - Start Time : 16.00

GREATER MANCHESTER FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE

 

Engagement List 2017 (Updated)

March 12th - St Patrick's Day Parade (Birmingham)

March 26th - Midlands Branch Indoor Contest (Birmingham)

April 8th - North West Indoor Contest (Birkenhead)

July 9th - Corby Contest

July 16th - Ashbourne Contest

August 26th - Cowal Championships

November 12th - Remembrance Day Parade (Kingswinford)

Chatsworth English Championships (4th September)

Draw

GRADE 4 (Marches) - Start Time : 10.30

BIRMINGHAM IRISH

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE POLICE

CITY OF YORK

RAF WADDINGTON

READING SCOTTISH

BEVERLEY & DISTRICT

SCUNTHORPE & DISTRICT

WOLVERHAMPTON (11.19)

SEAFORTH LRC

GLENDUART

SCOTS GUARDS ASSOC. (NORTH WEST)

GRAMPIAN ASSOCIATION CORBY

STANDARD TRIUMPH

NORTHUMBERLAND SCOTTISH

GRADE 4 (MSR) - Start Time : 13.30

SEAFORTH LRC

NORTHUMBERLAND SCOTTISH

WOLVERHAMPTON (13.44)

RAF WADDINGTON

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE POLICE

GRADE 3 (Medley) - Start Time : 14.30

NORTHUMBERLAND SCOTTISH

SCOTS GUARDS ASSOC. (SOUTH)

MANCHESTER PHOENIX

WOLVERHAMPTON (14.54)

GREATER MANCHESTER F&RS

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE POLICE

READING SCOTTISH

Travel arrangements - Independent travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.30am!!

Post Code for Chatsworth House is : DE45 1PP

However, note the entrance to the grounds for pipe bands is via the Northern Gate (also known as the Golden Gate) - Sat Navs will try and route you through the Southern Gate

There are a number of possible routes but the quickest would appear to be:

- A38 to Derby

- A38 to join M1 at Junction 28

- Exit M1 at Junction 29

- A617 to Chesterfield (approx 5 miles)

In Chesterfield follow the signs for Bakewell (A619)

and then the Brown Chatsworth signs

to leave the town on the A619 (Chatsworth Road) towards Baslow

After approximately 8 miles there is a roundabout where the A621 (Sheffield Road) joins from the right

The entrance to the grounds is approx 100 yards after this island on your left (there is a bus stop opposite it)

(total mileage from Wolverhampton City Centre to Chatsworth is approx 80 miles via this route)

 

From Manchester the best route would appear to be:

- M57/A57 to Glossop

- A624 to Chapel en le Frith

- A623 to Baslow

- Northern Gate is approx 0.5 mile on right after passing through Baslow

(total mileage from Manchester City Centre to Chatsworth is approx 40 miles via this route)

Cowal Highland Games (28th August)

Draw

GRADE 4 (Marches) - Start Time : 10.00

FRASERBURGH RBL

LOWER CLYDE PIPES & DRUMS

LANARK & DISTRICT

PEEBLES EX-SERVICEMENS

STRATHENDRICK

STOCKBRIDGE (G4)

IRVINE & DISTRICT

JOHNSTONE (G4)

WILLIAMWOOD

WOLVERHAMPTON (11.03)

MID ARGYLL

EAST KILBRIDE (G4)

UDDINGSTON STRATHCLYDE

ROTHESAY

HELENSBURGH

ST FRANCIS

GLASGOW BATTALION BOY'S BRIGADE

KILBARCHAN

GRADE 4 (MSR) - Start Time : 10.59

KIRKCAULDY & DISTRICT

GEORGE WATSON'S COLLEGE

LOWER CLYDE PIPES & DRUMS

IRVINE & DISTRICT

WILLIAMWOOD

WOLVERHAMPTON (11.34)

JOHNSTONE (G4)

LANARK & DISTRICT

GRADE 3 (Medley) - Start Time : 13.45

KINTYRE SCHOOLS (G3)

IRVINE & DISTRICT

ARBROATH

KILBARCHAN (G4)

RAMAGE CITY OF NEWCASTLE

EAST KILBRIDE (G3)

UDDINGSTON STRATHCLYDE (G4)

JOHNSTONE (G4)

WOLVERHAMPTON (14.49)

STOCKBRIDGE

STRATHENDRICK (G4)

COALBURN I.O.R.

WALLACESTONE & DISTRICT

FRASERBURGH R.B.L.

 

Corby Contest - Sunday 10th July

We'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 09.00am (or at the contest venue at 10.00am for those going direct)

An hour earlier than in previous years, hopefully to prevent any parking problems!

Carparking is at the usual location :

The Cardigan Arms

The Jamb (off High Street)

Corby

NN17 1AY

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Sunday 20th March

Venue : Kingsbury School & Sports College

Post Code for Sat Nav : B24 8RD (nearest house number - 259)

Directions

Leave M6 Southbound at Junction 6

Branch left following sign for "A38 Birmingham (NE), Lichfield"

At Island take 2nd exit signposted "Sutton Coldfield, Erdington, A5127" onto Gravelly Hill

Approx 1/3rd mile, Branch Right signposted "Minworth, Walmley, Lichfield, A38" onto Kingsbury Road

Kingsbury School & Sports College is approx 1/2 mile along Kingsbury Road - Entrance on Right

Follow the driveway to the school, proceed over two speed ramps and the car park is on the left

The school will be open at 10.00am

The contest will start at 12.00 noon

We'll meet up at the venue at 10.00am

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

13th March 2016

As usual, the band will be meeting at the West Midlands Training Centre at Tally Ho prior to convoying to the start point for the parade. We need to meet at Tally Ho at 11.00am

Directions from the M6 are :

Exit at junction 6, take A38 'Aston Expressway' towards Birmingham City Centre.

Continue on A38 - over flyover and through tunnel's until you eventually come to a major set of traffic lights (A4540 at junction with A38).

Continue straight ahead on A38 into Bristol Road and turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park at the rear of the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Northbound are :

Exit at junction 4, take A38 following signs to Birmingham. Continue A38 travelling through the areas of Longbridge, Northfield and Selly Oak towards Birmingham.

After leaving Selly Oak you will find yourself on a tree lined dual carriageway.

1/2 mile after entering the dual carriageway you will see (BBC Television - Pebble Mill) signposted to your right.

Turn right into Pebble Mill Rd and follow to T-junction and turn left into A441 'Pershore Road'. Continue for 300 yards and turn right into Tally Ho and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Southbound are :

Exit at junction 3, take A456 'Hagley Rd West' towards Birmingham.

Road eventually becomes A456 'Hagley Road'.

Approximately 5 miles after leaving the M5 you will see signs for A4540.

Take exit slip to roundabout (Five Ways Island) and turn right onto A4540 'Islington Row Middleway'.

Continue for approximately 1 mile and turn right onto A38 'Bristol Road'.

Turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Updated Engagement List

March 13th - St Patrick's Day Parade (Birmingham)

March 20th - Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest (Birmingham)

April 16th - North West Mini Band Contest (Birkenhead)

July 10th - Corby Contest

August 27th - Cowal Championships

September 4th - Chatsworth (English Championships)

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Sunday 20th March

Draw

GRADE 4 TRIOS (Marches) - Start Time : 12.00

STANDARD TRIUMPH 'A'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'B'

SEAFORTH LRC 'B'

STANDARD TRIUMPH 'B'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'B'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'A'

NOTTS POLICE 'C'

SEAFORTH LRC 'A'

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE 'B'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'A'

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE 'A'

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'C'

SEAFORTH LRC 'C'

 

GRADE 4 MINI BANDS (Marches) - Start Time : 14.00

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'A'

SEAFORTH LRC 'A'

WOLVERHAMPTON 'B'

STANDARD TRIUMPH

WOLVERHAMPTON 'A'

BIRMINGHAM IRISH 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

SEAFORTH LRC 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'B'

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE

 

GRADE 4 MINI BANDS (MSR) - Start Time : 14.55

STANDARD TRIUMPH

SEAFORTH LRC 'A'

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

WOLVERHAMPTON

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE SERVICE

SEAFORTH LRC 'B'

NOTTS POLICE 'B'

 

GRADE 3 MINI BANDS (MEDLEY) - Start Time : 15.40

NOTTS POLICE 'A'

WOLVERHAMPTON

NOTTS POLICE 'B'

Some early dates for your diaries!

March 13th - St Patrick's Day Parade (Birmingham)

March 20th - Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest (Birmingham)

April 16th - North West Mini Band Contest (Birkenhead)

July 10th - Corby Contest

July 17th - Ashbourne Contest

August 27th - Cowal Championships

Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford, 8th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.30am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

Xmas Dinner

This years Xmas Dinner will once again be held at The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton

Date : 15th December 2015

Time : 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

(click on the link above to view a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please let Vicki know as soon as possible if you're coming, along with your choice of menu options

£10/person deposit required.

Cowal Highland Games

What a weekend that was!

Very uneventful drive to Dunoon on the Friday with no hold-ups and no real bad weather to contend with.

Boarded the ferry at Gourock at 3.30 and, after our 'traditional' drive up the high street, we were soon settling in to the village hall at Sandbank.

There was the usual 'fun and games' with the various airbeds but that was soon sorted and it was down to the serious work of getting the pipes tuned in. Not too many issues there and a nice sound soon developed.

Back into the bus and off to try a new chippy down the town - very nice too.

Early start Saturday morning (leaving the village hall at 8.00am...... alright 8.15am as someone forgot their glengarry!)

Weather was damn cold but once we'd got the pipes warmed up and with a few reed adjustments the sound started to take shape. When the time came for us to compete in the Grade 4 March event the pipes were really starting to sing.

Not much time between the Grade 4 March and the MSR event but just enough to really bring out the sound from the pipes - definitely the best ever sound this band has ever produced

An extended break between the MSR and Grade 3 event saw us sheltering in the bus from torrential rain storms which fortunately blew over in time for us to complete our retuning and take to the field

Results:

1st Grade 4 MSR

2nd Grade 4 Marches

4th Grade 3 Medley

Brilliant!

'The Rose and Jig' for the spot during the parade through Dunoon were probably the best we've ever played them - may also have been the quickest! (or was that just the amazing atmosphere and reception from the crowd giving that impression?). Back to the village hall for a quick change and then off to the Holy Loch pub at Sandbank for an evenings celebrating to finish a truly memorable day for the band.

Well done indeed to all and particularly to our latest addition to the pipe corps (Pete Cherrington) in the Grade 4 Marches contest - 2nd place in a Cowal contest - not a bad way to start!

Sunday run back home was a pain (thanks to a closure of the A74M near Gretna which added another 90 minutes to the journey time), but all back safe and sound.

We'll be reliving some of the moments from this weekend for a long time to come!

Cowal Highland Games (29th August)

Draw

GRADE 4 (Marches) - Arena 2 - Start Time : 10.00

KILBARCHAN

WILLIAMWOOD

JOHNSTONE

KIRKCALDY & DISTRICT

WOLVERHAMPTON (10.28)

GLASGOW BATTALION BB

FRASERBURGH RBL

UDDINGSTON STRATHCLYDE

TOWIE & DISTRICT

DUNOON ARGYLL

LANARK & DISTRICT

EAST KILBRIDE

RENFREW NORTH YOUTH

ROTHESAY & DISTRICT

HELENSBURGH

PEEBLES EX-SERVICE

MID ARGYLL

 

GRADE 4 (MSR) - Arena 1 - Start Time : 11.00

WILLIAMWOOD

GEORGE WATSON'S COLLEGE

KIRKCALDY & DISTRICT

JOHNSTONE

KILBARCHAN

WOLVERHAMPTON (11.40)

 

GRADE 3 (Medley) - Arena 1 - Start Time : 13.00

MILNGAVIE

BOTHWELL CASTLE

EAST KILBRIDE

ISLE OF ISLAY

FRASERBURGH RBL

COALBURN IOR

WALLACESTONE & DISTRICT

KILBARCHAN

GLASGOW BATTALION BB

COWAL

WOLVERHAMPTON (14.20)

 

MASSED BANDS 17.30

Corby Contest - Sunday 12th July

Draw

Grade 4 (Start 12.40)

1 - Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums

2 - Grampian (Corby) Association

3 - Reading Scottish

4 - Standard Triumph

5 - Nottinghamshire Police

6 - Wolverhampton

7 - RAF Waddington

 

Grade 4 MSR (Start 13.50)

1 - Nottinghamshire Police

2 - Wolverhampton

3 - RAF Waddington

Grade 3 (Start 14.25)

1 - Scots Guards Assocation (South)

2 - Nottinghamshire Police

3 - Wolverhampton

 

Massed Bands: 16:30

Judges: Cameron Edgar, Ciaran Mordaunt

 

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct)

Carparking is at the usual location :

The Cardigan Arms

The Jamb (off High Street)

Corby

NN17 1AY

North West England Branch Indoor Contest

Results

1st Grade 4 Quartets (March Selection)

1st Grade 4 Quartets (MSR)

1st Grade 3 Quartets (Medley)

North West England Branch Indoor Contest - Sunday 12th April

The quartets are due to start at 12.00 Noon

We therefore need to be at the venue for 10.00am (when the doors open)!

Venue

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Woodchurch Road

Prenton

CH43 5UT

Maps for the route and venue

Ashbourne Highland Gathering 2015 - Cancelled

There is an announcement on the Ashbourne Highland Gathering website that this years event has been cancelled.

www.ashbournegathering.co.uk

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Sunday 22nd March

Results

1st Grade 4 Mini Bands (March Selection)

1st Grade 4 Mini Bands (MSR)

1st Grade 3 Mini Bands (Medley)

2nd & 3rd Grade 4 Trios (March Selection)

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Sunday 22nd March

Venue : Kingsbury School & Sports College

Post Code for Sat Nav : B24 8RD (nearest house number - 259)

Directions

Leave M6 Southbound at Junction 6

Branch left following sign for "A38 Birmingham (NE), Lichfield"

At Island take 2nd exit signposted "Sutton Coldfield, Erdington, A5127" onto Gravelly Hill

Approx 1/3rd mile, Branch Right signposted "Minworth, Walmley, Lichfield, A38" onto Kingsbury Road

Kingsbury School & Sports College is approx 1/2 mile along Kingsbury Road - Entrance on Right

Follow the driveway to the school, proceed over two speed ramps and the car park is on the left

The school will be open at 10.00am

The contest will start at 12.00 noon

We'll meet up at the venue at 10.00am

 

Fixture List 2015

March 22nd - Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest

April 12th - North West Mini Band Contest

July 12th - Corby Contest

July 19th - Ashbourne Contest

August 29th - Cowal Championships

November 8th - Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford

North West Branch Indoor Events (Change of Dates)
The North West Branch have changed the date of the Miniband contest from Saturday 11th April to Sunday 12th April
North West Branch Indoor Events (Change of Dates)

The North West Branch have confirmed the date for the Trio Piping contest as 21st March

Xmas Dinner

This years Xmas Dinner will once again be held at The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton

Date : 16th December 2014

Time : 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

(click on the link above to view a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please let Vicki know as soon as possible if you're coming, along with your choice of menu options

£10/person deposit required.

North West Branch Indoor Events

Early notification of dates for these events :

Trio Piping - 1st or 8th March 2015

Mini-Bands/Quartets - 11th April 2015

Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford, 9th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.00am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

Battle's Over

No.... not the demise of the Wolverhampton Pipe Band!

The band have been approached, and agreed, to take part in the finale of the four year commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War I.

At 6.00am on 11th November 2018 one of our pipers will play the tune "When The Battle's O'er" in a central location in the City of Wolverhampton. Other pipers from other bands will also be performing this duty throughout ALL cities of the United Kingdom.

We have no more details at the moment (it is four years away!) but will post more information as and when received.

End of Season (2014)

Well that's it, another season of competitions finished

Not been a bad year all round

Started off with a couple of 'clean sweeps' at the Midlands and North West Indoor Contests, followed by a set of second places in the English outdoor season at Corby and Ashbourne and then topped it off with a couple of third places at the Cowal Highland Games

Certainly the consistency is now beginning to show in our performances and the number of extremely favourable comments received from knowledgeable pipe band people over the year, and particularly at Cowal, shows we're definitely on the right track with the sound

All we're lacking now is some new members, in all sections of the band, to strengthen the depth of the sound - so if anyone is interested.................

 

Cowal Highland Games (30th August)

Draw

GRADE 4 (Marches) - Ring 2 - Start Time : 11.30

KILBARCHAN

COALBURN IOR

WOLVERHAMPTON (11.44)

KIRKCALDY & DISTRICT

WILLIAMWOOD

LANARK & DISTRICT

UDDINGSTON STRATHCLYDE

PEEBLES EX-SERVICE

ROTHESAY & DISTRICT

DUNOON ARGYLL

MID ARGYLL

RENFREW NORTH YOUTH

 

GRADE 4 (MSR) - Ring 1 - Start Time : 12.23

WILLIAMWOOD

KILBARCHAN

COALBURN IOR

WOLVERHAMPTON (12.44)

KIRKCALDY & DISTRICT

 

GRADE 3 (Medley) - Ring 1 - Start Time : 13.00

EAST KILBRIDE

JOHNSTONE

ISLE OF ISLAY

FRASERBURGH RBL

WALLACESTONE & DISTRICT

KILBARCHAN

KIRKCALDY & DISTRICT

WOLVERHAMPTON (13.56)

 

MASSED BANDS 17.30

Ashbourne Contest (20th July)

Draw

GRADE 4 (Marches) - Start Time : 10.45

ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS

GRAMPIAN CORBY

BIRMINGHAM IRISH PIPES AND DRUM

BOLTON CALEDONIA

ESSEX CALEDONIA

WOLVERHAMPTON

STANDARD TRIUMPH

CITY OF EXETER

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE POLICE

SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORD

SCUNTHORPE & DISTRICT

 

GRADE 4A (MSR) - Start Time : 12.55

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE POLICE

STANDARD TRIUMPH

CITY OF EXETER

GRAMPIAN CORBY

ESSEX CALEDONIA

UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORD

WOLVERHAMPTON

 

GRADE 3 (MEDLEY) - Start Time : 14.05

GREATER MANCHESTER FIRE & RESCUE

RAF WADDINGTON/HALTON

STANDARD TRIUMPH

MANCHESTER PHOENIX

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE POLICE

UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORDSHIRE

CITY OF NEWCASTLE

ESSEX CALEDONIA

101 NORTHUMBRIAN REGIMENT

WOLVERHAMPTON

 

GRADE 4 Massed Bands Parade in Main Arena - Immediately after Grade 3 contest (15:15)

 

Travel arrangements

As in previous years, it's independent travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.30am

The venue is the Ashbourne Recreation Ground

The easiest way to get there is up the A38 to Derby and then take the A52 direct to Ashbourne

At the end of the Derby Road, turn right at traffic lights into Sturston Road (A517)

Turn left at the next traffic lights into Park Road

Go up Park Road and follow it round to the right into Cokayne Avenue

The entrance to the Car Park is about 300 yards along Cokayne Avenue on the right.

For SatNav users the post code is DE6 1EJ

Corby Contest (13th July)

Draw

Grade 4 (Start 12.35)

1 - Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums

2 - Scunthorpe & District

3 - Standard Triumph

4 - Grampian (Corby) Association

5 - Wolverhampton

6 - University of Bedfordshire

 

Grade 4 MSR (Start 13.40)

1 - Standard Triumph

2 - Grampian (Corby) Association

3 - Wolverhampton

4 - University of Bedfordshire

Grade 3 (Start 14.30)

1 - RAF Waddington/Halton

2 - University of Bedfordshire

3 - Wolverhampton

 

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct)

Carparking is at the usual location :

The Cardigan Arms

The Jamb (off High Street)

Corby

NN17 1AY

Recruitment

The poster below has been added to the bands Facebook page

Easter Break

The Community Centre is closed on Tuesday 22nd April for Easter, so no practice that night.

Next practice is Tuesday 29th April

Next Events

July 13th - Corby Contest

July 20th - Ashbourne Contest

August 30th - Cowal Championships

November 9th - Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford

North West Indoor Contest - Results

Grade 4 Quartet (March Selection) : 1st

Grade 4 Quartet (March, Strathspey, Reel) : 1st

Grade 3 Quartet (Medley) : 1st

Good performances with a great set of results!

North West Indoor Contest - 12th April - Draw

The quartets are due to start at 10.30am

We therefore need to be at the venue for 09.30am (when the doors open)!

Venue

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Woodchurch Road

Prenton

CH43 5UT

Maps for the route and venue

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Results

What a day!

Pipe sound was tremendous, definitely the best sound we've ever produced, and duly commented on by the judge

1st Grade 4 Trios

1st Grade 4 Mini Bands

3rd Grade 3 Mini Bands

Well done to everyone!

Next event - North West Indoor Contest 12th April

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest (23rd March) - Draw

Grade IV Trio (Start 12 Noon)

West Midlands Fire Service (B)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (B)

Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums (A)

Seaforth Highlanders (B)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (A)

West Midlands Fire Service (A)

Seaforth Highlanders (C)

Wolverhampton (B)

West Midlands Fire Service (C)

Wolverhampton (A)

Seaforth Highlanders (A)

Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums (B)

Ashbourne

 

Grade IV Mini Bands (Start 1.15 pm)

Wolverhampton (A)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (A)

Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums

Wolverhampton (B)

West Midlands Fire Service

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (B)

 

 

Grade III Mini Bands (Start 2.30 pm)

RAF Waddington/Halton (A)

Wolverhampton

RAF Waddington/Halton (B)

RAF Waddington/Halton (C)

 

Venue : West Midlands Fire Service Academy, Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, B66 1BG

We will meet at the venue at 10.00am

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

16th March 2014

As usual, the band will be meeting at the West Midlands Training Centre at Tally Ho prior to convoying to the start point for the parade. We need to meet at Tally Ho at 10.30am

Directions from the M6 are :

Exit at junction 6, take A38 'Aston Expressway' towards Birmingham City Centre.

Continue on A38 - over flyover and through tunnel's until you eventually come to a major set of traffic lights (A4540 at junction with A38).

Continue straight ahead on A38 into Bristol Road and turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park at the rear of the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Northbound are :

Exit at junction 4, take A38 following signs to Birmingham. Continue A38 travelling through the areas of Longbridge, Northfield and Selly Oak towards Birmingham.

After leaving Selly Oak you will find yourself on a tree lined dual carriageway.

1/2 mile after entering the dual carriageway you will see (BBC Television - Pebble Mill) signposted to your right.

Turn right into Pebble Mill Rd and follow to T-junction and turn left into A441 'Pershore Road'. Continue for 300 yards and turn right into Tally Ho and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Southbound are :

Exit at junction 3, take A456 'Hagley Rd West' towards Birmingham.

Road eventually becomes A456 'Hagley Road'.

Approximately 5 miles after leaving the M5 you will see signs for A4540.

Take exit slip to roundabout (Five Ways Island) and turn right onto A4540 'Islington Row Middleway'.

Continue for approximately 1 mile and turn right onto A38 'Bristol Road'.

Turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Additional Practice
Mark has arranged an additional practice for us at the Himley Road Methodist Church for Monday, 17th February
Practice Location
Practices will revert to the Long Knowle Community Centre on 11th March
New (Temporary) Practice Location

As the renovation work is continuing at the Community Centre, Mark has managed to find us alternative practice facilities for the next couple of practices, so that we can get the pipes going again after the long Christmas and New Year break.

So, for the 27th January and 3rd February (yes, they are Monday nights - another group uses the hall on Tuesdays) we'll be getting together at:

Himley Road Methodist Church

Himley Road

Gornal Wood

Dudley

DY3 2TS

Car parking is at the rear of the premises (accessed via Chapel Walk)

Time : 7.15 - 9.15 pm

(The Church has it's own website at http://himleyroad.co.uk/visit-us/)

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

 

Fixture List 2014

March 16th - St Patricks Day Parade, Birmingham

March 23rd - Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest

April 12th - North West Mini Band Contest

July 13th - Corby Contest

July 20th - Ashbourne Contest

August 30th - Cowal Championships

November 9th - Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford

Extended Christmas Break!

Due to the renovation works being performed at the Community Centre, it looks like it will be February before we can recommence normal practices.

As a stop-gap, the landlord of 'The Pheasant' public house has agreed to let us hold practice chanter practices there whenever we want.

So we've arranged for the first practice in the new year to be a practice chanter only practice on 14th January starting at 7.30pm

(The Pheasant is the big pub on the nearby traffic island where we normally meet for after-practice drinks)

Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford, 10th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.00am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

Xmas Dinner

This years Xmas Dinner will once again be held at The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton

Date : 17th December 2013

Time : 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

(click on the link above to download a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please let Vicki know as soon as possible if you're coming along.

£10/person deposit required.

Cowal

The practices building up to Cowal had been good.

Pipe tone was improving all the time, although there was always the worry about how it would cope with the lower temperatures and possible humidity (rain!)

Needn't have worried - the tone was excellent, came up on to pitch within a few minutes of playing and, despite having to change one chanter reed on the morning, developed into one of the best sounds the pipe corps have ever produced - very pleasing

Not so pleasing was the actual performance in the arena - see results page for further comments on that!

With a playing time of 14.45 we had a leisurely start to the day, leaving the village hall at 11.00 and, for once, there was no battle with police/stewards at the venue (there were even a few of them smiling this year!) - just drove straight in and parked the minibus and van exactly where we wanted them - brilliant!

We even managed to avoid the rain which threatened throughout the day, just a few spots during the massed bands

Back at Sandbank it was good to be back in the Holy Loch Inn (previously known as the Why Not?) where an evening of piping (and drumming) was enjoyed by all

The journey back to the Midlands was uneventful on the Sunday, returning home about 5pm

So that's it, another contest season completed. Will we back at Cowal next year? That remains to be seen

Cowal

The draw for Cowal is on the RSPBA website

(Link to Cowal Draw on RSPBA Website)

Straight 17 band contest - no heats

We've drawn 3rd and are due to play at 14:44 - civilised!

 

Ashbourne Contest (21st July) - English Championships

Travel arrangements.

As in previous years, it's independent travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.30am

The venue is the Ashbourne Recreation Ground

The easiest way to get there is up the A38 to Derby and then take the A52 direct to Ashbourne

At the end of the Derby Road, turn right at traffic lights into Sturston Road (A517)

Turn left at the next traffic lights into Park Road

Go up Park Road and follow it round to the right into Cokayne Avenue

The entrance to the Car Park is about 300 yards along Cokayne Avenue on the right.

For SatNav users the post code is DE6 1EJ

Corby Contest - Results

The day started out with a great sense of optimism.

Pipes came out of the boxes and within a few minutes of playing started to settle into a really nice crisp, clean sound.

Horrendous mistake from Pipe Major in the Grade 4 left us in 2nd place on piping and with the drummers also taking 2nd place we finished up in 2nd place overall behind the University of Bedfordshire (no shame in that - they really are a powerful force in this grade)

Grade 4 MSR wasn't such a good run although there were a number of positives (and we know what we need to do to improve the negatives). Again a 2nd place behind the University of Bedfordshire.

Unfortunately one of the pipers was struggling and had to drop out after the Grade 4 MSR which meant we were below the numbers permitted for the grade 3 contest so we duly scratched from it.

We'll be better next weekend at the English Championships!

Ashbourne Contest (21st July) - English Championships

Draw

Grade 4

1 - University of Bedfordshire

2 - 1st Royal Tank Regiment

3 - West Midlands Fire Service

4 - City of Newcastle

5 - Grampian Corby

6 - Standard Triumph

7 - Birmingham Irish

8 - Nottinghamshire Police

9 - City of Bradford

10 - Wolverhampton

11 - RAF Waddington

12 - Essex Caledonian

 

Grade 4 MSR

1 - Wolverhampton

2 - RAF Waddington

3 - 1st Royal Tank Regiment

4 - University of Bedfordshire

5 - Grampian Corby

6 - West Midlands Fire Service

Grade 3

1 - Nottinghamshire Police

2 - Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue

3 - RAF Waddington/Halton

4 - Wolverhampton

5 - University of Bedfordshire

6 - West Midlands Fire Service

7 - Grampian Corby

8 - Essex Caledonian

9 - Manchester Pheonix

Annan Contest (6th July)

What a cracking day for the band this turned out to be!

Some of the band had travelled up to Carlisle area on the Friday night and others drove up on the Saturday morning,

After a bit of confusion about where we should park we all ended up together on the Annan Community Centre carpark, registered and then 'meandered' up to the field where the contest was being held.

Although it was sunny and hot, fortunately there was quite a breeze which helped keep things cool.

Pipe tone developed quite quickly, with the exception of one reed which we just couldn't get where we needed it to be, so unfortunately one piper had to stand down before we went up to the grade 4 arena (sorry Emma, we'll get it sorted out on Tuesday at practice).

We put in a strong grade four performance and were feeling very pleased with ourselves when we left the arena, although listening to a couple of the other bands competing we realised we were in a strong competition.

With only a short period of time before the grade three contest, we started tuning up but lost another piper who was struggling to maintain pressure due to health which meant we played the grade three contest with only six pipers.

Although the tone was good, the playing was ...... not so good

It was rushed, there were fingering mistakes, a piper cutting in and out and a poor ending left us realising we've still got a long way to go to become a competent grade three band.

So the results were tremendous

1st Grade 4

4th Grade 3

Best Bass Section Grade 4

One other fact for the day... this is the first 1st prize the Wolverhampton band have ever won at a contest in Scotland!!!

Roll on practice on Tuesday night when we can get the couple of troublesome reeds sorted out and set ourselves ready to compete at Corby next weekend!

Corby Contest (14th July)

Draw

Grade 4 (Start 12.35)

1 - Royal Corps of Signals

2 - RAF Waddington

3 - Grampian (Corby) Association

4 - Standard Triumph

5 - University of Bedfordshire

6 - Wolverhampton

7 - Birmingham Irish

 

Grade 4 MSR (Start 13.30)

1 - RAF Waddington

2 - University of Bedfordshire

3 - Wolverhampton

Grade 3 (Start 14.00)

1 - Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue

2 - Wolverhampton

3 - RAF Waddington/Halton

4 - Grampian (Corby) Association

5 - University of Bedfordshire

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct)

Carparking is at the usual location :

The Cardigan Arms

The Jamb (off High Street)

Corby

NN17 1AY

Annan Contest (6th July)

Draw

Grade 4

1 - Northumberland Scottish 14:00

2 - Wolverhampton 14:06

3 - Lochmaben 14:12

4 - Irvine 14 :18

5 - Millport 14:24

6 - Hawick 14:30

7 - Upper Nithsdale Youth 14:36

Grade 3

1 - Manchester Pheonix 14:20

2 - Kirkcudbright & District 14:27

3 - Royal Burgh Annan 14:34

4 - Millport 14:41

5 - Irvine 14:48

6 - Wolverhampton 14:55

We need to be at the ground ready to start tuning up at 12:00 Noon

Note : Massed bands is due to start at 6.00pm with a short march to the centre of Annan where the prize giving will take place.

North West England Branch Indoor Contest

1st Grade 4 Mini Bands

Not one of our more stunning performances to be truthful but clearly good enough to lift the first prize.

The Grade 3 performance was much, much better (both in terms of sound and playing performance)... that is until the ending when the P/M failed to get a clean drone finish - a real spoiler to what had until then been a very good performance indeed (probably the best grade 3 performance that we've produced in recent years) - an awful shame.

So, no surprises when the results were announced, particularly with the strength of the Grade 3 bands in the North West Branch.

Still, the sound is definitely improving and we know we've got the potential to do even better.

Next contest - Annan 6th July

North West England Branch Indoor Contest - Draw

 

The minibands are due to start between 1.00pm and 2.00pm

We therefore need to be at the venue for 11.00am

Venue

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Woodchurch Road

Prenton

CH43 5UT

Maps for the route and venue

 

 

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Results

A tiring but very satisfying day

1st & 2nd Grade 4 Trios

1st & 2nd Grade 4 Mini Bands

3rd Grade 3 Mini Bands

Exactly the same placings as last year

The grade 4 performances were good (very good in some)

Judges comments were extremely complimentary (both in the official sheets and the unofficial discussions)

Not sure what happened in the 2nd Grade 4 trio - there was an awful sound in two places which was variously attributed to:

- E on one of the chanters

- Feedback from a microphone

- A Seagull!

(I know which one I suspect most!!)

There are recordings on You Tube (Links on Images page)

Unfortunately what I considered to be the best performance (sound wise and in terms of playing) - the 'A' band grade 4 trio isn't there. Hope someone has captured this one on video as it was a lovely sound and performance (albeit just a touch slow)

Next contest is the North West branch mini band contest in a couple of weeks time - looking forward to seeing how things go there

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest

24th March 2013

Despite the recent/current bad weather the contest is still on!!!

Meet at the venue at 10.00am

West Midlands Fire Service Academy, Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, B66 1BG

 

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

17th March 2013

As usual, the band will be meeting at the West Midlands Training Centre at Tally Ho prior to convoying to the start point for the parade. We need to meet at Tally Ho at 10.30am

Directions from the M6 are :

Exit at junction 6, take A38 'Aston Expressway' towards Birmingham City Centre.

Continue on A38 - over flyover and through tunnel's until you eventually come to a major set of traffic lights (A4540 at junction with A38).

Continue straight ahead on A38 into Bristol Road and turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park at the rear of the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Northbound are :

Exit at junction 4, take A38 following signs to Birmingham. Continue A38 travelling through the areas of Longbridge, Northfield and Selly Oak towards Birmingham.

After leaving Selly Oak you will find yourself on a tree lined dual carriageway.

1/2 mile after entering the dual carriageway you will see (BBC Television - Pebble Mill) signposted to your right.

Turn right into Pebble Mill Rd and follow to T-junction and turn left into A441 'Pershore Road'. Continue for 300 yards and turn right into Tally Ho and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Southbound are :

Exit at junction 3, take A456 'Hagley Rd West' towards Birmingham.

Road eventually becomes A456 'Hagley Road'.

Approximately 5 miles after leaving the M5 you will see signs for A4540.

Take exit slip to roundabout (Five Ways Island) and turn right onto A4540 'Islington Row Middleway'.

Continue for approximately 1 mile and turn right onto A38 'Bristol Road'.

Turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - Draw

Grade IV Trio (Start 12 Noon)

West Midlands Fire Service (C)

Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums (C)

West Midlands Fire Service (B)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (A)

West Midlands Fire Service (A)

Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums (A)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (C)

Wolverhampton (A)

City of Sheffield (A)

Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums (B)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (B)

City of Sheffield (B)

Wolverhampton (B)

 

Grade IV Mini Bands (Start 1.15 pm)

West Midlands Fire Service (B)

Royal Corps of Signals

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (C)

Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums

Wolverhampton (B)

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (B)

West Midlands Fire Service (A)

City of Sheffield

The Standard Triumph Pipe Band (A)

Wolverhampton (A)

 

Grade III Mini Bands (Start 2.45 pm)

Wolverhampton (A)

West Midlands Fire Service (A)

Royal Corps of Signals

RAF Waddington

Wolverhampton (B)

West Midlands Fire Service (B)

Venue : West Midlands Fire Service Academy, Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, B66 1BG

We will meet at the venue at 10.00am

Fixture List 2013

March 17th - St Patricks Day Parade, Birmingham

March 24th - Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest

April 14th - North West Mini Band Contest

July 6th - Annan Contest

July 14th - Corby Contest

July 21st - English Championships - Ashbourne

August 31st - Cowal Championships

November 10th - Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford

Band Practice for 22nd January Cancelled

Due to the recent bad weather and the forecast for widespread icy driving conditions, it's been decided to cancel the band practice for 22nd January.

Next practice will be 29th January - weather permitting!

Xmas Dinner

 

Looks like this is one of those events that's now a firm fixture in the bands calendar.

The Springhill once again served up an excellent evening of food and drink.

A great evening was had and there was a definite 'buzz' around the table, with plenty of looking forward to the coming season - new sound, new members, new tunes? (although of course some of it could have been drink influenced!)

It was great to see the band members and guests clearly enjoying themselves.

Many thanks to Vicki for organising it - same again next year?

 

North West Branch Indoor Contest

Advance notification of the date for next years contest

14th April 2013

St Josephs, Birkenhead

Remembrance Day - Sunday 11th November

What a difference a year makes!

For this event last year we struggled to turn out 4 pipers. This year we had 9 plus 3 side drummers and were once again looking like a pipe band!

Taking into account that we have 3 more pipers and 2 more side drummers in the wings it's looking like 2013 might be a good season for us.

Even more pleasing was the difference the new chanters have made to the pipe sound - without a doubt the best sound we've ever produced on a Remembrance Day parade.

OK they weren't as well matched as we would want them to be for a contest - but they weren't bad. A full sound with solid bottom hands and sweet top hands, plus they held for the whole of the parade from the legion to the church and back again without the need to adjust any reeds or tape for the return march.

Definitely a worthwhile investment for the band.

Looking forward now to getting them closer in match.

Remembrance Day - Sunday 11th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.00am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

Xmas Dinner

This years Xmas Dinner will once again be held at The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton

Date : 18th December 2012

Time : 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

(click on the link above to download a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please let Vicki know as soon as possible if you're coming along.

£10/person deposit required.

Chatsworth (English Championships) Revised Grade 4 Draw & Timing

Grade IV

Manchester Pheonix

RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums 4

Scots Guards Association - Manchester

Essex Caledonian

Nottinghamshire Police

Wolverhampton

University of Bedfordshire 4

Black Thistle

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Beverley & District

Scunthorpe

Leicestershire & Rutland

City of Newcastle

This means our playing time is now 9:50am

Chatsworth (English Championships) Timing

Just received the following information from the organisers:

First band on in the Grade 4 contest is at 9.15

This means we'll be playing at 9.57

(Grade 3 starts at 13.00, so we'll be playing at 14.12)

 

Travel arrangements - Independent travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 8.30am!!

Post Code for Chatsworth House is : DE45 1PP

However, note the entrance to the grounds for pipe bands is via the Northern Gate (also known as the Golden Gate) - Sat Navs will try and route you through the Southern Gate

There are a number of possible routes but the quickest would appear to be:

- A38 to Derby

- A38 to join M1 at Junction 28

- Exit M1 at Junction 29

- A617 to Chesterfield (approx 5 miles)

In Chesterfield follow the signs for Bakewell (A619)

and then the Brown Chatsworth signs

to leave the town on the A619 (Chatsworth Road) towards Baslow

After approximately 8 miles there is a roundabout where the A621 (Sheffield Road) joins from the right

The entrance to the grounds is approx 100 yards after this island on your left (there is a bus stop opposite it)

(total mileage from Wolverhampton City Centre to Chatsworth is approx 80 miles via this route)

 

From Manchester the best route would appear to be:

- M57/A57 to Glossop

- A624 to Chapel en le Frith

- A623 to Baslow

- Northern Gate is approx 0.5 mile on right after passing through Baslow

(total mileage from Manchester City Centre to Chatsworth is approx 40 miles via this route)

 

Chatsworth (English Championships) Draw

Grade IV

City of Newcastle

Manchester Pheonix

RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums 4

Scots Guards Association - Manchester

Essex Caledonian

Nottinghamshire Police

Wolverhampton

University of Bedfordshire 4

Black Thistle

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Beverley & District

Scunthorpe

Leicestershire & Rutland

 

Grade III

Nottinghamshire Police

University of Bedfordshire 4

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

RAF Waddington Pipes & Drums 3

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Essex Caledonian

Manchester Pheonix

RAF Waddington Pipes & Drums 4

Beverley & District

Scots Guards Association Manchester

Wolverhampton

No details received yet regarding timing of events

 

Ashbourne Contest Cancelled

 

We've just been notified, next weekends contest at Ashbourne has been cancelled due to the state of the ground.

 

New Bass Drum Logo

New decals fitted to bass drum

 

Corby Contest - 8th July

Contest Draw

Grade IV - Start 13.00

Grampian Corby Association

RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums 4B

1st Battalion Irish Guards

Wolverhampton

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

 

Grade III - Start 14.30

1st Battalion Irish Guards

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

RAF Waddington Pipes & Drums 3B

Grampian Corby Association

Wolverhampton

 

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct).

Long Knowle Community Centre - Open Day

The Community Centre where we hold band practices is holding an open day on Saturday 26th May and we have been invited to take part.

We'll be playing between 2.00 - 2.30pm for about a 15 minute performance.

We'll meet at the centre at 1.30pm

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - 1st April 2012

A cracking start to the 2012 season

1st & 2nd Trio Piping Grade 4

1st & 2nd Mini Bands Grade 4

3rd Mini Bands Grade 3

Midlands Branch Indoor Contest - 1st April 2012

Draw

Grade 4 Trios (Start 12.00)

West Midlands Fire Service (C)
Leicester & Rutland
Wolverhampton (B)
Royal Corps of Signals (B)
West Midlands Fire Service (B)
Royal Corps of Signals (A)
West Midlands Fire Service (A)
Standard Triumph (B)
Wolverhampton (A)
Standard Triumph (A)

 

Grade 4 Mini Bands (Start 13.00)

Standard Triumph (A) - points only
Wolverhampton (A)
Standard Triumph (B) - points only
Leicester & Rutland
Wolverhampton (B)

Grade 3 Mini Bands (Start 14.15)

West Midlands Police (D)
RAF Waddington (A)
West Midlands Police (B)
Wolverhampton
RAF Waddington (B)
West Midlands Police (C)
West Midlands Police (A)


Grade 2 Mini Bands (Start 15.10)

West Midlands Police (D)
RAF Waddington (A)
West Midlands Police (C)
RAF Waddington (B)
West Midlands Police (A)
West Midlands Police (B)

Judges : Cameron Edgar & George Reid

Venue : West Midlands Fire Service Academy, Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, B66 1BG

We will meet at the venue at 10.00am

 

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

The streets around Digbeth in Birmingham were heaving with people today, probably one of the biggest crowds to attend the annual St Patrick's Day Parade.

Must have been the good weather that brought them out.

Good solid sound from the band which held for the whole of the parade - very pleasing (and quite easily obtained which was a bonus!)

'New' faces in the band for todays parade were:

Mark Shakeshaft (piper)

John Cairns (piper)

John Macmillan (piper)

Chris Macmillan (tenor drummer)

The usual session in the Fountain Inn followed the parade with plenty of piping, appreciated by visitors and regulars alike.

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

11th March 2012

As usual, the band will be meeting at the West Midlands Training Centre at Tally Ho prior to convoying to the start point for the parade. We need to meet at Tally Ho at 10.30am

Directions from the M6 are :

Exit at junction 6, take A38 'Aston Expressway' towards Birmingham City Centre.

Continue on A38 - over flyover and through tunnel's until you eventually come to a major set of traffic lights (A4540 at junction with A38).

Continue straight ahead on A38 into Bristol Road and turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park at the rear of the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Northbound are :

Exit at junction 4, take A38 following signs to Birmingham. Continue A38 travelling through the areas of Longbridge, Northfield and Selly Oak towards Birmingham.

After leaving Selly Oak you will find yourself on a tree lined dual carriageway.

1/2 mile after entering the dual carriageway you will see (BBC Television - Pebble Mill) signposted to your right.

Turn right into Pebble Mill Rd and follow to T-junction and turn left into A441 'Pershore Road'. Continue for 300 yards and turn right into Tally Ho and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Southbound are :

Exit at junction 3, take A456 'Hagley Rd West' towards Birmingham.

Road eventually becomes A456 'Hagley Road'.

Approximately 5 miles after leaving the M5 you will see signs for A4540.

Take exit slip to roundabout (Five Ways Island) and turn right onto A4540 'Islington Row Middleway'.

Continue for approximately 1 mile and turn right onto A38 'Bristol Road'.

Turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Fixture List 2012 (updated)

March 11th - St Patricks Day Parade, Birmingham

April 1st - Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest

May 26th - Long Knowle Community Centre

July 8th - Corby Contest

July 15th - Ashbourne Contest

September 2nd - English Championships - Chatsworth

November 11th - Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford

New Sponsorship Deal

The band is pleased to announce a sponsorship deal has been agreed with Garland Products Limited

Garland Products are a British manufacturer of innovative and practical garden products and are based in Kingswinford, where the band has performed the Remembrance Day parade duty for almost 40 consecutive years.

New bass drum heads will shortly be on order carrying the Garland logo

Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest

 

The date for the contest has been withdrawn - we're waiting to hear when it will take place

 

Midlands Branch Mini Band Contest

The Midlands Branch of the RSPBA are resurrecting their indoor mini band contest, although this time it will be open to any band registered with the RSPBA, not just the Midlands branch bands as in previous years.

The date is 18th March 2012 and the venue will be the West Midlands Fire Service Academy in Smethwick (Birmingham)

We will be entering Grade 4 and Grade 3

XMAS Dinner

This years Xmas Dinner will once again be held at The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton

Date : 20th December 2011

Time : 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

Menu

(click on the link above to download a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please let Vicki know as soon as possible if you're coming along.

£10/person deposit required.

Remembrance Day - Sunday 13th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.00am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

Wolverhampton Pipe Band are now on Facebook

Thanks to Vicki for working today to create our own Facebook page

Click on the 'button' below (or on the homepage) to see our page

We'll be attempting to keep this up to date while also maintaining this web site

Chatsworth - English Championships : Sunday 4th September

Travel arrangements - Independent travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.00am

Post Code for Chatsworth House is : DE45 1PP

However, note the entrance to the grounds for pipe bands is via the Northern Gate (also known as the Golden Gate) - Sat Navs will try and route you through the Southern Gate

There are a number of possible routes but the quickest would appear to be:

- A38 to Derby

- A38 to join M1 at Junction 28

- Exit M1 at Junction 29

- A617 to Chesterfield (approx 5 miles)

In Chesterfield follow the signs for Bakewell (A619)

and then the Brown Chatsworth signs

to leave the town on the A619 (Chatsworth Road) towards Baslow

After approximately 8 miles there is a roundabout where the A621 (Sheffield Road) joins from the right

The entrance to the grounds is approx 100 yards after this island on your left (there is a bus stop opposite it)

(total mileage from Wolverhampton City Centre to Chatsworth is approx 80 miles via this route)

 

From Manchester the best route would appear to be:

- M57/A57 to Glossop

- A624 to Chapel en le Frith

- A623 to Baslow

- Northern Gate is approx 0.5 mile on right after passing through Baslow

(total mileage from Manchester City Centre to Chatsworth is approx 40 miles via this route)

 

Draw

Grade 4 March - Start 09.30

RAF Waddington G4

Scots Guards Association (Manchester)

1st Royal Tank Regiment

Scunthorpe & District

Beverley & District

University of Bedfordshire G4

West Midlands Fire Service

Warrington

Greater Manchester

Wolverhampton

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Nottinghamshire Police

Essex Caledonian

This gives us a playing time of 10.40

 

Grade 4 MSR - Start 11.30

RAF Waddington G4

Scots Guards Association (Manchester)

1st Royal Tank Regiment

Beverley & District

University of Bedfordshire G4

Wolverhampton

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Nottinghamshire Police

This gives us a playing time of 12.05

 

Grade 3 - Start 13.15

1st Royal Tank Regiment

RAF Waddington G3

Beverley & District

Scots Guards Association (Manchester)

Essex Caledonian

University of Bedfordshire G4

Greater Manchester

West Midlands Police

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Wolverhampton

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Services

Nottinghamshire Police

This gives us a playing time of 14.27

 

Cowal Championships : Saturday 27th August

Draw

Grade 4A - Start 14.40

Kilsyth Thistle

Dr Wright Memorial

Denny and Dunipace

Portlethen & District

Arbroath Royal British Legion

Oldmeldrum Royal British Legion

Deeside Caledonia - JCE Energy

Perth & District

Wallacestone & District

Wolverhampton

Camelon & District

Newtongrange

Ballybriest

Lochmaben Royal Burgh Society

Burntisland & District

Stromness Royal British Legion

Pryde of East Lothian

Kinross & District

Thiepval Memorial - Eire

Scottish Borders

Glencorse

Johnstone

This gives us a playing time of 15.43

Judges are : Wright, McLellan, MacInnes and Ronaldson

For any of you that haven't heard, Caledonian MacBrayne ferries are no longer operating vehicle ferries from Gourock to Dunoon. This means we will be using Western Ferries instead which sail between McInroy's Point (Gourock) and Hunter's Quay (Dunoon) - 20 minute crossing with 4 Sailings per hour at peak periods.

Ashbourne Contest : Sunday 17th July

Travel arrangements.

As in previous years, it's independent travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.30am

The venue is the Ashbourne Recreation Ground

The easiest way to get there is up the A38 to Derby and then take the A52 direct to Ashbourne

At the end of the Derby Road, turn right at traffic lights into Sturston Road (A517)

Turn left at the next traffic lights into Park Road

Go up Park Road and follow it round to the right into Cokayne Avenue

The entrance to the Car Park is about 300 yards along Cokayne Avenue on the right.

For SatNav users the post code is DE6 1EJ

Contest Draw

Grade IV - Start 10.40

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

West Midlands Fire Service

Greater Manchester

Scots Guards Association Manchester

Nottinghamshire Police

RAF Waddington

Beverley & District

University of Bedfordshire

Standard Triumph

Wolverhampton

Grampian Corby Association

Oldham Scottish

City of Liverpool

City of Newcastle

Essex Caledonia

Grade III - Start 13.07

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Scots Guards Association Manchester

Beverley & District

Standard Triumph

Pride of Murray

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue

Essex Caledonia

RAF Waddington

University of Bedfordshire

Wolverhampton

Nottinghamshire Police

101 Northumbrian Regiment

Greater Manchester

West Midlands Police

Corby Contest : Sunday 10th July

Contest Draw

Grade IV - Start 13.15

Wolverhampton

RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums 4B

Beverley & District

Grampian Corby Association

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

 

Grade III - Start 14.15

RAF Waddington Pipes & Drums 3B

Beverley & District

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

Wolverhampton

RAF Waddington Pipes & Drums 4B

 

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct).

British Pipe Band Championships - Annan - 25th June 2011

As last year, the coach will be picking us up at Big Johns at 3.45am!

16 High Road

Willenhall

West Midlands

WV12 4JQ

This should get us to Annan by about 9.00am

The contest starts at 10.30am and we've drawn 3rd (out of 22) at 10.44am

The Grade 4A draw:

Burntisland & District

Major Sinclair Memorial

Wolverhampton

Kinross & District

Perth & District

University of Bedfordshire

Morpeth

Thiepval Memorial - Eire

RAF Leuchars - Salex Galileo

Camelon & District

Lochmaben Royal Burgh Society

Portlethen & District

Johnstone

Ballybriest

Pryde of East Lothian

Wallacestone & District

Denny & Dunipace

East Kilbride

Scottish Borders

Deeside Caledonia Pipe Band - JCE Energy

Newtongrange

Kilsyth Thistle

 

Judges are : R Campbell, McShannon, Mordaunt & Cardwell

 

Easter Band Practice Cancelled

 

Band practice for 26th April has had to be cancelled due to the Community Centre being closed for the Easter break

 

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

13th March 2011

As usual, the band will be meeting at the West Midlands Training Centre at Tally Ho prior to convoying to the start point for the parade. We need to meet at Tally Ho at 10.30am

Directions from the M6 are :

Exit at junction 6, take A38 'Aston Expressway' towards Birmingham City Centre.

Continue on A38 - over flyover and through tunnel's until you eventually come to a major set of traffic lights (A4540 at junction with A38).

Continue straight ahead on A38 into Bristol Road and turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park at the rear of the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Northbound are :

Exit at junction 4, take A38 following signs to Birmingham. Continue A38 travelling through the areas of Longbridge, Northfield and Selly Oak towards Birmingham.

After leaving Selly Oak you will find yourself on a tree lined dual carriageway.

1/2 mile after entering the dual carriageway you will see (BBC Television - Pebble Mill) signposted to your right.

Turn right into Pebble Mill Rd and follow to T-junction and turn left into A441 'Pershore Road'. Continue for 300 yards and turn right into Tally Ho and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Southbound are :

Exit at junction 3, take A456 'Hagley Rd West' towards Birmingham.

Road eventually becomes A456 'Hagley Road'.

Approximately 5 miles after leaving the M5 you will see signs for A4540.

Take exit slip to roundabout (Five Ways Island) and turn right onto A4540 'Islington Row Middleway'.

Continue for approximately 1 mile and turn right onto A38 'Bristol Road'.

Turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

2011 Fixture List

March 13th : St Patricks Day Parade - Birmingham

June 25th : British Championships - Annan

July 10th : Corby Contest

July 17th : Ashbourne Contest

August 27th : Cowal Championships

September 4th : English Championships - Chatsworth

November 13th : Remembrance Sunday - Kingswinford

 

New look for the band for the 2011 season

After a number of years of wearing the same uniform, the decision has been taken to modernise the bands appearance

New Ties, Black Shirts, Black Socks, Black Rosettes and Silver/Grey Flashes

 

Remembrance Day - Sunday 14th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.30am with the parade due to move off at 10.30am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

Xmas Dinner

Plans are underway for this years Xmas Dinner

Venue : The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton

Date : 21st December 2010

Time : 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

Menu

(click on the link above to download a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please let Vicki know by 30th November if you're coming along.

£10/person deposit required.

Cowal Championships Arrangements

The minibus and van will be leaving Bert's at 8.30am on Friday and making one pickup at Big Johns at 9.00am

Depending on traffic and weather this should hopefully see us at the ferry terminal in Gourock by about 4.00pm and then on to the Sandbank Village Hall by about 5.30pm

The Friday night band practice is scheduled for 6.30pm and then it'll be down the town for the now traditional fish suppers!

Cowal Championships - Draw

Arbroath RBL

RAF Leuchars

Stow

Oldmeldrum RBL

Bucksburn & District

Burntisland & District

RAF Kinloss

Deeside Caledonia

Perth & District

Grampian Association Corby

Denny & Dunipace

Belgian Blend

Fraserburgh RBL

Northern Constabulary Community

Kilsyth Thistle

Newtongrange

Stamperland

Dr Wright Memorial

Wolverhampton (Playing time 15.21)

Wallacestone & District

Ashbourne Contest

Now the summaries have been received it doesn't show as bad a picture for the pipe corps as was expected.

Grade 4 (2nd & 3rd on Piping)

Grade 4A (1st & 4th on Piping)

Couple those placings with the 1st Drum Corps and 1st Ensemble placings in both events and the result was a good combined set of results from both corps!

 

What a day of emotions.

After the piping mistakes made in both the Grade 4 and 4A performances it was almost 'wrist-slitting' time back in the car park!

It's going to be interesting to see the final summaries for the contest, but clearly the brilliant performances from the drum corps must have had a big effect on the overall placings - we'll see!

However, whatever the summaries show, there's one indisputable fact.......

We're ENGLISH CHAMPIONS again!

Ashbourne Contest

Travel arrangements.

As in previous years, it's independant travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.00am

The Grade 4 contest is due to start at 10.00am which means we should be competing just before 11.00am

The venue is the Ashbourne Recreation Ground

The easiest way to get there is up the A38 to Derby and then take the A52 direct to Ashbourne

At the end of the Derby Road, turn right at traffic lights into Sturston Road (A517)

Turn left at the next traffic lights into Park Road

Go up Park Road and follow it round to the right into Cokayne Avenue

The entrance to the Car Park is about 300 yards along Cokayne Avenue on the right.

For SatNav users the post code is DE6 1EJ

Corby Results

Grade 4

1st - Wolverhampton

2nd - Grampian Corby

3rd - Ashbourne & District

4th - Scunthorpe & District

Grade 3

1st - Grampian Corby

2nd - Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue

3rd - Wolverhampton

(Full result on Results page)

This was a pleasing performance allround

Despite the temperature (one of the hottest days yet for competing in!), the timing of activities was well controlled throughout the day and pipe sound held right through the performances.

There was just a slight 'panic' before the grade 3 when one of the pipers reeds started to exhibit a little bit of instability on C, but all credit to Craig for managing to control it through the performance. (A new reed has resolved that issue now!)

So, some confidence has been restored after our terrible showing at Annan - here's to it staying with us for the English Championships at Ashbourne next Sunday!

New Practice Times
Practices now take place between 7.15 and 9.15pm on Tuesday evenings
English Championships - Ashbourne : Sunday 18th July

Draw

Grade 4 (March Selection)

University of Bedfordshire

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue

Ashbourne & District

Scots Guards Association (Manchester)

Scunthorpe Caledonian

Beverley

Warrington

Morpeth Highland

Nottinghamshire Police

Essex Caledonian

RAF Waddington

Wolverhampton

Grampian Corby

Stamperland

Greater Manchester (Celtic Society)

Grade 4A (M,S,R)

Morpeth Highland

Wolverhampton

Nottinghamshire Police

Grampian Corby

Scots Guards Association (Manchester)

Stamperland

University of Bedfordshire

Greater Manchester (Celtic Society)

Grade 3 (Medley)

Essex Caledonian

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue

Nottinghamshire Police

Wolverhampton

Grampian Corby

West Midlands Police

Stamperland

RAF Waddington

Pride of Murray

101 Northumberland Light Regiment

Scots Guards Association (Manchester)

Greater Manchester (Celtic Society)

Beverley

University of Bedfordshire

 

Corby Contest : Sunday 11th July

The draw for the contest is not being made until two days before the contest :-(

But as the Grade IV isn't starting until 1.00pm, no real problems.

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct).

New Day and Venue for Practices !

Due to the unsuitability of the new Wednesfield Community Centre, we've once again had to move the venue for practices.

The new venue is:

Long Knowle Community Centres, Wood End Road, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, WV11 1YG

(location map in Practices section of the website)

Due to availability of the centre, we've also had to change the band practice night to Tuesday (7.30-9.30pm)

The first practice at Long Knowle will be Tuesday 6th July (1st July practice will be the last practice at the Wednesfield Community Library)

New Venue for Practices

With the closure of the existing Wednesfield Community Centre, the band is moving its practice venue to the newly built Wednesfield Community Library situated on the corner of Well Lane and Rookery Street (map in Practices section)

The first practice at the new venue will be Thursday 10th June (practice for 3rd June has been cancelled)

 

Revised Fixture List 2010

March 14th : St Patricks Day Parade - Birmingham

April 10th : North West Branch Mini Bands - Birkenhead

June 26th : British Championships - Annan

July 11th : Corby Contest

July 18th : Ashbourne - English Championships

August 28th : Cowal Championships

November 14th : Remembrance Day Parade - Kingswinford

North West Mini Band Contest - Results

The 'corrected' results from the contest are :

Grade 4 March

1st - Scots Guards 'B'

2nd - Wolverhampton 'A'

3rd - GMFRS (4)

4th - Scots Guards 'A'

5th - Chorley 'B'

6th - Wolverhampton 'B'

7th - Chorley 'A'

8th - Warrington

9th - Sheffield

Grade 4 MSR

1st - Scots Guards 'B'

2nd - Scots Guards 'A'

3rd - Wolverhampton 'B'

4th - Chorley 'A'

5th - Chorley 'B'

6th - Wolverhampton 'A'

 

North West Mini Band Contest - Draw

The draw for the Grade 4 March Event is

Scots Guards 'B'

Scots Guards 'A'

GMFRS (4)

Wolverhampton 'A'

Wolverhampton 'B'

Warrington 'A'

Chorley 'B'

Warrington 'B'

Chorley 'A'

 

The draw for the Grade 4 MSR Event is

Chorley 'A'

Wolverhampton 'A'

Chorley 'B'

Scots Guards 'A'

Scots Guards 'B'

Wolverhampton 'B'

The judges are : Harry Stevenson and Adrian Hoy

The event starts at 13.00, so we should be playing at approx 13.45 in the march event

We need to be at the school by 11.30 - Map and Directions below

 

Revised Fixture List 2010

March 14th : St Patricks Day Parade - Birmingham

April 10th : North West Branch Mini Bands - Birkenhead

June 20th : Birmingham Contest - Centenary Square

June 26th : British Championships - Annan

July 11th : Corby Contest

July 18th : Ashbourne Contest - English Championships

August 28th : Cowal Championships

November 14th : Remembrance Day Parade - Kingswinford

North West Mini Band Contest

10th April 2010

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Woodchurch Road

Prenton

CH43 5UT

Note : This is a new venue for the event, on the Wirral near Birkenhead (not in Manchester)!

Most direct route for us is straight up the A41 to Chester following the signs to join the M53.

Leave the motorway at Junction 3 turning right onto the A552.

Follow the A552 for approx 2 miles, pass Sainsbury's on the left and then turn left at traffic lights by the 'Halfway House' into Storeton Road (B5151).

Take the first right into Fairview Road and the entrance to the school is approx 300 yards on the right.

 

Update from the Princess Anne hospital

Despite Tams injury being classed as a 'serious fracture', his operation has gone well and we're now just waiting to hear when he will be released home to begin recuperation.

On a happier note, Calum's wife, Donna, has given birth to a baby boy - also in the Princess Anne hospital - Congratulations to Calum & Donna.

Good to see the band is keeping the staff at the Princess Anne busy!

'Breaking News' (literally!)

It would appear that the aftermath of the St Patricks Day parade in Birmingham have had a shattering effect on one of our drummers.

Whilst still in Birmingham on the evening after the parade (and extended session in the pub!), Big Tam fell down in the town and broke his leg (both Tibia and Fibia).

Fortunately he was travelling with Craig, who assisted him back to the railway station where they caught the train back to Telford!

He's now in hospital in Telford having had an operation on the broken bones.

We all wish him well for a speedy recovery.

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham - Report

No doubt about it.... that was one of the sweetest sounds the band has produced on a St Patrick's Day Parade.

The recent changes to a few of the reeds to improve the top hands, coupled with the putting into practice some of the lessons learned on the recent weekend workshop run by John Nevans have showed immediate results.

It only took about 30 minutes of playing and the adjustment of just one reed and the sound began to develop. It would still benefit from a bit of a tighter match between the chanters but that's definitely a 'work in progress'.

Just as importantly, the sound held up for the whole of the parade (something we've not been able to achieve in previous years).

The weather for the parade was good, although the wind was a bit cutting at times.

After the parade the band visited its usual haunt of The Fountain Inn where it wasn't long before pipes were being played and a number of the pipe corps were keen to demonstrate their 'kitchen piping skills', much to the appreciation of the locals.

Some five hours after the parade had finished, we hear that there are still some members of the band in the pub. Hope they make it back in time for Thursday's practice!!

 

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

14th March 2010

As usual, the band will be meeting at the West Midlands Training Centre at Tally Ho prior to convoying to the start point for the parade. We need to meet at Tally Ho at 10.00am

Directions from the M6 are :

Exit at junction 6, take A38 'Aston Expressway' towards Birmingham City Centre.

Continue on A38 - over flyover and through tunnel's until you eventually come to a major set of traffic lights (A4540 at junction with A38).

Continue straight ahead on A38 into Bristol Road and turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Northbound are :

Exit at junction 4, take A38 following signs to Birmingham. Continue A38 travelling through the areas of Longbridge, Northfield and Selly Oak towards Birmingham.

After leaving Selly Oak you will find yourself on a tree lined dual carriageway.

1/2 mile after entering the dual carriageway you will see (BBC Television - Pebble Mill) signposted to your right.

Turn right into Pebble Mill Rd and follow to T-junction and turn left into A441 'Pershore Road'. Continue for 300 yards and turn right into Tally Ho and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Directions from the M5 Southbound are :

Exit at junction 3, take A456 'Hagley Rd West' towards Birmingham.

Road eventually becomes A456 'Hagley Road'.

Approximately 5 miles after leaving the M5 you will see signs for A4540.

Take exit slip to roundabout (Five Ways Island) and turn right onto A4540 'Islington Row Middleway'.

Continue for approximately 1 mile and turn right onto A38 'Bristol Road'.

Turn left at next set of traffic lights into Priory Rd and then right at next traffic lights into A441 'Pershore Rd'.

Entrance to Tally Ho is approximately 200 yards on your left and on entering, drive straight ahead and park near to the Sports and Social Club.

Xmas Meal 2009

17th December 2009

This year's Xmas Meal will be taking place at the Wagon and Horses in Wombourne

The Table is booked for 7.30pm

Bridgnorth Road
Wombourne
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
WV5 0AQ

(unfortunately our usual venue, the Springhill Tavern, is already fully booked!)

Attached is the menu

The cost will be £14.99 per person and a £5 per person deposit is urgently required to secure our booking.

Please contact Vicki to let her know your requirements and see her at practice with your deposits!

Fixture List 2010

Fixtures for next year

March 14th : St Patricks Day Parade - Birmingham

April 10th : North West Branch Mini Bands - Manchester

June 20th : Birmingham Contest - Centenary Square

June 26th : British Championships - Annan

July 11th : Corby Contest

July 18th : Ashbourne Contest

August 28th : Cowal Championships

September 5th : Chatsworth - English Championships

November 14th : Remembrance Day Parade - Kingswinford

PDF file of fixtures

 

Remembrance Day - Sunday 8th November

Once again this year the band will be leading the Remembrance Day Parade at Kingswinford.

We need to be at the Kingswinford British Legion Club for 9.00am with the parade due to move off at 10.30am

Kingswinford Royal British Legion, Summerhill, Kingswinford, DY6 9JG

Directions

From Wolverhampton take the A449 through Himley

At the first island after Himley go straight over onto the A491

At the second set of traffic lights (Kingswinford Cross Pub on the left) turn right into Summerhill

The Legion is approx 200 yards on the left. Cars should be parked on the Estate Agents carpark opposite the Legion.

NorthWest Mini Band Contest - 2010

Advance notification of the date for next years event.

Saturday 10th April 2010

Cowal Championships

Yet another year where we've failed to make the cut to the final (7th place)!

The playing was reasonable (good start, no mistakes, clean end) and judges comments about the performance were reasonably complimentary about the opening march but less so about the other two marches.

The main problem though is the pipe tone - we're playing far flatter than the other bands, so it's time for a critical examination of our sound with a view to sharpening it up to where the other bands are.

Cowal Championships

The draw for the Grade 4 MAP Qualifying event has been announced

Dr Wright Memorial

Buchan

Arbroath RBL

Kilsyth Thistle

Matt Boyd Memorial

Culter and District

Letterkenny & District

Stamperland

Wolverhampton

The event starts at 10.45, so we should be playing at 11.33

The judges are : J Campbell and J MacInnes

There are two heats, so 6 bands will go through from each heat to the final which is scheduled to start at 15.05

Ashbourne Contest Cancelled!

Unfortunately due to the continuing poor weather and the state of the ground the Ashbourne Contest has had to be cancelled.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers Concert is going ahead and will be held on a local car park rather than the recreation ground.

Ashbourne Contest

Travel arrangements.

As in previous years, it's independant travel to the venue.

We need to meet on the carpark ready to start tuning up at 9.00am

The MAP event is due to start at 10.00am and we've drawn 6th (full draw details below)

The venue is the Ashbourne Recreation Ground

The easiest way to get there is up the A38 to Derby and then take the A52 direct to Ashbourne

At the end of the Derby Road, turn right at traffic lights into Sturston Road (A517)

Turn left at the next traffic lights into Park Road

Go up Park Road and follow it round to the right into Cokayne Avenue

The entrance to the Car Park is about 300 yards along Cokayne Avenue on the right.

For SatNav users the post code is DE6 1EJ

Corby Contest

Another great result..

1st Grade IV

1st Grade IV Drumming

Definitely one of our best performances.

Chanter sound was bright and robust with a good and steady drone balance coupled with a structured and musical performance (the judges words!)

Everyone - pipers and drummers - left the arena extremely pleased with the performance.

And, following the massed bands it was another 'victory' parade straight into the pub for a quick celebratory drink.

That's three straight wins in a row now - English Championships next - oh for four in a row!!

Corby Contest

The draw for the contest is not being made until the day :-(

But as the Grade IV isn't starting until 1.00pm, no real problems.

As in previous years we'll meet up at Corley Services Southbound on the M6 at 10.00am (or at the contest venue at 11.00am for those going direct).

Birmingham Centenary Square Contest

A great result all round..

1st Grade IV

1st Grade IV Drumming

Best Bass Section Grade IV

Even the thin top hands from the chanters didn't prevent us from taking a clean sweep of first places from both the piping and drumming judges.

And to cap it all, the 'victory' march after the massed bands - straight into the bar of the local Wetherspoons pub was enthusiastically received by staff, customers and band alike!

Ashbourne Contest Draw

Grade 4

Henderson Caledonian
Glenmoriston
Nottinghamshire Police
RAF Waddington
Grampian Association (Corby)
Wolverhampton
Beverley & District
University of Bedfordshire
Ashbourne & District
Chorley
Essex Caledonian

 

Birmingham Centenary Square Contest Draw

 

Grade 4

Nottinghamshire Police
Henderson Caledonian
Ashbourne & District
Beverley & District
Welsh Piping Society
Grampian Association (Corby)
Chorley
Wirral
Scots Guards Association
Wolverhampton

Start time is 12.00 Noon so we will need to be in the carpark ready to start tuning at 10.00am

 

North West MiniBand Contest - Saturday 28th March

Results

1st & 3rd in Grade 4

Good performances from both bands, although still some room for improvement in the pipe chanter tone, particularly on the top hand - but clearly getting there!

First outing with us for Calum and Tam (two of our new drummers) ... great things expected from the whole corps in the coming outdoor season.

North West MiniBand Contest - Saturday 28th March

Grade 4 Draw

Henderson Caledonian A
Wirral A
Wolverhampton B
Chorley A
Sheffield A
Scots Guards B
Wolverhampton A
Scots Guards A
Sheffield B
Wirral B
Chorley B

The contest is scheduled to start at 1.00pm (after the solo drumming events have finished)

We'll meet up at Hilton Park Services Northbound on the M6 at 9.30am which should get us to the venue by about 11.00am

Same venue as last year.

 

St Patrick's Day Parade 2009

What a difference the weather makes to this event!

The crowds were solid for the whole of the parade route (over 80,000 attended according to the BBC).

It was that warm that jackets were dispensed with and shirt-sleeves were the order of the day.

It certainly looks as if the work done on the chanter sound over the Winter has paid dividends - this was without a doubt the best sound the band have produced on a St Patrick's Day parade and it held all the way round the route. It would only need a little bit of fine-tuning to bring it up to full competition standard.

(Videos now available - see 2009 Images Section)

So with only two weeks to go to our first contest (Manchester Mini Bands), things are looking very promising indeed.

 

XMAS Dinner 2008
The Xmas Dinner took place at the Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton and was appreciated by all who attended. Once again, the food was excellent and a 'relaxed' night was enjoyed by everyone (see photographs on the images page).
2009 Fixture List

15th March - St Patricks Day Parade, Birmingham

28th March - Manchester Mini Bands

21st June - Birmingham Contest (Centenary Square)

12th July - Corby Contest

19th July - Ashbourne Contest

29th August - Cowal Championships

8th November - Remembrance Day Parade, Kingswinford

XMAS Dinner 2008

Plans are underway for this years Xmas Dinner

Venue : The Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton (same as last year)

Date : 18th December 2008

Time : 7.45pm

Cost : £19.95 per person

Menu

(click on the link above to download a copy of the menu)

Further information about the venue can be found on their website at www.thespringhill.co.uk

Please contact Vicki to let her know if you're coming along - she needs to confirm to the venue no later than Friday 21st November (the venue is almost full already!!).

Deposits required of £10/person ASAP!

MAP 2009
Music for next years MAP contests now available on the Music page
Cowal Championships

For the second year running, we failed to make the cut into the final!

Practices leading up to the day hadn't been particularly good and the sound certainly didn't have any of the sparkle to it that we'd been producing in the English contests previously in the season (too many reeds that had gone past their best perhaps?)

An early E in the intro didn't help but even without that it's doubtful if we'd played well enough to warrant a place in the final. One of the main comments from the adjudicators seem to be related to the tempo (too 'careful')!

So, it's back to the drawing board again and yet another rethink about our strategy for tackling these MAP events.

Cowal Championships

The draw for the Grade 4 MAP Qualifying event has been announced

Royal Burgh of Stirling

Wolverhampton

Kinross & District

Dr Wright Memorial

Oldmeldrum RBL

Belgian Blend

RAF Kinloss

Arbroath RBL

Buchan

The event starts at 10.35, so we should be playing at 10.41

The judges are : Bob Worrall and Jim Dunlop

There are two heats, so 6 bands will go through from each heat to the final which is scheduled to start at 13.00

Ashbourne Contest - English Championships

Definitely not up to the standard of the previous two weeks and second place is probably as good as we deserved based on our performances.

At times the pipe tone was amazing, and then at others......

Unfortunately the good tone periods didn't occur in the contest arena :-(

We also lost one of our pipers to swollen glands on the morning of the contest, which had an effect - but no excuses we just weren't good enough on the day.

Well done to the University of Bedford!

Ashbourne Contest - English Championships

We're due to play in the MAP event at 11.45 so we'll meet up at the carpark at 10.00am ready to start tuning up.

As in previous years, it's a case of independent travel to the venue.

Corby Contest, 13th July

Grade 4 : 1st Band, 1st Drumming

The day started off well, apart from the inadequate car parking at the venue. However this didn't really cause us a problem as we simply parked on the edge of the contest field (in many ways, much better than on the official car park itself!)

Good weather throughout the day and a good social event.

Let's hope the promise made at the closing ceremony to keep the contest running next year comes to fruition.

 

Corby Contest - Draw

Grade 4 (Start Time 13.00)

RAF Waddington

Triumph RBL

Wolverhampton

Essex Caledonian

Henderson Caledonian

Grampian Corby

Ashbourne & District

Scunthorpe & District

Notts Police

As last year, it's suggested we meet up at Corley Services on the M6 Southbound at 10.30am and then travel in convoy to be at the event for 11.30

Birmingham Contest - Centenary Square, 6th July

Grade 4 : 1st Band, 1st Drumming, Best Bass Section

It looked at first as if the weather would spoil the day, but fortunately it cleared up by the start of the contest and only rained heavily just before the massed band parade leading the veterans down Broad Street.

This has really got to be one of the most unique venues for a pipe band contest, just a shame that there weren't more bands attending.

 

Birmingham Contest - Centenary Square, 6th July

Some work at the band practice last night on the chanters and strengthening of the bass drone sound has hopefully seen a further move forward in the sound being produced by the band - certainly by the end of the night there was again a good solid and tight sound with a bit more depth to it than previously.

Now if we can just manage ourselves better than we did last weekend we should have a successful day!

British Championships - Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham - 28th June 2008

The day started off well with a good solid and fairly tight sound being produced by the pipe corps, with some observers comparing our new sound with that produced by the band in our grade 2 heydays!

However bad management left us late entering the competition park and eventually rushing to get to the arena in time to play in the qualifying MAP event in the morning. Needlesss to say this just simply added pressure to the guys and a lot of fingering mistakes were made.

Still fortunately it wasn't a true qualifier and we regrouped for the Grade 4A final.

Unfortunately the chanters were now losing their intonation on the top hand, particularly the F's and High A's, (although the bottom hand sound was rock solid). An early intro E coupled with the deteriorating top hands were significant contributions to the final placing of 7th (just one place outside the prize list).

An extremely disappointing result but the judges comments have given us plenty of ideas on how to improve things before the Birmingham contest next Sunday.

Easyfundraising Update

To date over £50 has been raised via the EasyFundraising and EasySearch initiatives

Banners linking to the Easyfundraising & Easysearch sites are now on the bands homepage

So if you're thinking of buying on-line, check these out first

Birmingham Centenary Square Contest Draw

Grade 4

Wolverhampton

Welsh Piping Society

Chorley

Ashbourne & District

Nottinghamshire Police

Triumph RBL

Grampian Association Corby

Start time is 12.00 Noon so we will need to be in the carpark ready to start tuning at 10.00am

British Championships Draw

Grade 4A MAP Heat

10.00 - Hawick

10.06 - University of Bedfordshire

10.12 - Wolverhampton

10.18 - Grampian Association Corby

10.24 - Royal Burgh of Stirling

10.30 - Paris and District (France)

10.36 - Henderson Caledonian

10.42 - Badenoch & Strathspey

10.48 - Kinross & District

10.54 - Black Bottle Isle of Islay

11.00 - Chorley

On this basis the band will meet ready to start tuning up at 8.00am. Information about location will be announced when received from headquarters.

Grade 4A Final will start at 11.30 and all bands entered will be playing

British Championships Photoshoot

The band have been asked to attend a photoshoot in Canon Hill Park on 8th June to provide images for the City of Birmingham to use in their publicity leading up to the British Championsips.

This turned out to be not only an opportunity to get some photographs taken, but also to get a bit of an extra band practice in.

Some of the photographs are now posted on the Images section of the website.

North West Mini Band Contest

2nd & 4th.

A bit of a disappointing result this.

Extremely long tuning period as a result of a severely delayed start to the contest due to the 'unforeseen' number of entries for the solo drumming contests earlier in the day.

Having said that though the tone held pretty well throughout the period and continued into the arena but a poor start to the A band performance looks to have been the likely cause of the result. The guys got over the start though and the rest of the performance was pretty good. But unfortunately not good enough.

North West Mini Band Contest

The draw for the contest is:

Henderson Caledonian B
Henderson Caledonian A
Wirral A
Wolverhampton A
Chorley A
Wirral B
Greater Manchester A
Wolverhampton B
West Midlands Fire Service B
West Midlands Fire Service A
Chorley B

Note : the venue has changed from last year due to renovation work at the fire station.

This years event is being held at :

University Barracks, Boundary Lane, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6BL

The miniband contest is starting at approx 12.00 Noon so we need to be there ready to start tuning up at 10.30am so, as last year, we'll meet up at Hilton Park Services at 9.00am

16th March 2008 - St Patrick's Day Parade (Birmingham)

That has got to have been the coldest one yet!!!

Fingers were freezing at the start of the day, but they seemed to warm up a bit by the time we'd got half way round the parade with some of the guys sensibly resorting to chemical hand warmers

Chanter sound was thin on the top - but it's approaching the time for new reeds for the coming season anyway!

Good social event in a local pub afterwards saw the band and locals thoroughly enjoying some 'kitchen' piping

2008 Fixture List

16th March - St Patrick's Day Parade (Birmingham)

26th April - Manchester Mini Bands

28th June - British Championships (Birmingham)

6th July - Birmingham Contest

13th July - Corby Contest

20th July - Ashbourne Contest

30th August - Cowal

9th November - Remembrance Day Parade (Kingswinford)

20th December - Xmas Meal

The Christmas Meal proved to be a great success (see photos on the images page).

Good company, good food, a 'few' drinks and only one rendition of 'Teribus' by the "choir" (to celebrate Mark's birthday) :-)

Well done to Vicki for organising it.

What's the next venture going to be?

Xmas Break

On 20th December the band are going for a Christmas meal together at the Springhill, Penn, Wolverhampton.

This means the last practice before Christmas will be 13th December.

Practices will start again in the New Year on 3rd January.

25th November - WCR 101.8 FM Radio Interview
Recordings of this mornings interview on WCR 101.8 FM radio station now in the images section of the website
11th November - Remembrance Day (Kingswinford)

Last event of the year for the band.

Pretty much all went to the, by now, well-established formula.

First outing for a 'new' drummer to the band - Steve Walker.

Steve is not really a new drummer to us, having played with the band back in the glory days of Grade 2 in the 1980s. He has recently moved back into the Wolverhampton area, so we're really pleased to have him back in the corps - strengthening us up yet again for what we hope will be just as good a competition season in 2008 as we experienced in 2007.

'Highspot' of the day has probably got to go to Mick O'Donnell and the story of his jacket which had been 'missing' since Cowal and caused everyone in the band to check they had the right jacket (some members checking more than once!). However rather than a missing jacket it turned out to be a case of a misplaced glengarry..... Don't ask.... way too long a story to tell here!

But you can be sure Mick's not going to be allowed to forget this saga for a long, long time!!!

 

25th August - Cowal Championships

Difficult to know where to start with this one.

Enthusiasm and confidence was at an all time high in the band leading up to the weekend. Practice on the Thursday night before the Championships had been good and this continued into the Friday night practice at the Village Hall in Sandbank.

Saturday morning saw the weather have an effect with the rain and cold bringing the pitch down which we didn't compensate adequately for. Even so, after having played in the qualifier (not brilliant but not bad) we were still confident of qualifying and having a chance to compete in the final with our true grade four set.

The shock in the band when we didn't qualify was immense. I don't think any of us could really take in the situation - 12 noon and, for us, Cowal 2007 was over!

We stayed at the stadium until after the grade one competition was completed and then made our way back to the village hall which gave us the chance to listen to the grade 4A final in full and in all reality, whilst we can argue that we would have been better than a few of the bands in the final, there is no doubt that even if we had put in one of our strong performances, we would still have struggled to make a top six placing. Which only demonstrated to us that however good we are in England there's a big gulf between us and the top bands in our grade - a gulf which we have yet to bridge.

So, a lot of analysis and sole searching took place in the pub that evening, at least until the alcohol took effect and then everything came into perspective and a damned good night of drowning sorrows took place leading to one of the best social evenings the band has had in many a year :-)

Now we take the lessons learned from this weekend and move forward to an even better season in 2008!

(For the first time we had a digital camera taking some video clips of the band during the weekend - links to these are now up on the images page of the website)

15th July - English Championships - Ashbourne

1st in Grade IV - English Champions

1st in Drumming - English Champions

Best Bass Drummer

What else is there to say about this result!

This was the 'big one' for us in England this year and despite the awful weather the band put in a superb performance and were suitably rewarded with a clean sweep of the trophies in Grade IV, which also means the drum corps have completed the English season without being beaten!!!

8th July - Corby Contest

2nd in Grade IV

1st in Drumming

That makes the fourth 1st place in drumming in a row, the drummers are doing an absolutely magical job this season - English Champions next weekend? - here's hoping.

1st July 2007

The draw for the Corby contest next weekend has been received.

We've drawn 4th in a 7 band contest and should be playing about 1.30pm

All members on e-mail have been sent details of the draw and proposed travel arrangements

It's suggested we meet up at Corley Services on the M6 Southbound at 10.30am and then travel in convoy to be at the event for 11.30

1st July - Birmingham Contest

2nd in Grade IV

1st in Drumming & Best Bass Section, 2nd in Piping

What a brilliant venue Centenary Square proved to be.

Even at the start of the day when there were only a few people in the square, the atmosphere was superb.

Great facilities in the local Symphony Hall, easy car and coach parking, plenty of space to tune up in, refreshment stands and lots of convenient pubs in Broad Street.

It seems like a hit with the bands as so many enthusiastic comments were heard about the venue.

Here's hoping we'll be back there again - a sentiment which was shared by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at the Massed Bands.

24th June 2007

The draw and information for the Birmingham contest next weekend has been received.

We've drawn 8th in an 8 band contest and should be playing about 12:45

As it's a local contest, independent travel is the order of the day and we'll be meeting at 10.00am at the venue (maps and directions have been e-mailed to members)

24th June 2007 - Reading Contest

1st in Grade IV

1st in Piping & 1st in Drumming

A brilliant result despite a couple of piping slips.

Here's to the same results over the next three contests!

16th June 2007

The draw and information for the Reading contest next weekend has been received.

We've drawn 5th in a 10 band contest so should be playing about 11.20am

All members on e-mail have been sent a copy of the draw and a map, along with proposed travel arrangements.

It's suggested we meet up at Strensham Services on the M5 Southbound (near Junction 8) at 8.00am and then travel in convoy to be at the event for 9.30

3rd June 2007

The last couple of months have seen two new members join the band.

Jim White (Side Drummer)

Jim learned with the BP Grangemouth Pipe Band in the 1970's and progressed through Camelon & District (Grade 3 & 4), Wallacestone & District (Grade 1 & 2), BT Polkemmet (Grade 1), University of Luton (Grade 2) and most recently Dartford & District (Grade 4).

 

Alan Barnett (Piper)

Alan played with the 42nd Highlanders during the 1980s and more recently with the West Midlands Fire Service.

 

21st April 2007

North West England Minibands

Result..... 1st and 5th

That's our first contest win for four years!!!

The very impressive sound continued into the contest arena today, with a number of knowledgeable spectators and competitors commenting on it.

The A band was really on song tone-wise and the performance was good, only marred by a small piping slip.

The B band was also sounding good and when the two sets of pipers got together the sound was tremendous.

Quite a bad piping slip caused the drop in placing of the B band, but the performance was most notable as being the first ever contest for one of our pipers Mark Shakeshaft. He now knows the pressure that playing in a contest can exert and can only be stronger for the experience.

Drum corps performance was brilliant - taking 1st and 3rd in the A & B bands respectively.

A lot of good comments were passed by the judges on the performances in their remarks sheets.

All-in-all a great day for the band and one which should do wonders for the confidence of everyone involved.

Just 10 weeks now to our next contest at Birmingham so a good platform to build on.

15th April 2007

Draw for the North West England miniband contest in today.

We've drawn 4th and 11th in a 13 band contest - not bad.

The new sound at practice this week was really impressive, so we're definitely all up for this coming contest.

Let's see what happens on the day!

6th April 2007

After taking the decision a couple of weeks back not to enter the North West England trio piping contest due to the problems we were experiencing with the chanter sound, new reeds were fitted at practice this week and the result was impressive.

Once again we're sounding like a pipe band!

Such was the enthusiasm with the new sound that we've now entered for the North West England Mini Band contest being held in Manchester in a couple of weeks time.

This will give us the opportunity to truly test the new reeds under competition conditions.

 

11th March 2007

St Patricks Day Parade, Birmingham

This one was certainly much warmer than last year and the crowds were probably the biggest we've seen since we started doing this parade.

Minor panic just after we moved off as the Pipe Majors reed went off on the "F" and in trying to fix it on the march, he only succeeded in damaging the reed. Managed to get it playable again but still with a bit of a problem on the F.

Bottom hand sound from the chanters was good, but certainly work to be done on strengthening the top hand sound.

Great to see two "new - old" pipers out with the band - Lee Williams and Ross Craig. They will certainly strengthen the piping corps for the coming contest season. Welcome back lads!

Our new "Irish" tune - Dawning of the Day (St Lawrence O'Toole version) seemed to be a hit with the crowds and complimentary comments were received from other pipe band people on the parade.

Vicki was given the opportunity to put her Tyler Fry tenor drumming into practice on the day as she swapped her pipes for Diane's tenor drum. (She's now limping with a bruised leg plus aching arms but enjoyed it tremendously). Looks like she'll be a regular on the tenor drum in massed bands for this season!

20th December 2006

Last practice before the Christmas break will be 21st December.

Due to decorating work taking place at the community centre, the next practice will not be until 18th January.

In the meantime, there's a new tune, Crescent Beach, in the restricted area (bmw music and mp3 sound file) for you to work on!

12th November 2006

Remembrance Day Parade - Kingswinford RBL

Fitted out with our new pipe bags and moisture control systems, this was an opportunity to assess their performance.

What a horror story it turned out to be!

Despite the clear improvement in the drone sound from the pipes, the chanter sound was terrible - started off OK but rapidly deteriorated and by the time we reached the church at the end of the parade the sound we were producing was embarrassing.

Needless to say, the march back from the church to the British Legion was no better.

We've certainly got a few problems to overcome with this new system - it looks at the moment as if it's being too efficient at preventing moisture getting to the chanter reeds. It's also making the pipes extremely difficult to play even with reeds which are not themselves too hard.

We're going to have to do some experimenting!

27th August 2006

Just back from what has got to have been the most gruelling Cowal Championships we've ever attended.

Due to the new MAP contest requirements we were playing pipes at 7 o'clock in the morning in the village hall to enable us to be on the start line for a 9.12 heat.

At the end of the heat's we heard we'd made it through to the final with a playing time of 16.48, nearly 7 hours after playing in the heats.

Weather throughout the day was extremely unkind, mostly raining particularly when it was time to tune up and compete in the morning. Afternoon session was better but by the time massed bands came we all got another good soaking in readiness for playing down the street.

Final placing of 12th was disappointing but understandable taking into account a slow tempo, slight piping mistake and top hands which were definitely suffering from wet reeds.

22nd August 2006

The band has been featured on a "spotlight" page on the new RSPBA Midlands Branch website.

Further information about the history of the band is provided from their formation back in the early 1960's up to the current day.

"Mugshots" added to the members page on the band website

19th August 2006

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association - Midlands Branch

The branch has launched it's first website.

Link added to Links page.

16th July 2006

English Pipe Band Championships - Ashbourne

A scorcher of a day - the heat really came back with a vengeance and created it's fair share of havoc in trying to achieve a good sound.

Started off well in the morning for the MAP qualifying event and came off the arena after it fairly happy with the performance.

A few problems with the chanter reeds before we went on for the grade 4 proper and a piping slip in the last tune, but we still managed to take 2nd place overall - so a very satisfying result.

9th July 2006

Corby Contest

Thank heavens the weather turned and cooled down for the day of the contest - very pleasant without the horrendous heat we'd been suffering in the week leading up to the contest.

Bert's new reeds are certainly working well now - one of the best sounds we've produced in grade 4 for a long, long time. A little bit of uneven blowing was evident at times, but overall it was an excellent sound for us.

Only 6 pipers played (due to holiday and work commitments), but we should be closer to full strength for next weeks English Championships at Ashbourne.

Drum corps were pleased with their performance and the overall band effect felt good.

Overall placing : 2nd

18th February 2006

A fairly quiet Winter session.

The new reeds that Bert's now producing certainly seem to hold a lot of promise - at times the sound at practice is very good - without too many problems being experienced in getting it.

A new addition to the website is the launch of the restricted area for members of the band only (password access required).

This contains audio tracks (MP3 format) and the code for use in BMW Gold or Bagpipe Player of the bands tunes.

A copy of Bagpipe Player has also been placed in the restricted area for members to download and use.

This will never replace hard copies of the music, but it at least gives people the chance to hear the tune while they're learning it.

18th September 2005

English Pipe Band Championships - Weston Park

A new venue on the calendar for the first time.

Car parking was somewhat shambolic but by the time we'd all found each other and moved the cars around we had a great parking spot - right next to the final tuning area, so really convenient.

Contest arena itself was a little tight, but at least it gave the crowds the chance to get close to the bands when competing.

Overall a nice venue with a lot of promise and a really nice feel to the event. Plenty of stalls and exhibitions for the families to spend their time (and money!) at.

Certainly will be looking forward to it being on the calendar again for next year.

Results?

3rd Grade IV and 4th Grade III, but far better than that was the performance of the drum corps in Grade III where they took 2nd place - brilliant. Well done to them all.

30th August 2005

Cowal Highland Gathering

If you discount the actual contest and our dismal performance, it was quite a good weekend event for the band!

All the practices leading up to the day went well and the pipe sound was coming together nicely.

2 hours before we were due to compete the pipes were absolutely singing - one of the best sounds the band has produced. Then 45 minutes before we were due to go on, the heavens opened and we all took shelter. By the time it had passed over we had about 15 minutes left and the chanters went off horribly. No amount of work was going to bring them back to where they'd been and we reaped the rewards for all our efforts by putting in a performance which duly got us a final placing of 13th :-(

Enough said!

14th August 2005

VJ British Legion Parade

One of our rare parades.

This time from the Short Heath British Legion to a local War Memorial for a short service and then back to the Legion.

Not too bad a sound, although some poor playing at times. At other times it was pretty good. Consistency is clearly not our strong point at the moment, but at least the reeds held up well to the prolonged playing.

17th July 2005

Ashbourne Contest

An absolute scorcher of a day.

And what we thought was a scorching performance to match, but yet again another third place.

Both corps very happy with their performance.

9th July 2005

Corby Contest

Unfortunately a combination of work, holidays and illness has decimated the pipe corps and we've had to scratch from this years event.

 

3rd July 2005

Birmingham Contest

A pair of 3rd places in both the Grade IV and Grade III events.

A bright hot sunny day, which could have caused serious problems with the chanter sound (and certainly has done in previous years), but this wasn't the case. Took a little bit of work to "tidy up around the edges" of what was a reasonable starting sound but by the time we went into the arena for the Grade IV contest the sound was there and was good.

Good start and some quite reasonable playing. The performance was only let down by pipers cutting in and out, but even so we still pulled out a very creditable second place in piping. The important thing to us is that we know what the problem was and we're confident we can improve on the situation.

Grade III was a similar story (sound was reasonable but again the performance was spoiled by cutting in and out, plus a bit of a "rush of blood to the head" when we hit the final tune). Overall we managed to trim 30 seconds of the performance time compared to our timings in practice - that in itself tells the story of the tempo!

So, all in all, we were pleased with the results and it was good to be back playing in Grade III again.

Hopefully today will have given us some confidence and this will show through in future contests.

 

13th March 2005

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

Not a bad day at all - but man, was it cold - it even started to lightly snow at one point!

Slightly different route to previous years, but what made it so much better was that we were well up the parade order, so it took us less than an hour to complete. Although that doesn't include the standing around after the parade waiting for the massed pipe band event.

The band was almost up to full strength, just a couple of our regular players missing due to illness, but it gave us the opportunity to "blood" our newest piper - Mark Shakeshaft. Mark has only been with the band for 15 months and came to us as a pure learner with no previous playing experience. His progress has been tremendous in that short period of time and it was great to see him out with the band playing a full part.

The overall sound wasn't too bad and it held up for the whole parade.

We've now got some four months before the contest season starts, but things are certainly starting to come together even at this early stage.

22nd January 2005

It's been extremely quiet since Cowal.

Practices have continued with work on the modified sets for both grade four and grade three. Early indications are that we'll be back competing in grade three again this year after a year's absence from the grade.

New Appointment

Mick O'Donnell has taken up the reins as Pipe Sergeant.

It was felt that the time was right to inject some fresh blood into the running of the pipe corps.

(Don't worry, Bert is still playing with the band and making our reeds and his presence felt! )

 

29th August 2004

Just back from Cowal.

Disappointing end result (16th), although the drum corps pulled out a very respectable 10th placing.

Chanter sound in the lead up to Cowal at the practices on the Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday morning before leaving for the contest were good and everything was looking promising. But come the last hour before we were due to play, the weather took a turn for the worse and so did the chanters! Managed to get them back to somewhere near just before we went on, even though unfortunately it meant dropping one of the pipers.

The attack and intro felt great and the sound was good throughout the first tune, but then it went downhill from there onwards with chanters going off all over the place. By the time we got to the end, the "F's" particularly were pretty diabolical. So under the circumstances 16th wasn't that bad a final placing - it could have been a lot worse!

The high spot of the weekend has got to be the surprise appearance of our young Tenor Drummer, Emma, in the pub on Saturday night playing The Masons Apron and Clumsy Lover on the pipes. Despite being particularly gifted, we all thought she'd given up on the idea of being a piper, but clearly she's been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. Her performance went down a storm and brought tears of emotion and pride to quite a few eyes. A star piper for the future perhaps? - we can but hope.

22nd August 2004

Well, we're in the final run-up to the Cowal Gathering.

Practices are going well and the band is sounding the best it's been all season.

Hope that's not tempting fate too much!

18th July 2004

Ashbourne Contest

Again another good performance by both corps.

Piping tone yet again was improved over the previous week and the playing performance was the best so far, although both the piping judges would have liked it a little bit more up tempo to give it more life.

Drumming was good and achieved a very creditable 3rd place against a strong field.

Best result though came in the shape of 2nd place in Ensemble which shows we're getting things together as a band.

Again the final result of 3rd place was a little disappointing but the consistency is definitely now coming.

11th July 2004

Corby Contest

Both corps were well pleased with their performance today.

Pipe tone was much tighter than last week, just a little suspect on the F's, but the overall sound was good. Drum corps felt much brighter and sharper than last week. There was a good buzz around the band from everyone after we'd competed.

From the compliments we received during the day, following our performance, we were expecting a good result so a third place was a little disappointing but - hey, at least we're getting some consistency into the performances now, something we've desparately lacked over the last few season.

Another chance next week at Ashbourne to see if it all stays together.

4th July 2004

Birmingham Contest

First contest of the year (Ashbourne Indoor Contest was cancelled)

3rd place. Not bad at all. Some good indicators from both the pipe and drum corps on the playing front.

However the real result was in the level of satisfaction and enjoyment achieved.

Certainly seems like the new chanter reeds have solved our problems of previous years with tone, all we've got to do now is work on the blowing side and the integration.

Did I say "all"!!

14th March 2004

St Patrick's Day Parade - Birmingham

It absolutely hammered down with rain. The high winds didn't help either!

Very much a hasty tuning up to start the day - one quick tune (chanters weren't half bad) then the drones and off we went.

Although the parade officially started at 11.30; because we were at the back of the parade it was more like 12.30 before we moved off properly. Not good to see the guys at the start of the parade finishing just as you're starting!

Chanters held together reasonably well, although there was one horrible F appeared not long after we'd started.

Drum Corps was good, with Dave taking the Bass and Diane taking the "easier" option of Tenor for the day.

So we've now got about 6 weeks left to our first contest (Indoor at Ashbourne). Feeling quite optimistic about it and looking forward to see how things pan out this season.

7th February 2004

It's been extremely quiet over the Winter period, but with Christmas and the New Year behind us practices are starting to become better attended. Recently everyone was there except for one piper who was out playing at a Burns Supper.

Changes in personnel have seen Andy Mansell our lead drummer for the last few years move on to join Nottinghamshire Police Pipe Band - we wish him well.

Colin Munn has taken on the role of leading the corps and, along with the arrival of a new recruit (Adam) to the side drum line, practices have become a real pleasure for all concerned. They're clearly working hard and, perhaps more importantly, enjoying themselves.

On the piping front we put a new manufacturer's reeds in the chanters after Cowal last year and to date they seem to be holding up nicely and producing a very pleasant sound. We're obviously keeping our fingers crossed for them.

Progress on the grade IV set is coming along well and we're at the stage where the piping corps are all playing it comfortably - something probably unheard of in the past at this early date in the year.

3rd September 2003

Back from Cowal after an extremely mixed weekend.

The tone at times was brilliant, but unfortunately didn't hold together for the whole of the contest performance. Just before we went on the contest arena it was solid and reasonably well matched. However about half-way through the performance a couple of the reeds gave out on the top hand and despite the best efforts of the pipers involved to mitigate the problems there was no escaping the fact that by the end of the performance the tone was completely shot.

Actual playing wasn't too bad, with only one fingering slip coming through in the last tune - that's going to be changed for next season - it's too much of a memory tester.

Despite our thinking on the performance clearly the judges weren't impressed at all and we ended up last but one :-(

New set of reeds on the way from a different maker to see if they are more robust and reliable in maintaining the sound.

24th July 2003

With all the tone problems we've been experiencing not just this season, but for the last couple of seasons really, we've taken a major decision and for the first time in probably over 30 years are now experimenting with chanter reeds from a commercial supplier with extremely promising initial results.

Our old "big" sound is back - something that we were so well known for in our past glory days and although it's harder work, the old saying is worth repeating - "no pain : no gain"!

I know it's early days yet and don't want to get too optimistic, but it really feels as if serious success might just be around the corner for the band.

20th July 2003

Ashbourne Contest

1st Grade IV

Great result against one of the strongest fields of the year in England.

Still not happy with the sound though. Lacking the depth of our glory days.

Chanter reeds went completely to hell after playing in the grade IV, so much so that we had to scratch from the grade III and fit a complete new set of reeds just to get anything like a sound for the massed bands and street parade!

Now got to see what we can do to get this problem sorted before Cowal.

13th July 2003

Just back from the Corby contest - see results page for comments on the performance.

Not a bad little venue for the number of bands involved - again not many. If there had have been more then it would have been a bit of struggle.

Not overly impressed with the organisers making us play out in the street outside the contest area BEFORE the massed bands and prize giving though. Certainly think if it's going to be like this next year, then there's one band here who won't be parading in the street. We'll just wait for them to come back and then join them for the massed band ceremony in the park.

7th July 2003

Recent work on the pipe tone certainly starting to show some benefit, although only managed a 2nd place at Birmingham yesterday.

However, the great news was the drum corps 1st place in Grade IV, coupled with the Best Bass Section tropy - well done to all the corps and their first 1st place.

As for the pipers - at least there was a distinct improvement over the Knebworth fiasco.

Oh, and the weather at Birmingham was lovely and sunny!

Shame there was such few bands entered.

9th June 2003

Contest season definitely started with a bang at Knebworth at the weekend.

Truly horrible pipe tone, plus just as we hit the start line for the Grade III a thunder & lightning storm chose that moment to descend on the contest ground! We took what shelter we could find until it passed over but by that time we were clearly in no state to put in any sort of performance.

Result ? - Absolutely nothing in either Grade IV or III.

Ah well, back to the drawing board again on the tone.

24th May 2003

Another new piper has joined the Pipe Corps.

Welcome to Gordon Wilson (ex West Yorks Fire Service and City of Glasgow Pipe Band)

16th January 2003

Not too many changes over the Winter break.

Minor changes to the Grade 4 and Grade 3 sets.

Unfortunately due to work requirements Martin Mackenzie has had to leave the Pipe Corps.

One new piper has joined (re-joined?) us. Ian Wilson who played with the band in our old glory days of Grade 3 and Grade 2 has returned to the fold after a period of inactivity in the pipe band world.

James Masters' career in the RAF has taken him overseas so we lose him and his father Rod Masters from the Drum Corps.

 

9th September 2002

After a great week of successful pratices leading up to the Cowal Championships, things took a definite downturn from the second we left the start line.

13th - enough said!

Results page updated and photographs added

21st July 2002

Ashbourne Contest

4th Grade IV

2nd Grade IV Drumming

1st Best Bass Drum

Great result for the drum corps, especially Diane on the Bass!

7th July 2002

Birmingham Contest

1st Grade IV

2nd Grade IV Drumming

Good, solid performance by both corps and a great result!

Drones in full harmony throughout (judges comment) - so problem solved

29th June 2002

Think we may have found the problem with our "light" drone sound

Trying an experiment with the pressure regulators to allow more air to pass across the drone reeds.

Have to see at Birmingham what the judge thinks, but there's certainly a much fuller sound being developed now.

27th June 2002

New 12" bass drum arrived and heads/dampers transferred

Anyone want to buy a 16" Bass Drum?

Contact me by e-mail

ps We've also got 10 Shepherd Mk II Chanters for sale

5th May 2002

Sponsors logos added to the bass drum

Click here for a preview

28th April 2002

1st and 2nd place in the Grade IV English Mini Band Championships today at Shepshed.

April 2002

We're pleased to announce a sponsorship deal has been reached with Indoor Climate Systems, a local company who have supported us for a number of years by providing transport for the bands annual "pilgrimage" to the Cowal Championships.

As we thought, the new bass drum is proving to be too much of a beast to carry. New 12" model placed on order which should save Diane's poor aching back!

April 2002

With the receipt of the new drums it was felt that we should also take the opportunity to "refresh" the logo on the bass drum heads.

These have now been received having been produced for us by Double-Image Designs in Clydebank and will get their first outing at the English Mini-Band Championships at Shepshed later this month.

Click here for a preview

March 2002

The St Patricks Day Parade in Birmingham proved to be a great success. The new chanter and reed combination is really starting to come together. Plenty of playing, before, during and after the official parade and the sound held together beautifully (in fact it even seemed to improve as the parade went on). Had to disconnect the moisture control systems from a few sets of pipes on the way round as the reeds were just drying out too much.

Good social event in the pubs and streets after the parade and chance to have a chat with other bandsmen that we meet only rarely.

February 2002

The initial optimism with the new chanters and reeds has taken a terrible blow. After weeks of blowing the new reeds in, they've nearly all died on the top hand.

Fortunately "the old man" has come up with another new reed, think we'll have to christen this one the "Anderson 2002", which is showing signs of promise.

We'll have to see how they stand up to a bit of consistent playing outdoors at next months St Patricks day parade in Birmingham.

January 2002

The new drums have arrived and do they look good.

Only concern at the moment is the bass drum - it looks big and more importantly, heavy!

We've taken the decision to donate our old drums to the Wednesfield Community Marching Band. They're over the moon with this unexpected gift.

December 2001

The new chanters, bags and moisture control systems have arrived.

I'm impressed with the chanters and reeds received. We'll certainly be giving these a good testing over the coming months but already we're getting a far more consistent, bright and altogether more pleasing sound than in the past few years.

November 2001

Courtesy of a grant from the National Lottery we've been able to place on order new chanters, pipe bags and set of drums.

Our old kit was definitely showing it's age and giving both pipers and drummers untold problems, particularly over the last year.