Published: May 31, 2004

Band Room acquires R.G. Hardie & Co.

Brian and Paul McComish, who purchased The Band Room from Joe Noble in 2003, have expanded their empire further by acquiring R.G. Hardie & Company, one of the most well-established names in Highland bagpipe making. The acquisition includes the Peter Henderson name.

“I am delighted to announce that my brother, Brian, and I have acquired R.G. Hardie and Weatherston,” said Paul McComish. “The business is part of bagpiping heritage, owning brands such as Hardie and Peter Henderson bagpipes and Airtight Seasoning. We hope that we can develop the business to continue to provide our customers with an outstanding set of products and services. For the foreseeable future the business will trade separately from The Band Room.”

The great piper, Robert Hardie, joined forces with the famous pipe makers Peter Henderson Ltd. in the 1970s, and eventually established R.G. Hardie & Co. Hardie subsequently partnered with John Weatherston and built the Hardie business to be the world’s largest pipe maker for some 20 years.

With Hardie’s death in the 1980s, the business was run by Weatherston, and after Weatherston’s passing in 2003, R.G. Hardie & Co. became an acquisition target.

One of the biggest business coups in piping history was Hardie’s purchase of the Airtight Seasoning brand and recipe from Robertson Bagpipe Makers. Until the advent of synthetic bags, Airtight seasoning had a huge percentage of the high-margin seasoning market.

The McComishes and The Band Room have been extremely active on the business front in the last year. They recently added Alastair Dunn, interim Pipe-Major of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, to their personnel, joining the legendary Iain MacLellan, who carried over with the company after its original owner, Noble, sold it.

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