March 24, 2013

Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band officially ends 130 years with final performance

After 130 years, the Edinburgh City / Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band officially ended its existence, along with the force itself, with an official ceremony at its headquarters at Fettes, Edinburgh.

At exactly 1300 hours on Saturday, March 23, 2013, the police force flag was lowered and presented to outgoing Chief Constable David Strang, with a special last appearance of the band, led by Pipe-Sergeant John Fraser and former Leading-Drummer Stewart Gardiner.

The Lothian & Borders Police, along with the eight other regional Scottish police departments, will cease to exist on April 1, 2013, when a unified Police Scotland force goes into effect.  

The Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band collapsed in November 2012 following the resignation of Pipe-Major Neil Hall. Other regional Scottish police bands, including the Grade 1 Strathclyde Police and Fife Constabulary, confirmed their continuation under the names Great Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band and Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band, respectively.

The reassembled Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band’s last tune was the Donald Shaw Ramsay composition “Angus McKinnon,” a 6/8 march named for a celebrated Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band piper by the legendary Pipe-Major Ramsay. The drummers accompanied the tune with a score written by former Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band Leading-Drummer Alex Duthart.  

Only a few former band members and no former pipe-majors attended the event, held outside on an unusually cold day.

In 2010, pipes|drums Magazine captured memories from the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band’s most glorious years between 1950 and 1980 with a special reunion interview with eight former members of the band.


  1. As far as former Piper Majors not being present, there was certainly no invitation – and I assume none was made to the other former Pipe Majors. I knew the event was going to happen. I didn’t know when it was going to happen.

  2. Looking at that picture it’s quite sad to see so many of them smiling when a band with so much history has gone. They should be ashamed of themselves. A little bit of hard work and the will to survive and this institution could have been saved. A lot of ex members must be heart broken at what’s happened.

  3. GURU – The vast majority of the guys you seen in the picture, like myself, gave 100% commitment to the band. At all time we tried our very best unfortunately for all concerned it was not enough. We have nothing to be ashamed about and as long as I can look myself in the mirror knowing I did my best then I know I can sleep easy at night. I am proud to have played in the band so much so I don’t feel it necessary to hide behind nicknames. Gordon Stafford



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