February 28, 2013

Grampian Police loses P-M; tries to quell “speculation of a collapse”

The Grade 1 Grampian Police Pipe Band of Scotland has lost its Pipe-Major, as Colin Walker resigned after two years in the role. Walker succeeded Drew Sinclair in 2010 after the band was promoted to the top grade and cited “work commitments” as the reason.

He is a Chief Inspector with the Grampian Police Force, and said that he will continue to support the band.

As one of four remaining Scottish police pipe bands, the Grampian Police Force will be amalgamated into the single Police Scotland, which will officially occur on April 1st.

In a statement, the band said, “The Grade 1 North East band have received reassurances from the new police regime that they will support the band for another year as they work towards becoming more self-sufficient.”

The band has already started a search for a new pipe-major, and recognizes that a non-police leader is acceptable.

“With police officer numbers in the band steadily decreasing, the band is now almost exclusively all civilian and I think changes were inevitable,” said Band Manager Murray Main. “A civilian pipe-major already works well in other police bands like Strathclyde and Fife, so hopefully we can attract someone who can see the real potential we have here.”

In a separate statement, Main said, “Despite fears the band would end ahead of the planned reorganisation of the eight Scottish police forces in April this year, the Inspector remains convinced the band can continue, but concedes changes will be required. With a steady flow of players leaving, speculation of a collapse [have grown].”

He added that he is optimistic that “old and new players will see an opportunity to safeguard the bands 106 year history.”

Grampian Police finished last or second-last in Grade 1 at each of the five RSPBA major championships in 2012.

In early-February it was revealed that the Strathclyde Police, the most successful of the Scottish police bands, would continue after April as the Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band.”

The other remaining police-sponsored pipe bands in Scotland are the Grade 1 Fife Constabulary and the Grade 2 Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary.




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