March 31, 2002

Jimmy Tweedie Passes Away

The piping world lost a true gentleman, James Tweedie, the famous Edinburgh bagpipe maker, on March 2nd.

Tweedie was credited with developing the ‘polished bore’ technique for making drones when he was a turner with both MacPherson and Sinclair in Edinburgh in the 1950s. He played a major role, along with William Sinclair and Harry McNulty, in developing the highly successful Sinclair chanter.

Tweedie went on to create his own pipe making business in the 1970s and, though he made relatively few sets of pipes, his instruments were considered state of the art.

Through his business, Jimmy Tweedie passed on his knowledge and techniques to several apprentices, including Craig Scott and Brian Donaldson. It was Scott who took over Tweedie’s Inveran House in the late 1980s when his mentor retired, and who brought Donaldson into the business in recent years.

A meticulous craftsman, Tweedie’s drones were known for being made of blackwood that was ‘seasoned’ for no fewer than eight years. Tweedie refused to rush his product, no matter how great the demand for his pipes.

We extend our condolences to Jimmy Tweedie’s survivors and his many friends.





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