July 31, 2007

London bridges to new digs to accommodate expansion

Due primarily to the dramatic rise in popularity of the annual solo piping competitions in London, the Scottish Piping Society of London has decided to move this year’s November 3rd event to larger premises to the Kensington Conference & Events Centre from Glaziers’ Hall, where the contest has been held for most of the last 30 years. The new venue is 100 yards from Kensington High Street underground station.

“The competition has grown so much over that last couple of years,” said competition secretary Jackie Roberts. “Last year we had around 100 competitors and we had to hire extra rooms in Southwark Cathedral, which meant people having to go back and forth between the two buildings – not ideal on a cold November day.”

London is one of the year’s marquee solo piping events, with the Bratach Gorm piobaireachd contest the first qualifier for the Glenfiddich Championships the following October.

The London competitions are the only major solo event in the UK that requires non-amateur competitors to be a member of the Competing Pipers Association, a move it made in 2003. In 2000 the event experimented with score sheets for competitors, but has since abandoned the practice. Formal score sheets are not generally provided to competitors at UK solo competitions.


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