June 30, 2002

Over the shoulder holder

The Pipe Caddy
Manufactured by Artful Partners

Reviewed by Islay Spalding

The “Pipe Caddy” is a bag designed to carry a set of bagpipes when a case is unavailable. Being a drummer and only a part time piper, I decided to ask the help of a few of my piper friends in the pub – an appropriate place for this kind of product to be tried out!

The Pipe Caddy itself consists of a drawstring bag with an adjustable shoulder strap in which the pipes are placed in and carried over the shoulder. It is made of a light nylon material that folds up neatly into a small pouch that can be attached onto your belt along with the mobile phone, pager, dirk, etc.

It states on the packet that it is ideal for parades, ceremonies, or any piping event. I have to assume that this includes beer tents, where I can see this product being most useful. The amount of pipers I have seen in the beer tent juggling with a set of pipes and pint of beer/half lager shandy while trying to light a cigarette is astonishing! Not to mention the pipers that think drums are simply a table for their pipes.

The only downfalls I can see in it are the facts that it’s quite difficult to put the pipes into the bag without someone else’s help, and that the strap only goes over one shoulder, which some people might not feel safe with. Also, it says on the packet that you don’t have to break down your bass drone. When the bass drone isn’t broken down it sticks out of the bag, something that could worry some people. But it is possible to break it down and put it in the bag too.

Aside from these minor faults, the Pipe Caddy is a very simple but clever idea that makes life easier while trying to participate in after-competition rituals.

At 18 years of age, Islay Spalding is already an accomplished piper and drummer. A former member of the Vale of Atholl organization, she is an arts student in Dundee, Scotland.


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