September 30, 2007

Polkemmet re-starts after one-year shut-down

After deciding to disband in November 2006, the Polkemmet Pipe Band of Whitburn, Scotland, has reformed, with Derek Marr as pipe-major, Stuart Smith pipe-sergeant, and Colin McKenzie leading-drummer. The band’s first practice will be held on September 13th in East Whitburn.

When former Polkemmet Pipe-Major Davy Barnes departed to take over the Grade 1 Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band, a number of Polkemmet members left with him, leaving Polkemmet unable to continue. When a plea for new players was unsuccessful, the band decided to break up.

Several other Polkemmet pipers and drummers joined other bands in the region, including the Grade 2 Torphichen & Bathgate.

The decision to reform the band was made after a meeting on September 9th in Whitburn.

Polkemmet is one of Scotland’s oldest civilian bands, dating to the 1920s. The band was sponsored by the local colliery for almost 70 years. Its most successful period was during the 1980s and ’90s when it rose to be a consistent Grade 1 prize-winner in major championships under Pipe-Major Robert Mathieson and Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick and then Barnes and Leading-Drummer James King.

Polkemmet last played in Grade 2. It is not known what grade the new band will be assigned.


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  1. this isn’t the same colin mackenzie who in the last two years i’ve read about on here taking over glasgow pipes and drums, city of glasgow, and lanarkshire is it?

  2. In response to the comments regarding Colin MacKenzie as new leading drummer of Polkemet P.B. It is true that he was asked to be the leading drummer of glasgow Pipes and Drums and Lanarkshire P.B. In both cases the bands never came to anything because of lack of commitment and numbers from the Pipe corps but their was a drum corp in place both times. When he played at Lanark P.B. it was only to help out the leading drummer who happens to be his brother-in-law. Colin just wants to play in Pipe Bands and enjoy drumming and he hopes that his new band has a good season and allows him to this.



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