Effective October 21, 2009, “the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band is over,” according to a source within the band, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“It’s about as official as it’s going to get in terms of how Strathclyde Police does its business these days, but the band is over,” the source told pipes|drums.
The remaining police officers of Strathclyde Police Pipe Band were allegedly told face-to-face by Superintendent Liz Weir – the Deputy Divisional Commander of “A” Division, which controls the band – that as far as “A” Division is concerned, the pipe band is finished.
The source said that this is “also the position of the Chief Constable, but the Chief Constable would be unlikely to confirm publicly that he has ended it.”
The news comes ahead of a report that is reportedly being prepared by Assistant Chief Constable John Neilson about the future of the band in which it is expected that the report would confirm the band’s attendance at the five 2010 RSPBA major championships and select future community events “under a much reduced budget, but it now appears that this has just been a smokescreen for the benefit of the public.”
pipes|drums received leaked wording from a statement allegedly from Strathclyde Police Media Services that reads:
“A report of the findings of the review will be submitted to the force executive in November. It is the force’s intention that the band which has had, and always will have, the support of the Chief Constable will continue to take part in major competitions and selected community events.”
The source countered the statement saying, “At some stage in the near future, the best they will likely roll out a fresh expression of disappointment that the band members saw fit to withdraw their services despite the support and admiration the Chief Constable had for the band. But he will not admit he was behind it, guaranteed,” and then addedd, “After 126 years of exemplary public service to the people of the west of Scotland and without a single word or gesture of appreciation, the 21 times World Pipe Band Championship-winning Strathclyde Police Pipe Band has been thrown in a Cowcaddens litter bin with all the used fish supper pokes.”
Several members of the band, including serviing police officers, have departed over the last few weeks, including Pipe-Major Don Bradford and former Pipe-Major Donald Mackay. Mackay has been made Pipe-Sergeant of the Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band.