January 31, 2013

Strathclyde Police Pipe Band will change “in name only”

The April 1, 2013, amalgamation of the eight existing Scottish police forces into a single “Police Scotland,” and the Strathclyde Police, most famous and successful police pipe band in the world, will remain intact, but under a new name.

Strathclyde Police Pipe Band spokesman Iain MacPherson said that the new name for the band has not yet been decided, and that there are no plans to combine the various Scottish police pipe bands into a single group.

Currently there are four other police pipe bands: Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary (Grade 2); Fife Constabulary (Grade 1); Grampian Police (Grade 1); and Northern Constabulary (Grade 4). In 2012 the Grade 1 Lothian & Borders Police and the Grade 3 Central Scotland Police each ceased to exist, although the latter became the Bannockburn & District Pipe Band.

“There will be a name change, however this is still under discussion,” MacPherson said. “The change will be in name only, things otherwise remain the same and the Police Service of Scotland is supportive of the band.”

The Strathclyde Police Pipe Band will make a final concert appearance on February 2nd at the annual Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.

The band is the oldest civilian band in the world, founded in 1883 as the Burgh of Govan Police Pipe Band, becoming the Glasgow Police Pipe Band in 1912. The band became the Strathclyde Police in 1975 when Scotland’s civic police forces were brought into the country’s new regional structure.

The Strathclyde Police Pipe Band was nearly disbanded in 2009 under new Chief Constable Stephen House, who is reportedly not a fan of police-sponsored pipe bands. House was appointed Chief Constable of Police Scotland last October.

Strathclyde Police finished sixth at the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships, under Pipe-Major Duncan Nicholson and Leading-Drummer Eric Ward.

“We look forward to the coming season with a few new recruits and look forward to the future with enthusiasm,” MacPherson added.


  1. A rose by any other name… Glasgow Police, Strathclyde Police…to a lot of us, they’re just The Cops” or “The Polis”. Another new era – good luck to the band!”



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