November 30, 2010

Updated: Bradford no longer Strathclyde Police Pipe-Major

Don Bradford has reportedly left the Pipe-Major position of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band following a band committee meeting on November 8th. Sources close to the band have said that a vote occurred and that Bradford decided to step down from the position.

It would be  the second time that Bradford has resigned from the pipe-majorship of the Strathclyde Police. In October 2009 he left after the band encountered significant challenges within the police force, threatening the viability and future of the organization.

Under new police force leadership, the band was allowed to continue in limited fashion. Bradford returned in January 2010, and he led the group back to consistent top-six prizes at RSPBA major championships.

Bradford’s replacement has not yet been identified. Bradford did not respond to questions at publication time.

According to another source who spoke on condition of anonymity, a “steering group” of approximately 14 band members was appointed on November 4th with direction to handle logistical matters like buses to engagements and competitions. Allegedly no “musical matters” were to be considered by the group, of which Bradford of L-D Eric Ward were not members.

The steering group reportedly met on November 8th, discussed the band’s leadership and then held a vote on retaining or dismissing Bradford, who was not present at the meeting. Several playing members of the band are reportedly “considering their futures.”

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for more news at it develops.


  1. Well there’s your fault right away – steering group” of 14 band members! 14 people to decide on when to book a bus or what engagement the band goes to. This group or committee should have been more than half that number which included the PM and LD. Talk about too many cooks spoiling the band

  2. …on my way home on the train I was listening to the 2010 Worlds recording (yes, shock horror…i have a copy) but you know what? If that is the last time they play at the World contest, at least they made it a ******* of a performance. It’s a true saying you dont know what you got til its gone”….i think StrathPol will realise this when they enter 2011. Im a drummer. There are very few pipers that gain my attention

  3. If this is true then it is becoming a joke. What is going on within the band. They are playing into the hands of those who wish to get rid of them. Come on guys sort it out.

  4. This could be just me, but, does anyone else read this and think that the steering group was set up (by police heirarchy) to steer the band down the road to distruction? less a steering committee more a winding up committee? Clearly they are not acting in the interests of the band. Musically, Bradford is far superior than anyone else they could replace him with, save a few of the other top PM’s. And lets face it, you are never going to get a good PM to take that role now. Its a sad sad day…..but it looks like the StrathPol are being driven to distruction. The Bradford-ites should start up a band together the artists formally known as Strathclyde Police””

  5. A lot of speculation here. The (direct) mail I am getting is that the steering committee (of 14) did not all vote. A few abstained (pipers). The majority of votes that held sway came from drummers.

  6. What the ! If this is indeed how the meeting took place, those 14 members need to take a good hard look at themselves. Don certainly deserves a lot more respect. And so do the rest of the playing group not involved with his demise. Its shocking to think that as the PM of StrathPol your just treated as cannon fodder. Why would anyone else put themselves in that position! Im sure you’ll agree StrathPol were on the up and obviously this has ruffled a few feathers.

  7. In my time with the band in the eighties nobody would have dared taken a vote on Ian Mclellan. In those days the PM was God and what he said went. Perhaps that ‘s why we were so successful. I would imagine the Slot,FMM,SFU and the other top bands today don’t take votes. I agree this sounds like back stabbers doing the managements work for them. If this is not the case then come out and give the reasons why.

  8. Don Bradford is one of the most talented guys I’ve met in Pipe Bands. That guy can set a band, he writes great compositions and can groove like Clapton. All the best Don on whatever the future brings. HOSS

  9. Sounds like a night of the long knives to me! Someone high up in the Polis likely had their ego bruised last year when the band didn’t fold as they had wished, so, if you can’t destroy it overtly…then do it covertly (maybe, maybe not). I agree with herecomethedrums” in that this would be a toxic situation for any potential replacement to get involved with. “

  10. What a great pity. Clearly the best band in Scotland by a long way IMHO, and probably due for greatness in a few years if Don had the wheel. He is an enormous talent, and sometimes this needs to be the main focus, with all other ‘traits’ being carefully managed. 14 people to book a bus or two? I think not. Looks like a ‘big picture’ decision, based on man management issues. I hear a big name (read: very big) on the solo scene has already been asked to take the band (but declined).



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