November 30, 2005

(Updated) Edinburgh toasts hometown pipe band heroes at civic reception

The 2005 Grade 2 RSPBA Champion of Champions Drambuie-Kirkliston Pipe Band was feted at a gala civic reception in Edinburgh at which the Lady Provost (or mayor) of the city toasted the band’s worldwide success and promotion to Grade 1.

There was no representative from the band’s sponsors, Drambuie, in attendance.

According to the band’s Pipe-Major, Ian Duncan, the Drambuie £20,000 annual sponsorship lasts until December 31. The Drambuie company has been under well publicized financial strain over the past year. The company refuted reports that it had sold its recipe for the Drambuie liqueur.

Duncan said that the band was given verbal assurance in 2004 by Drambuie’s Marketing Manager that the sponsorship was safe “for many years to come,” and even discussed plans for the band beyond 2007.

The band is aggressively searching for a new sponsor, but there is speculation that it could crumble if one is not found.

“The band was in high spirits last night,” Duncan said. “We remain positive that we will get a new sponsor and remain upbeat and practices continue. The Lady Provost promised to help in whatever way she could.”

Despite the band’s huge success, Duncan said that he never saw any Drambuie personnel at any Major Championship, and added, “A big thank you to the new chairman of Drambuie who promised to ‘reward success.’. We gave him success and were dropped.”

Drambuie-Kirkliston members are being actively approached by other bands, recognizing the opportunity to take advantage of the band’s uncertain future.


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