December 31, 2005

Updated: Pitlochry comes to standstill for Gordon Duncan’s funeral

The town of Pitlochry in north-central Scotland was mobbed with an estimated 500 mourners who came to pay their last respects to Gordon Duncan, one of the world’s greatest pipers and composers who died suddenly on December 14.

A long line of cars formed hours before the funeral was set to commence at Pitlochry’s Church of Scotland. The church, which could accommodate 240, was packed, and the rest of the crowd gathered outside to hear the service relayed to a speaker system on a clear day.

Angus Clark delivered the tribute, retelling stories that prompted both laughter and tears. Jarleth Henderson, Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton then performed three of Gordon Duncan’s tunes on Uilleann and border pipes and guitar. “The Sleeping Tune,” “Pressed for Time” and “Tain in the Rain.”

Henderson also played at the end of the service as pallbearers Stevie Saint, Adrian Cramb, Steven Small and Gary West carried out the coffin. The great Scottish piper Fred Morrison played at the graveside before the congregation went on to celebrate Gordon Duncan’s too-short life at the Fisher’s Hotel in Pitlochry.




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