February 28, 2009

Updated: Strathclyde Police given approval to compete at all five majors

In a statement to pipes|drums, the Strathclyde Police force has indicated that its world-class Grade 1 band “will continue to compete in major competitions.”
The information was signed by John Neilson, ACC Territorial Policing, and sent by Chief Inspector Iain Murray.
The correspondence stated: 
“The Chief Constable is aware of the affection that exists for the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and is justifiably proud of its achievements.
“The pipe band will continue for the foreseeable future, however it must be remembered that it is made up of police officers and members of police staff and that they have a responsibility to provide policing services to the people who live and work in the Strathclyde Police force area.
“The pipe band will continue to compete in major competitions and support community events throughout the force area to spread the public reassurance message of Strathclyde Police.
“Additional requests will be balanced against operational commitments and other planned major events.”
Murray later confirmed that the band would be allowed to participate in all five RSPBA major championships in 2009, saying, “They will be at ‘the big five.’ It is still not known  whether the band will compete at any smaller competitions.
Since pipes|drums was the first publication to report the news of the potential change to the direction of the band, an online firestorm of discussion – mostly indignation and protest – has ensued. Nearly 2,000 individuals have so far joined Facebook groups in support of the band, in effect signing on to virtual petitions.
The Strathclyde Police force also gave pipes|drums permission to use its logo with this story.
Stay tuned to pipes|drums for updates as additional information is acquired.


  1. There was never a suggestion of disbanding SPPB. People need to get over that. There was a suggestion of scaling-down its competitive schedule, hence leading to a risk that numbers would dwindle and the band would then be strictly and operational band – from whence there would be no return (e.g. Victoria Police). Outrageous all the same when looking at the history involved here! The fact that P&D has been cleared (was it ever not?) to use the Police Force Logo suggests that Hughes was never across all the facts, nor did he understand the environment he was dabbling with. This is the root of the problem. It now looks like some sense has prevailed. Yet another example of out-of-touch management types, who are merely passing through and eyeing-off higher rungs on the ladder, trying to affect rapid and drastic change without the slightest idea of the culture, heritage and environment they are stepping into. I find it staggering that people, supposedly in charge of a division that if for PR purposes, had so badly under-estimated/not understood what this bands means to so many people.

  2. ….and all was once again well in the kingdom. Thanks for the good news! I’m going to get out all my old c.1960’s/1970’s Glasgow Polis vinyl for a spin around the old Victrola for auld tyme’s sake!



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