Published: September 30, 2006

Updated: Tayside Police latest band to lose equipment

The Tayside Police Pipe Band has been forced to withdraw from what possibly would have been its final contest in Grade 2 because its equipment went astray at Heathrow Airport during the band’s return from Zurich.

The Pitlochry Games are traditionally the final outdoor contest of the RSPBA season for many bands, and the Tayside Police had been looking forward to celebrating its Grade 2 victories at three of the five RSPBA majors and the band’s securing of the Champion of Champions award.

The band’s instruments and uniforms were lost at Heathrow on Monday, September 4, when the band changed flights after playing at a police music festival in Zurich.

“It was an excellent four days away to end what has been our most successful season,” said Pipe-Major Terry Reid. “The band were in excellent spirits and had put in a fair bit of practice with Pitlochry Games in mind. However, the flight from Zurich was delayed on Sunday, which in turn meant we missed the connection flight in Heathrow. Despite assurances about our luggage, it all went missing. We had to spend an extra night in London. A load of phone calls had to be made to employers. One band member was even threatened with the sack from his employer!”

Reid added that “bits and pieces” of luggage have since been returned, but that half the band is still missing equipment and one member’s pipes came back with broken drones.

Since the week of August 5, Heathrow Airport has been the scene of baggage chaos after increased security measures were imposed due to terrorist threats.

The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band lost all of its drums and several sets of pipes for a week after returning from the World Pipe Band Championships, at which it finished second in Grade 1.

The Tayside Police are expected to be promoted to Grade 1 for the 2007 season.

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