Published: March 31, 2010

Williamwood hits fundraising stage, cycles, roads and ferries

The band that held a practice on top of Ben Lomond after pipers and drummers last year lugged their instruments to the summit is once again using its creative energies to raise funds, as the Grade 2 Williamwood Pipe Band of Glasgow in May will embark on the “Tour de CalMac,” a sponsored 51-mile bicycle tour of Scotland on which the band will ride around the country, taking no fewer than five crossings on Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, of course playing on each vessel.

But first the band, which was upgraded after winning the 2009 Champion of Champions award in Grade 3A, will perform two concerts on consecutive nights, on Friday, March 5th, and Saturday, March 6th, at Eastwood Park Theatre, Carmichael Halls, Glasgow.

The concerts will also be to raise funds, and will feature the Williamwood Grade 2 and Grade 4A bands, as well as special guest appearances by Seonaid Aitken, a Celtic fiddler, on Friday, and Ryan Canning, the well known solo piper and member of Field Marshal Montgomery, at the Saturday show.

The shows mark the first appearances by the group as a Grade 2 band and under the new leadership of Pipe-Major Ewan Henderson, who came to the band last fall after playing with the Grade 1 Strathclyde Police for the last 12 years, for a time as Pipe-Sergeant under pipe-majors James Wark and Donald Mackay.

The band’s Tour de CalMac will start at Ardrossan on May 30th, cycle around the isle of Arran, take the ferry to Kintyre, cycle to Tarbet, ferry to Portavadie, cycle around the Cowal peninsula, ferry to the isle of Bute, cycle around Bute, make a final ferry crossing and complete the tour at Wymess Bay.

Band spokesman Gordon Liddell said that interested non-band-members are invited to take part in the Five Ferries Challenge and should contact the band for information.

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