July 01, 2021

Glasgow Police change name to Police Scotland & Federation Pipe Band

Over its 138 years since it started as the Govan Police Pipe Band in 1883, the Glasgow Police Pipe Band has gone through several name changes and another era of one of the world’s most successful and historic bands comes to an era with its new identity as the Police Scotland & Federation Pipe Band.

The change is “to align itself fully with Police Scotland,” according to a statement. “The Pipe Band continues to benefit from a close relationship with the Scottish Police Federation, who remain sponsors of the Band.”

Not only will the name change, but the iconic Royal Stewart tartan kilts will, too. The band will wear the Scottish Police Federation tartan, created in 2018 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Federation. The new tartan takes prominent colours from various previous police force tartans.

Ewan Henderson, 2010.

The pipe-major will continue to be Ewan Henderson, and David Henderson remains lead-drummer.

The statement also said the members of the band will be “drawn from across all areas of the Police Scotland organization and include police officers and members of staff.” Ewan Henderson clarified that the band will “rely heavily on the musical talent of civilians from across the pipe band community to play in the band.”

“This not an amalgamation of the bands, it is a renaming of Glasgow Police Pipe Band to Police Scotland & Federation Pipe Band, given the number of police officers we have in the band’s ranks from across Police Scotland and the support of the Scottish Police Federation,” Henderson added.

The status of Police Scotland Fife, the other Grade 1 UK police band, was not confirmed at publication, but the band announced on June 25th that Pipe-Major Douglas Murray had resigned after an eight-year tenure. Murray expressed his intention to remain as a piper with the band.

Police Scotland Fife later clarified that Glasgow Police name change has no impact on its own operation.

The Police Scotland & Federation tartan

“We want to pay tribute to the contribution from Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Federation,” said Ewan Henderson, who is also a chief inspector in the police force. “With their full support behind us we can look forward to a positive future. As we go forward, we felt a new name and change in emphasis was needed. The band’s membership has been strengthened, the repertoire has been developed and the existing foundations of the band built on to secure its future. We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and with these important changes, the future of the pipe band is bright and exciting – we look forward to representing the Police Service and Scotland.”

The Glasgow Police Pipe Band has had various names over the years. Its greatest success was as the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band in the 1970s and ’80s, winning 10 World Championships in 11 years under Pipe-Major Iain McLellan from 1981 to 1991. The band missed only 1987, giving up the title to Canada’s 78th Fraser Highlanders, but holds the record for six consecutive World’s wins from ’82 to ’86. After 1987, the band won another four straight.

The band has won 20 World Championships in its history.

The group went through a tumultuous time in the early 2010s when Scotland streamlined its various police departments into a unified “Police Scotland.” The band went through various name and leadership changes, with several pipe-majors and lead-drummers assuming control.



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