August 24, 2021

Johnston and Bruce put their mettle to the pedal in Cycle for Tommy Glasgow-to-Oban fundraiser

Tommy Johnston. [Photo pipes|drums]
The passing on July 29, 2020, of Tommy Johnston, one of our most accomplished and beloved figures was a blow to world piping and drumming, and on August 28th his son, Finlay, and fellow top-tier piper Gordon Bruce will hop on their bikes to pedal from the National Piping Centre in Glasgow to the Corran Halls in Oban in aid of cancer research.

The duo have already exceeded their £500 goal by 325%, with the tally at publication time sitting at £1,624.

Bruce and Johnston will depart the National Piping Centre at around 7 am and hope to arrive in Oban about 10 hours later, completing their 100-miles route that travels through Helensborough and Inveraray before coasting into Oban and the venue so often used for the Argyllshire Gathering solo competitions.

Finlay Johnston with the 2019 Glenfiddich Championship trophy. [Photo Derek Maxwell]
Tommy Johnston, a long-time veteran snare drummer with Grade 1 bands, was known more recently as a partner in Pipe Dreams, the company that designs and manufactures EzeeDrone reeds.

Gordon Bruce busy at the judging.

When they’re not winning Glenfiddich titles or Silver Medals, Finlay Johnston is an avid mountain biker, and Gordon Bruce is no stranger to the world’s most efficient and honourable mechanism for travel.

“I’ve decided to swap the mountain bike for the road bike and do a 100-mile cycle to raise funds for cancer research,” Johnston said. “At this point, I’m pretty nervous as I’ve never been on a road ride as long as this and I’ve done very little training. Got the chamois cream at the ready so all should be fine! With Gordon along with me, it will be great to have someone there to encourage me through the darker moments!”

The ride will be only a few days after both pipers compete at the Argyllshire Gathering’s special in-person solo competitions on August 25th and 26th in Oban.

pipes|drums Magazine has made a contribution to the cause, and, knowing that our readers are generous and thoughtful, you can donate, too, at the secure Cycle for Tommy Just Giving page.

On behalf of the piping and drumming world, good luck and ride safely, Finlay and Gordon.

Here’s a map of the route through some of the most scenic terrain in the world:



Tom Johnston, 1955-2020
July 29, 2020

Argyllshire Gathering celebrates sesquicentennial with live events




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