Piper Rosemary turns to busking Down Under

Rosemary Srinivasan busking in Queensland, Australia. Picture courtesy of ABC News
Rosemary Srinivasan busking in Queensland, Australia. Picture courtesy of ABC News

The haunting sound of the Northumbrian pipes is the last thing you’d expect to hear in a coastal town in Australia.

But that’s exactly what people in Townsville, on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, are treated to.

The music comes courtesy of Rosemary Srinivasan, who moved to Australia with her husband three years ago from their home in Harbottle to be closer to family.

She has become a familiar sight busking Down Under, wearing Northumbrian tartan, and said many people stop to ask about the pipes.

“And there are others that just completely ignore you, they just walk past as though there wasn’t an elderly lady playing the pipes!” she said.

The Northumbrian pipes are quite rare in Australia and she knows of only one other piper in the state capital Brisbane and a small group of players in Ballarat, in the southern state of Victoria.

“They are so unique and it just makes me feel special,” said Rosemary.

After several months of busking, she is still a long way from paying off her handmade pipes, which cost $3,000.

“But I’m enjoying the practice outside and meeting people. I just love making music, I love playing them,” she said.

Rosemary featured in a report by Australia’s national news service, ABC News.