Pipe band returns to villages for 20th anniversary of 'World Tour' event

The 20th anniversary staging of a special Rothbury Highland Pipe Band event on Saturday was music to the ears of its residents and those living in surrounding villages.

By Andrew Coulson
Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 3:21 pm
The Rothbury Highland Pipe Band. Picture by Kate Buckingham.
The Rothbury Highland Pipe Band. Picture by Kate Buckingham.

Its ‘World Tour of Coquetdale’ first took place in 2001 and it has been held on a number of occasions since then.

After meeting up, the band members played outside Newcastle House in Rothbury and then travelled via a double-decker vintage red bus to play at Netherton, Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Harbottle and Thropton.

They then returned to Rothbury for the finale – a march along the main street.

The band used a double-decker vintage red bus for the tour. Picture by Jeff Reynalds.

Pipe Major Andrew Miller said: “The idea for the tour came in 2001. We wanted to life the spirits of the rural communities as an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease meant that all the agricultural shows were cancelled.

“It worked really well and so we kept it going, although not quite every single year.

“Now 20 years later, agricultural shows have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once restrictions were eased, we once again felt that it would be an ideal year to do the ‘World Tour’ for these communities.

“We were pleased with the turnout in each location. In Thropton, a birthday party group came out of the house to see us as they knew we were coming.

“The event is a great opportunity for us to get together and once again, we were joined by members of the Neilston & District Pipe Band in Scotland. We’ve had a special link with them for more than 40 years.”