by Janice Gillie
COLDSTREAM Pipe Band’s 80th birthday celebrations later this month will now be complete - thanks to them finally locating the whereabout of their original Cameron tartan kilts.
An appeal by the pipe band in the Berwickshire News last month to see if anyone knew where the kilts had gone seems to have provided the answer to a mystery that has gone unsolved for some time. What happened to the original pipe band’s kilts?
The Coldstream Pipe Band started life as the Boys Brigade band, around 1931. They used to turn out for church parades once a month, and were also in demand at the likes of Duns Show.
When war broke out in 1939 the pipe band, like many things during the war years, was put on the back burner and when they reformed in 1950 they were provided with brand new uniforms.
The new kilts were in Cameron of Erracht tartan from material picked up by Bob Ormiston and Eddie Cunningham.
It was believed that they had been loaned to Eyemouth Scouts and had not been returned.
However, new light has been shed on what actually happened.
“Coldstream Pipe Band would like to put the record straight - the kilts were never loaned to Eyemouth Scouts but in fact gifted to them,” said Pipe Band member Alex Thomson.
“It is understood that the Boys Brigade had been given regular use of tents by Eyemouth Scouts and the kilts were given on a permanent basis for use by the scouts as a thank you for use of the tents.
“The good news is that the three remaining kilts which are not in use have been given to Coldstream Pipe Band for the anniversary celebrations at the end of May and will be worn by band members at the Saturday night concert.
Pipe Major Rob Bell said: “It’s really good that the kilts have been found and are being put to such good use.
“We would like to thank the two Daves from Eyemouth for helping us find the kilts and Tamsin Growden for lending three of them back to us for the anniversary celebrations.
“We promise to give them back - honest!”
The two Daves from Eyemouth are: Dave Walker, a past member of Eyemouth Scouts and a close friend of the late Alistair Browne-Scott of Coldstream Boys Brigade; and Dave Redden, one of the Scout leaders in Eyemouth Scouts who was able to explain that eight of the kilts are in the safe keeping of Tamsin Growden, District Commissioner of Borders District Scouts in Hawick and are being put to very good use.
Dave Redden contacted Tamsin on behalf of Coldstream Pipe Band to explain their situation.
Afterwards Tamsin said: “The kilts are still in excellent condition and will be worn proudly by five of our scouts who are attending the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden in July.”
By 1979 the Coldstream Boys Brigade Band became the Coldstream Pipe Band and when local people were asked to select a tartan they chose Nova Scotia, which is still the tarted being used today, incorporating the town colours of blue and white.