Hunt for Pipe Band kilts

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COLDSTREAM Pipe Band will celebrate 80 years of pipes and drums in the town with a weekend of activities from May 26-29 and they are still looking for the public’s help to track down some old uniforms which would be the icing on the cake.

The original pipe band is believed to have been formed in 1931 by the Boys Brigade and practice nights were held in the Scout Hall, previously the Lennel Knitwear Factory.

The band used to turn out once a month for church parades and events such as Duns Show until the outbreak of World War 2, which inevitably put things on hold.

It was reformed in 1950 and new uniforms were purchased. Bob Ormiston, who had a drapers shop in the town and Eddie Cunningham, a well known local barber picked up the pieces and they chose the Cameron of Erracht tartan because Bob had served with the Cameron Highlanders.

The Cameron kilts were very popular amongst the band and supporters and at some point they were loaned to Eyemouth Scouts.

Sadly they were never returned despite valiant efforts by Bob Lillie, a long standing band member, to track these down by making enquiries recently throughout the Borders.

So far Bob’s digging has been to no avail but he said it would be fantastic to have the missing uniforms back in the hands of the Pipe Band by the end of next month.

He told ‘The Berwickshire News’: “It would be great to get the kilts back although at the moment no-one knows where they are.

“We’ve been told there in Scout storage somewhere but so far I haven’t had any feedback from the different people I spoke to.

“I know the Boys Brigade went to great efforts to get the kilts all those years ago and it would be a big shame if they stay missing.

“We were thinking some of the younger members could have worn them for the 80th birthday celebrations.”

The Band would love to be able to recover even just one of these kilts for the anniversary events and are appealing to anyone who knows the whereabouts of the them to contact Bob on 01573 225021.

In 1979, members of the Boys Brigade Band held a meeting where it was decided to form a town band which would be named Coldstream Pipe Band.

Money was raised at a coffee morning in the Old Town Hall and the people of Coldstream were asked to pick a new tartan for the band.

The one chosen, Nova Scotia, is still the tartan being used today and includes the town colours of blue and white.

The Boys Brigade Band continued until 1985 under the late Captain Alistair Brown-Scott when the two bands joined together to form the band as it exists today.

The present band would also to like to hear from any former band members who are still alive from the earliest days and invite them to the celebration weekend. Contact Bob who will be delighted to hear from you.

The arrangements for the weekend of activities are well underway and amongst the visitors will be the Harmonie Municipale d’Origny-en-Thierache from Northern France and the Brymbo Male Choir from North Wales.

Final details of the weekend will be advertised nearer the time but you can be sure that there will plenty to see and hear - put the dates in your diary.