Rhodes, Linda

Letters Jun 2011 in Chanter 2011 Summer

Dear John, I’ve just been reading Andy Letcher’s piece in Chanter about gurning bagpipers, which coincidentally was something I’d been thinking about earlier in the day. I’m cur- rently trying to get myself to make more of the second octave on my pipes and have no- ticed that I do pull faces whilst doing this. I’d likened it to the melodramatic face pulling most rock guitarists do as they make their way up the fretboard, perhaps also subcon- sciously emphasing the higher notes.

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Before reading this book I was totally unaware of the amazing history of the Dagenham Girl Pipers, though I had heard of the name before and that’s all. This book by Linda Rhodes guides us through their 80 year history, starting with their unlikely beginnings - the brainchild of the non-piping Rev. J.W.Graves who thought a highland pipe band was just the thing for the girls of his sunday school in the newly developing town of Dagenham in the early 30’s.

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