From the Chairman


Happy Birthday to us! The inaugural meeting of the Bagpipe Society was held at the Faculty of Music, Oxford University, on December 1st, 1985, so we are officially 30 years old. It was at this meeting that Jon Swayne became Honorary President (for 5 years, apparently) and Dave VanDoorn became Secretary. This single word description vastly understates Dave’s role in establishing The Bagpipe Society and setting its ethos - a deep love and respect for all aspects of the bagpipe, leavened with more than a touch of good humoured irreverence. He passed away on 9th December and is much missed by all who knew him.

On a lighter note, 30 years is no small achievement for a small Society such as ours and we should celebrate this occasion in some way. Jon Swayne wrote a tune - The 1st of December - to mark our beginning and it would be good to follow this up with a new composition. To this end, I invite you to compose a 30th anniversary tune to be judged by open competition at the Blowout. No rules, but please make it playable by those of us of moderate ability! If you can’t make it to the festival, then please send in the music ( and we will find someone to play it on your behalf. On the subject of Blowout, increasing attendance is causing some strain on local parking facilities, so we have made alternative arrangements, especially for camper vans and caravans. The local community is very supportive and we obviously want this to continue for many years. All details are in the Blowout article.

We are settling into our new website, including making available articles from our thirty year history. If you spot something inaccurate, garbled or missing, or if you want to volunteer to help us improve our site, please mail info@bagpipesociety.

Website by Joe Wass, managed by Ian Clabburn.

Website content by Andy Letcher.

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