The Bagpipe Society

The Man with the Golden Thumb

Chaucer’s Miller and the problem of pilgrim pipers Recently I viewed again the 1944 Powell and Pressburger film “A Canterbury Tale”, telling the interlinked stories of four “pilgrims” in wartime Kent. Its haunting cinematography, its mystical evocation of English landscape and history and its uplifting conclusion have long made it a favourite of mine, and there is a celebrated sequence at the start where a medieval falconer lets loose his bird of prey, which climbs and swoops - to be almost imperceptibly replaced by an RAF fighter plane, instantly transporting us from the 14th century to the mid-20th....