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Promoting the Bagpipe Revival since 1986

The Bagpipe Society

Bagpipe Society AGM 2016 Minutes

Memorial Hall, Polesworth 4th June 2016 5.00pm

1. Apologies

None received

2. Minutes of previous meeting

Matters Arising

Video Resources (IC). A first set of 8 Video tutorials are now posted on the Society’s YouTube channel and linked to the Facebook page. They have been viewed over 1000 times. More are planned for the autumn. Other contributors welcome. Grants awarded: International Bagpipe Conference, Medieval Music in the Dales - £500 each

3. Officers’ Reports

Chairman (Ian Clabburn)

This year we celebrate 30 years, which in itself is a great success. Membership remains steady, but within this there is considerable turnover (see later). The Society continues to gain in status and is becoming a “go to” organisation particularly where the media are involved. This progress is underpinned by the dedication of the committee, particularly Jane Moulder for her work and continuing development of Chanter. There is much to be positive about.

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Rod Cannon and Dave Vandoorn. Both huge influences on the Society and key contributors to its foundation and continued success.

Committee changes.

After many years as membership secretary and treasurer, Michael Ross is standing down from the committee. We thank him for his work, particularly in the transition to online payments and membership. He will remain, as a non voting advisor, to advise the new treasurer, George Swallow where necessary. Andy Carter has also resigned and we thank him for his work in setting up online audio and video resources, which we hope to develop over time.

Chanter editor (Jane Moulder)

Chanter is doing well. there is a good range of material coming in, but we could always do with more. I was particularly happy with the editions that focused on one type of pipe and hope to do more in a similar vein in future. Some topics, such as Call and Response have not been so successful however and will not be pursued unless the demand is there.

Treasurer and Membership Secretary (George Swallow)

Membership Secretary Report.

Membership remains steady, but within that number, there is considerable “churn”, where approximately 40 lapsed members have been replaced by a similar number of new ones. With some exceptions, we do not know the cause of the lapses and will be contacting ex members to find out why. The online membership is working well and most problems have been resolved. There are still a few members who have standing orders and who have transferred to the online system without cancelling them.

Treasurer’s Report 2015

Summary attached as a separate document. The Society’s net assets at the end of 2015 was a very healthy £11901. There is certainly no intention to raise prices in the near future.

Publicity (Andy Letcher)

Thank you to everyone for organising our flagship events - IBD (especially Cassandre for the Glasgow conference), Tom et al for Chester, and Trouvere for the Medieval music in the Dales event. We would like to encourage people to organise more local events and are happyto provide help, advice and financial support. Our Facebook page continues to be popular and is reaching a steadily increasing audience worldwide. The website is being updated. The Society has a Twitter account, but it is not used much and we would encourage participation, as it is a good way to spread the message even further.

Blowout (Ian Clabburn)

Blowout is doing well, with steadily increasing numbers requiring a change in parking arrangements. Blowout 2015 generated a profit of £994 and there is no plan to increase ticket prices. Next year will be Blowout number 25. Please think about who you would like to see and let Ian know.

Discussion: The considerable profit was noted and a discussion on how to put this to use ensued. There was no call to decrease the ticket prices, but it was widely felt that payments to performers should be increased and that overseas guests should be treated, as performers, more in line with the European style. These points and others will be taken into consideration in future planning.

It was also suggested that, to encourage new members and to further increase attendance, there should be a “first timer’s” discount, possibly a free weekend ticket. There were some objections to this and a number of potential complications or abuses were pointed out. The principle of a joining inducement was agreed and the committee will look into how this can be achieved.

Webmaster (Joe Wass)

The website will be completely rebuilt this year, starting in July. The intention is to bring the website up to date with more interactive features to further raise it’s importance as a portal to the wider world of bagpipes.

Education Liaison (Tom Hughes)

We now have 9 sets of smallpipes and 3 sets of student borderpipes available for use by members for publicity and “outreach” events and you are most welcome to borrow them to take to festivals etc. We have presented “meet the bagpipes” sessions at festivals and these have been very popular. The Chester region has been covered pretty thoroughly and I would welcome any volunteers interested in raising the Society’s profile elsewhere. There is plenty of advice plus posters and membership leaflets available on request.

4. Election of Officers


  • Ian Clabburn - Chairman
  • George Swallow - Treasurer/Membership Secretary
  • Jane Moulder - Chanter Editor
  • Tom Hughes - Education Officer
  • Andy Letcher - Publicity Officer

New members elected

  • Dave Faulkner
  • Quentin Budworth

5. AOB

Access to Membership list via MemberMojo (GS)

This has been discussed for a long time and wil become a reality very soon, tieing in with our online membership system. There are still some practicalities to be sorted out, particularly levels of access to the data and privacy. Once these are resolved, there will be an announcement and members will be able to opt in or out as they choose.

Purchase of bagpipes

It was agreed that the Society purchase 3 additional student borderpipes, bringing the total to 6. These pipes will be available for educational use, for festival workshops and similar and also short term loan. Our current insurance policy excludes hiring out. Terms and conditions will be decided by the committee.

Money to spend (IC)

As ever, we have plenty of money and are looking to spend it! Suggestions please Security (Don Ward) “The society’s operations are mostly on computers (and if there is any part of our operation that is not based on a computer now, the chances are that it soon will be). This leads quite naturally to the question of what provisions are in place to recover from a disaster. By disaster, I don’t just mean a physical event like a house fire that destroyed the computer (and it’s local back up copies), I also mean what would happen if the internet connection to the society’s web site was disconnected for a few months, or the web site host was infected by a ransomware virus that encrypted all the files before demanding payment. Although the web site is the obvious target for a disaster recovery plan, the question also applies to other parts of the society’s operations; the membership database, the treasurer’s records, the Blowout administration etc…”

This is an important subject and the committee will be working on this over the coming year.

Instrument Insurance (JM)

New Moon Instrument Insurance is offering a discount to members of the Bagpipe Society. We have no direct or indirect affiliation, but would suggest that the company is worth a look. Details will be in Chanter

AGM Closed 6.00