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  1. #1
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    The last artisan bagpipe makers

    Thought this might interest some:

    https://youtu.be/2SHgbsow7mM
    waulk softly and carry a big schtick

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  3. #2
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    EDIT: Initially I dismissed the claim that Kilberry was Edinburgh's last maker, due to only a decade or so ago their being several.

    I just did some online searching and found out that it might well be true, or close to being true.

    Here's the six Edinburgh makers listed in Highland Bagpipe Makers 2001 edition, and what I've been able to quickly glean about them:

    William Sinclair & Son (est. 1931) Alastair Sinclair, the grandson of the founder, passed away in 2019.

    Gillanders & McLeod (est. 1930) Seems that Ian Murray (Forfar) who studied under Bob Gillanders, can make Gillanders models on request.

    Hugh MacPherson (est. 1946) I only see Highland Dress mentioned in their YouTube video.

    Clan Bagpipes (Joe Hagan) I visited Joe in his workshop in the 1980s. Seems that sometime in the 1990s he closed his shop and went to work for Bagpipes Galore. Joe passed away in 2019. Ralph Hepburn, who studied under Joe, seems to be Bagpipe Galore's current maker.

    Inveran House (Brian Donaldson) Brian moved his business to the USA.

    Kilberry Bagpipes, the subject of that video.

    Leaving Kilberry and Clan Bagpipes as Edinburgh's only makers? Neither with a high reputation amongst pipers I know.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 24th September 21 at 05:39 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  4. #3
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    BTW I need to point out that the early statement about bagpipes being played for 3,000 years in the great ancient civilisations is an oft-heard but entirely baseless myth.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  6. #4
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    For my fellow piper OC

    Don't forget that now in Perthsire champion piper and businessman Peter Weidig has opened up Kintail bagpipes again. He was a friend of Greig Sharp and his family and acquired all his tools and schematics for pipe making, along with tools and schematics from J&R Glen and David Glen & Sons, if you buy a set of pipes from him you're getting a lovely sounding piece of piping history.

    Here you go OC https://bagpipe.news/2021/08/11/kint...rom-the-ashes/

    https://bagpipe.news/2021/08/11/kint...rom-the-ashes/

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilted redleg View Post
    For my fellow piper OC

    Don't forget that now in Perthshire champion piper and businessman Peter Weidig has opened up Kintail bagpipes again. He was a friend of Greig Sharp and his family and acquired all his tools and schematics for pipe making, along with tools and schematics from J&R Glen and David Glen & Sons, if you buy a set of pipes from him you're getting a lovely sounding piece of piping history.

    Here you go OC https://bagpipe.news/2021/08/11/kint...rom-the-ashes/

    https://bagpipe.news/2021/08/11/kint...rom-the-ashes/
    Thanks! Good to hear that Kintail will "rise from the ashes"!

    My Pipe Major plays a magnificent silver & ivory 1980s Kintail set which has an amazing tone.

    BTW I know that the title of this thread doesn't mention it, but that video was specifically about Edinburgh pipe makers.

    About the Kintail "Glen" pipes, I visited a Kintail booth which had several of their Kintail and Glen models several years ago, at the time I had an old silver & ivory set of Glens in my hands. A check of the bores of the "Glen" sets showed that they had the ordinary Kintail specs and were completely different from the vintage Glen sets I've owned.

    So Greig might have had old Glen tools & specs at that time, but he wasn't using them for those "Glen" sets.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  9. #6
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    Sinclair Bagpipes is Also Back


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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Kilberry Bagpipes, the subject of that video.

    Leaving Kilberry and Clan Bagpipes as Edinburgh's only makers? Neither with a high reputation amongst pipers I know.
    I have no skin in this game at all, but I've been taking lessons at Kilberry for about 6 months, and have a little bit of loyalty to consider them for my first set purchase. I'm curious as to why you say they don't have a good reputation? I like the guys, and I know that they're both excellent (grade 1 level band) players, though Dave doesn't play anymore.

    I'm not in a band, and I don't think I have that level of spare time/commitment to joining one, but I just want to learn for its own sake. Is there something you know/are aware of that means I shouldn't buy a set of Kilberrys? I think I'll be able to pretty much dictate the look of them, but I'm guessing they'll all sound the same because the insides/bores and placement of holes will be standard across them all? Of course, asking them what the quality of their pipes are against a set of McCallums (which are CNC produced) won't necessarily get me a straight answer. And now that Sinclair is back ... who knows?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions given.

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slb609 View Post
    I have no skin in this game at all, but I've been taking lessons at Kilberry for about 6 months, and have a little bit of loyalty to consider them for my first set purchase. I'm curious as to why you say they don't have a good reputation? I like the guys, and I know that they're both excellent (grade 1 level band) players, though Dave doesn't play anymore.
    If there are pipers playing Kilberry pipes in top-level solo piping competitions I've not heard about it.

    Of course I wouldn't have any way of knowing everything! But after Winter Storm (for example) there are online threads where every top-level competitor's drone and chanter makes are discussed.

    As you know traditionally top-level pipers have favoured vintage "classic" drones by Henderson, MacDougall, Robertson, etc. and around 20 years ago many began playing newer Naill drones and more recently drones by Dave Atherton.

    There don't seem to be all that many different makers being represented at the top level.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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