OT: 19 July 1924 – H.S. Strafford “Oban Pipe Band’s Success”

The Oban Times, July 19, 1924

Oban Pipe Band’s Success

Dunoon, July 12, 1924

Sir,–The success of the Oban Pipe Band at the recent contest at Comrie is a source of gratification to those interested in piping throughout the County of Argyll. It is well-nigh twenty years since pipe band contests were introduced as a feature in Highland gatherings, since when, with the exception of the A. and S.H., no county band has figured among the prizewinners. As a matter of fact, to the best of my belief, no band in Argyllshire has competed in any of the numerous contests throughout the country.

The fact that Oban Band’s first appearance should result in their securing a first prize confirms my belief that the piping qualifications throughout the shire are second to none, could they only be brought together and trained in combination. What county should lead in the advancement of the national music if not Argyll? Recalling its history and traditions there can be no other answer.

I do not know for certain how many bands there are in the county apart from the regimental. I know of Oban, in her area, Campbelltown, Lochgoilhead, and Lochgilphead. I know also scores of young pipers in the Isles and along the coastline, who unfortunately are scattered too much to make combination easy. Can nothing be done in the way of a Piper’s Federation in the county whereby teaching can be provided and facilities for combination ensured?

This is surely a suggestion that might interest the lairds of local authorities, whoever else. When the time is ripe for a band contest confined to Argyll, suitable prizes and inducements will be forthcoming from the Cowal Gathering. –I am, etc.,

H. S. Strafford, Hon. Secretary