An Easter Ross whiskey distillery once renowned for its bagpipe and drumming prowess has lent its support to a local bagpipe school.
The Invergordon Distillery has agreed to become a sponsor of the Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School (RACPADS), which will see the cost of the band’s uniforms, instruments and buses for indoor competitions for several seasons.
Owned by Whyte and Mackay, the Scotch Whiskey Distillery has a rich history with pipes and drums, enjoying great success between 1964 and 1967 as a competitive Level 1 piper.
The ‘original’ pipe band from the Invergordon distillery won the European Championships in 1965 and have won every major competition except the World Championships themselves. The group’s best overall result at the World Championships was third place in 1967.
The group had several high caliber individual players in their company during this period, such as Donald Shaw Ramsey, John D Burgess, Trevor Dear, Alex Duthart and Kit Reynolds.
The RACPADS band is currently rated at 3B and is under the leadership of Pipe Major Niall Matheson, Pipe Sergeant Colin Melville and Lead Drummer Roy Hamilton, all of whom have had success individually and in pipe bands in Scotland and across the world.
John Weatherston, who played for the Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band at the age of 12, is the drumming school’s current president.
He said: “As an active drummer, I know how expensive it is to lead a pipe band. With the costs of uniforms, instruments and buses to competitions, it all adds up very quickly.
“Having this sponsorship will help ease the pressure and allow us to focus on our music. Maybe one day we will make it as big as the original pipe band at Invergordon Distillery. Until then we will work hard and have a group in the area that the community will be proud of.”
RACPADS is actively looking for members to enlarge the group.
For more information, the school can be found on social media via its website at www.racpads.com.