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------Est. 1980 Piping Perfection------

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Dear Piping Enthusiast,

Not long now till the game is on - Gourock this coming Sunday 14/5.  There's a feeling of excitement from customers currently as they are smelling the season on the horizon. The ones that have left it late to get their act together say “I need it now.”  I always oblige but it can be a hard task keeping up with demand and the just-in-time culture we have.

We also have a lot more young bucks sweeping in from overseas and joining the top echelons of grade 1 from the likes of Australia, the USA and Canada.  I’m pleased to report that I have a young Aussie Bede Patterson now on board at Begg Bagpipes. Bede is in the 3rd year of his degree course at the National Piping Centre in conjunction with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I’m sure he will be a valued addition to the business and will ably assist all our customers.

I’m sorry not to have kept up to speed on the newsletter recently. Sadly, my twin brother Iain who worked hard for the shop, has passed away and on top of this, my sister-in-law and wife of our editor Bill has passed away too.

These are very sad times but time and tide continue and we will collect our thoughts and move on with purpose and fond memories.

Yours aye,

James C. Begg

Piping Perfection


The first “major” as a replacement for the British Championship takes place at Dollar Academy on May 20th and strangely, it is not being organised by the RSPBA HQ – that’s a bit of a surprise and suggests all is not as it should be. It’s all very well blaming council cut backs etc but surely finding an alternative is not beyond the Association? I might be wrong but I thought that’s their job.  Apparently, Dollar Academy are putting on an event which seems to be attracting many top bands. Full marks to Dollar Academy for hosting this event. It’s well placed to get to from Glasgow, Edinburgh and the North and I think I will check it out.

I recently attended the great Uist and Barra solo contest which is now back in full swing. It was good to catch up with old friends including John Angus Smith, Kenny from McCallums and Richard van der Horn from Holland

It’s funny how you bump into people who you have not seen for years.

My daughter Lisa, who worked in the shop over the years as she studied for her civil engineering degree, is now in Melbourne and spotted the Victoria Police on a street parade. I am currently doing some bags for The Western Australia Police in Perth. Hey, there seems to be a bit of an Aussie thing going on with Bebe ,Lisa and their bands – it’s a great country with proud Scottish connections.

The Pipes|Drums Bagpipe Equipment Survey of Top-Grade Bands.

Did you catch the annual survey of the Bagpipe equipment carried out by of Canada? Well, it is pleasing to report that in the bag analysis, Begg came out as the clear choice of preference right across the board. Here are the key findings based upon the returns from 84 Grade 1 and 2 Bands:

  1. Of the bands that require pipers to play a certain type of bag, when we look at Grade 1 and Grade 2 together, we see a clear leader: Begg Sheepskin with a 30% share.
  2. Of bands that play only one type of bag, looking at Grade 1 bands alone, Begg Sheepskin again wins the bag race at a commanding 71%.
  3. Grade 2 bands shows a closer race, but Begg Sheepskin still leads with 19%
  4. For bands that use more than one pipe bag, looking at both Grade 1 and Grade 2, we see Begg Sheepskin again the leader overall, listed by 61%
  5. Of Grade 1 bands that use more than one bag, Begg Sheepskin is listed 78% of the time
  6. Grade 2 bands playing more than one bag, Begg Sheepskin wins again with 50%            Conclusion : the preferred bag is Begg sheepskin in both Grades 1 and 2. Looks like a Slam Dunk as they say. It's a Begg by a country mile!

Special Offer

I have purchased a nice set of old pipes which need refurbished and some tlc. These will be

ready in 4/6 weeks. If you're interested, let me know and I will send a pic when available.

This month's offer is for all our pipe and drone reeds at 15% off. Free post on Ezeedrone/Canning /Chesney/ Shepherd etc.

I will apply the discount at this end if you refer to this newsletter in the comments section when ordering. 15% OFF ALL REEDS

Field Report - Strachur, Argyll.

Piping Competition 2023 PK1(2) 1515.jpgPiping Competition 2023 PK1(2) 1516.jpg

Begg Bagpipes are pleased to have offered some support to the up and coming pipers from Argyll and in this case, the Strachur Competition.
Kate Paton reports: "This competition first took place in 1970 and every year since, apart from the three covid years. 
The judges this year were PM Jim Henderson, Daniel McDermott and Euan McNab. 

Main prize winners in the piping section were Arran Green, Arran Brown, Alfie Robertson and Lily Robertson. Our chairman, Craig Wilson, seen in photo with trophy winners, thanked sponsors McCallum bagpipes and  Begg bagpipes. 

The annual summer school is planned for the first week in July. This takes beginner chanter players through to advanced pipers." 
Thanks go to Kate Paton who does so much work in the area to keep piping to the fore.



If you would like to report on any aspect of the Piping World from wherever you live, or if you would like to comment on any articles or issues, we'd be pleased to hear from you. Email to


Begg Bagpipes

The Chall Building Kirkintilloch G66 1QF United Kingdom

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