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

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 May 2022 Newsletter


Dear Piping Enthusiast,

The season is off and running here in Scotland - hooray for that!

The Gourock Highland games are now done and dusted and it was nice to see David Wilton coming out  the traps strongly with Fife Police. It was also good to see our bags in use with about 75% or more of the Grade 1 Bands. I have looked out a rather young Mr Begg selling his wares at Gourock many, many years ago circa 1990 or perhaps maybe earlier than that. These were happy days with a full head of hair......where does the time go?

I am also glad to see Innerleithen Games in full flow again this year. We are pleased to support piping in the borders - best wishes to Bruce Hamilton and his hard-working Team there. We are also pleased to offer some support to the guys from the Skye Band with their annual pre-worlds concert. This year's star turn is Inveraray with my friend Stuart Liddell as P/M, Conductor, Maestro and all-round good guy. There are only a few tickets left so get moving and attend what will be a brilliant concert. Stuart has also composed a lovely tune for the Queen's Jubilee and you can catch it here.


Yours aye,

James C. Begg

Piping Perfection


Some new seasoning has just come onto the market from Canning reed makers.  Ryan, who is ex Shotts P/M and an ex FMM member, has produced a fine product - I fully recommend it with a 10/10 and it has a lovely sweet smell into the bargain.


There is some sad news this month in that Mr Ken Roberts has recently passed on. Ken was Captain of the 1st Lenzie Boys Brigade for many years and it was my privilege on occasions to play with the Pipe Band. Ken put a lot of time and effort into the Band as well as with other BB activities and will be sadly missed. He has been a loyal customer for decades and became a friend as well. Ken was a fantastic guy and it was always a pleasure to meet with him and his wife Sheena. Anytime I wear my BB tie and Queen's Badge, I shall remember Ken and his massive contribution to Lenzie Boys Brigade.

It is with thanks that Gordon Cowie, who is originally from the Aberdeenshire area, has just taken on the Band and will keep it going - great.

Special Offer 

Still available - much to our surprise, this lovely set of Piob Mhor Hardie have not been taken up.

If price is the issue, please do make an offer. Tel ++44(0)7906596927


This is a  Piob Mhor Hardie set  from circa 1958. They are in great condition with nickel ferrules and real ivory mounts - and comes with a Kintail chanter, a modern swivel blowpipe

and a brand new Canmore bag. Priced at £1500

Field Report - the latest on Roddy MacLeod.

I was pleased to catch up this week with my good friend Roddy MacLeod, when he dropped off one of his band chanters for a customer of mine. It gave me a chance to ask how life has been after leaving his mammoth role as Principal of the National Piping Centre. It must have been quite a break for him having served in that position since the NPC's inauguration in 1996. With this newsletter in mind, I did find it a bit strange turning from an informal chat to that of an interview but Roddy was accommodating as usual. 

As you would expect, he is of course still playing and teaching but has just recently launched a new range of pipes, based on his prizewinning RG Lawrie silver and ivory 1907 set. In addition to his technical and musical brilliance, Roddy has also excelled in terms of his tone and he is looking to carry that over into this new range. They look like his own set but the bores have been altered to suit today's

 pitch. His pipes are named after Scottish islands and you can you check them out here. He also connects famous players to the different pipe which is a rather nice touch. On top of that, Roddy has well known personal connections in Uist and Harris and so the islands are the obvious choice. He has produced a rather nice brochure which is available on request or download a pdf  here. There has been a huge amount of work put in to creating this brochure and it is well worth a read.

In conjunction with David Naill, he also produces his solo blackwood chanter and a synthetic band chanter. Both are in demand and have received raving endorsements from Bob Worrall the respected Canadian piper and judge, Callum Brown of Inveraray and Donald MacBride USA to name but a few.

Currently Roddy is in great demand with teaching around the world by video link. I was also surprised to hear that he also the time teach at the NPC with so much else going on in his life. Teaching as well as playing must be in the blood. When I asked if he would stop playing at some point, I got a rather "don't be silly" look. His interest levels remain high because he simply enjoys playing. He's hoping to qualify yet again for the Glenfiddich at Blair Castle, even although he is a multiple winner there in what can be regarded as the world championships for solo pipers. Even for past champions, it is a real stretch to qualify and just shows how intense the competition is. He still performs in concert and has a recital in August for Piping Live! in early August so it would be well worthwhile to attend that if you are around. I'll be there of course to hear Roddy and his Begg bag in full flow.

If you are interested in any of his products or services, please contact me or Roddy directly and we will be glad to help.


 In Passing


Stuart Liddell's 6/8 for the Queen reminded me of some great paintings we featured a while back by that renowned artist, piper and historian Duncan Brown. Here is a great portrait he did of Jim Motherwell as the Queen's Piper. If you would like to find out more about his paintings and perhaps buy or commission one, his email is

We also did a great feature on Duncan in a previous newsletter and here it is.

Jimmy himself is currently the piping instructor at Eton College and has been a star customer over the years - it is great to be supplying pipes to the Etonians and hopefully to some potential future P/Ms amongst their ranks.



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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