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1 3 Billionfield Papermill Pipe Band (Invergowrie)

(Uniform was Green Tunics and Ancient McIntyre tartan)

Here we have a 1954 picture sent to me from Bert Thomson a past

member of the band who later went on to be a founder member

of the San Francisco Pipe Band

(In his own words)

This is the Bullionfield band of ca. 1954. At the time it was a Grade 3 band, and had considerable successes, winning many contests, including the World's Championship Grade 3.

The following year, as I recall, they were promoted to Grade 2, and that was about the time I left to emigrate to the U.S.A.

The only personnel I can identify are kneeling front, Drum Corporal Bert Thompson (left) and Norman McBean (right).

Middle row sitting center behind the bass drum, A. K. Wright, the Bullionfield Paper

Mill owner (the mill sponsored the band). To the left of him is Pipe Major Alec Herd, and next to him is his brother (name escapes me), also a piper.

Also in the second row next to the bass drummer (whose name also escapes me) is Drum Sergeant George Black senior (previously with the City of Dundee Pipe Band).

I can't identify any of the others by name.

Below we have more from Bert Thomson

This was the band returning from a contest in Dundalk, Ireland,

where they won the shield for first place. I believe the contest

was called An Tostal over there. It had to be ca. 1954.


Front row kneeling from left - Drum Sergeant George Black senior, tenor drummer Norman McBean, Drum Corporal Bert Thompson, Andy Adamson, Pipe Major Alec Herd.

Standing left to right: ? ? ? Albert Bowman, Ian Dallas, ?(Bass) Stewart Bowman, Alfie Smith ? Pipe Corporal Willie Wyllie ? ?.

(Again thanks to Ron Hastie I am told that Pipe Corporal Wyllie lived in a house next to the Institute in Main Street Invergowrie, now a garage. When the paper mill closed, he went to the NCR where he worked as a boilerman.)

Information is coming in now and perhaps a summary so far will help with identities.

Back row: ? ? Albert Bowman, ? Ian Dallas, ? ? Jim Shepherd, ?

Middle row: ? Brother of Pipe Major, Pipe Major Alex Herd, A. K. Wright(Mill Manager) ? George Black snr, ?

Kneeling: Drum Corporal Bert Thompson, Norman McBean

(Thanks to Ronnie Hastie, I am told that Jim Shepherd was a non playing member but ran the band. He was known as "The Provost" and "Mr Invergowrie". Ian Dallas was a piper in the band and for years his house near House of Gray was used to store band uniforms.)

A trio from the Bullionfield Pipe Band, ca. 1954.

Left to right: piper Stewart Bowman, snare drummer Bert Thompson, tenor drummer Norman McBean.

Ex-members of the 47th Dundee B.B. pipe band.

1966 at Forfar Mini-Bands

(From Left) Bob Mathews; Alex "Midnight Cowboy" Pattie; Angus Milton Paul; Kenny Melville; Jackie Lockhart; Roderick Chisholm, Ronald Hastie; Ronnie Paul.

(From Left) Pipe Major Alex "Eck" Herd ; Best Man ? ; Alfie Smith ; Bride ? ; Matron on Honour ? ; William Smith

This Photograph was taken prior to 1963 when it was not uncommon for Band members to marry in uniform. This photograph shows drummer Alfie Smith (Groom) being piped out of  Lochee West Parish Church, Dundee, by the Bullionfield's Pipe Major on the left, and his brother,William Smith, on the right.

(Note: William Smith's son, Richard, is one of the founding member of the Practical Pipers and is Pipe Major of the Mains of Fintry Pipe Band in Dundee.)

A Band Wedding Bullionfield Paper Mill Pipe Band  Young Drummers of 63/64

(From Left) Ronald Hastie; David Steven; Grant Webster ; Roddie Chisholm; Angus Bell

(Of interest: Ron Hastie is a PIPING member of The Practical Pipers these days)

We are still looking for the remaining and any backgrounds of these Pipers.

Can you tell us more?