Home On Our Travels Education Archives Members List Wullie Reed
1 3

Throughout his life, Harry Watson was a dedicated Piper who freely gave of his time and effort in teaching and furthering Piping in the Boys Brigade.

Above is Harry aged 15 when he joined the Black Watch

Below he is seen with a later pupil, Eddie Wighton.

30th (Rosebank) Boys Brigade Dundee

     The 30th Rosebank Chapelshade Company won Braemar, don't know the year, when it was still a contest. George Black tells me that the P/M and tutor of that time is still alive, but he can't remember his name but will try to find out. Someone out there MUST know something. George says he may have a photo and he will search for it. George's father taught them from the late 1940's.

My thanks go to Mr Rod Taylor, who happened across this page and gave me this big update.

     "I enjoyed reading about the band histories on your Practical Pipers web site.

     You requested information on the pipe major of the successful 30th Dundee BB pipe band which won at Braemar. Whilst not having first hand knowledge of that band you may be interested in the following notes:

30th Dundee Company, The Boys Brigade

     I have heard this story from two unrelated sources, many years ago from my own piping teacher Harry Watson; big brother to P/Maj. Andy Watson of the 30th Coy. The second account as recently as a month ago from Mr Bill Grant an ex captain of the 30th and a drummer in the Caledonian band.

The Braemar story as I heard it goes like this;

I believe the 30th band won the open competition at Braemar around 1947 under Pipe Major Andy Watson.

     They competed the year before the win without reward but having more food than they needed for the band, the surplus was given to some travelling people they met on the road. Allegedly, because of this act of kindness the band were told if they came back the following year they would win the competition. They returned the following year and with or without the blessing they did win.

     I met Andy and his son Gordon also a piper at BB camp in the sixties. He continued as the 30th BB Pipe Major into the eighties when we joined his pipers to provide a band at the BB displays held in Rosebank Primary School, Latterly under the current captain, Bob Bremner. The 30th now meets in Trinity Church (formerly Wallacetown) and I am sure Mr Bremner would have more interesting information on piping in the company over the years.

     Andy Watson lived in the Strathmore Street area of Broughty Ferry before moving into Westbay Nursing Home. He survived the fire of 2005 which destroyed the home and died around 6 weeks later aged 102. He served in the Scots Guards and grew up in the 24th St Mary's BB Coy which met in halls in Peep-O-Day Lane.

     My own teacher, Harry Watson also a 24th member from 1908 to 1917 learned to play the pipes as a boy being taught by P/Major Angus Mcleod, a Skye man and Black Watch regular. He joined the Caledonian band in 1916 but then joined the Black Watch as a boy soldier and drummer in 1917 serving in the 1st Battalion. He remained in the army as a regular. On returning to civilian life he was invited to become pipe major to the Royal Engineers Territorial army unit in Dundee around 1929. He also returned to the BB and was pipe major to the 33rd BB Coy from 1929 until 1953. Captain J Fridge, Harry’s boss at Baxter Brothers, invited him to become pipe major to the independent St Andrews Parish Boys Brigade, a position he accepted in 1953. This happy association with the ‘Old 7th BB, (St Andrew’s number before becoming an independent company in 1908) was to last until his death in 1984. During a long piping career he won 13 Lochee banners and three Braemar Seals and taught many, many pipers including the girls of D15 Company The Girls Brigade.


Notes on other local BB Pipe bands:

     On a completely different tack, I have been associated with two BB pipe bands in Dundee the old 7th at St Andrews Kirk and the 44th at St Aidan’s in Broughty Ferry. If you would like information on these please contact me and I will be happy to provide some details and photos.

Yours sincerely,

Rod Taylor 44th BB Coy Broughty Ferry