November 2012 marks the Centenary of the Band and its association with the Police. When Govan Burgh was annexed by Glasgow in 1912, the band passed over with the police to the greater entity and as the City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band, enjoyed the support and encouragement of large numbers.
On Wednesday the 28th November, 2012 the Govan Weavers Society hosted a glittering gala dinner attended by 230 guests in the McLeod Hall at the Pearce Institute to commemorate the Centenary of the Annexation of Govan by the City of Glasgow in 1912.
The event was attended by Deacons and Collectors of many of the crafts in the Trades House of Glasgow, representatives of the City Council, local and national businesses
After dinner the Govan Gaelic Choir came onto the stage to enthral the audience with a wonderful rendition of a range of Gaelic songs prior to the introduction of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band in what was to be the focal point of the evening and the world premier of the two new pipe tunes commissioned by the Govan Weavers
Society. A further twist was added to the fine performance of the Gaelic Choir when they sang a vocal introduction to the winning tune as the Pipe Band began to play “The Govan Burgh Police Pipe Band” composed by Dr Bruce Thomson. This special dual arrangement by Duncan Nicholson, Pipe Major of the band was another first and promises to become a popular feature of the forthcoming concerts at the Celtic Connections festival in January. The introduction of the winning tune by Robert Wallace, the Director of the College of Piping was followed by an introduction to the second place tune by Angus Lawrie, who had named his tune as “The March of the Govan Weavers”, which was again given a warm welcome by the audience.
In preparation of the Annexation Centenary Dinner, discussions with Duncan Nicholson, Pipe Major of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and his colleague Iain MacPherson developed into a new project for the Weavers with the band members becoming interested in promoting piping in Govan. The band which is currently based at Pitt Street in the City centre is having to relocate as part of the reorganisation of Police services and moving back to Govan and the Pearce Institute is one of the options under consideration. The members of the Band had become aware of the Weavers Society involvement with local schools and our desire to improve options for local youngsters and a suggestion was made that the members of the band could provide lessons for all primary school pupils in Govan with a view to forming a Govan Burgh Youth Band. This idea was circulated to local schools and the response was most encouraging to the point that late collector Tom McInally has undertaken to establish the availability of funding for instruments and other equipment. The indications are that around 120 local school pupils from Pirie Park, St Saviour’s, Riverside and St Constantine’s will receive tuition in Piping and Drumming from February 2013 subject to the availability of funds. The Master Court of the Weavers has intimated support for the project and will no doubt be seeking to arrange further fundraising opportunities over the next year. Further information will be posted as this exciting opportunity for Piping to come back home to Govan develops.
Play – The Govan Burgh Police Pipe Band