About The Northampton Pipe Band

Northampton Pipe Band started in 1984 when John Crabbe was having his lunch break while at work in Moulton Park. John heard somebody playing the bag pipes and went to investigate and found Bill Stratton playing his pipes. Not long after they met at John’s house to discuss a few options. Soon after that, John met Ron Hogg who asked if he could learn to play the pipes and so with Ron and his wife Jane started training, shortly followed by George’s grandson. This was in 1985.

Their playing skills came on in leaps and bounds and they had reached a point where they were professional enough to play to the public. John contacted Les Cowell of Naill pipes with a view to buying some pipes. Bill Stratton contacted Duncan Campbell who also joined them, and it wasn’t long before Mac McConmachie and Sarah Grandison plus others soon came knocking on their door. Things were starting to snowball quite rapidly. And the Northampton Pipe Band was born, and to find out where they stood in terms of competency a group travelled to a Cowal Highland gathering to see what standard they should be aiming for. In 1986 they took part in Cowal games ready or not and they played Rose of Allendale, Bonnie Galloway, Badge of Scotland and Loch Ruan. All these tunes were 4-4s.

In 1988 Marlene Murfift started a dance section. Together with the band we both performed at Milton Malsor, Semilong and Weston Favel to raise funds. Many further venues followed as confidence and expertise grew.

In 1991 John Crabbe retired and Alf Grey took over as Pipe Major who bought the band on significantly and in 1992 the band were approached and asked if they would play in Rehau in Germany the following year. Some hard practice followed to learn new material. 1993 came and on their travels they went, after 22 hours on a coach, and on arrival were stationed with various families and a great time was had by all.

In 1994 Alf Grey resigned and another member, Neal Tarbottom took over as Pipe Major. Six years later in 2000 Neal resigned and a new Pipe Major was appointed by the name of Morris Davenney who was there for only 12 months. Rankin McCarrick then took over as Pipe Major and stayed until 2003 when work took him abroad. Charlie McQueen then took over and is now the present Pipe Major. The band still plays at Rehau every year.

Charlie McQueen resigned as the Pipe Major in May 2010. Alan MaIlravie, our Pipe Sergeant was asked to fulfil the role of Pipe Major which he gladly did.

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