Scout Pipe Band centenary celebrations are just a little late

Hawick Scout Pipe Band in 1914.
Hawick Scout Pipe Band in 1914.

Plans by members of a Hawick musical institution to celebrate its centenary hit a bum note - when members discovered the anniversary was almost a decade too late.

A whole host of events have been lined up to mark one hundred years since Hawick Scout Pipe Band was formed in 1917.

Pipe Major Michael Bruce of Hawick Scout Pipe Band.

Pipe Major Michael Bruce of Hawick Scout Pipe Band.

Well, that was the long-held belief.

Then a couple of weeks ago an eagle-eyed member came across a photograph of the band in the Hawick News from August 1914.

The revelation could have cast a shadow on the anniversary plans.

But despite the numerical miscalculation members are seeing the funny side and are pushing ahead with the celebrations, which Pipe Major Michael Bruce has called “unstoppable”.

He said: “Until a couple of weeks ago no-one had noticed that the photograph of the band in the Hawick News was in the August 1914 edition.

“Up until then we had believed our band was formed around 1917 and centenary celebrations are now so far ahead as to be unstoppable.

“Early records had shown the band had played on the streets of Hawick on Peace Day in 1918. On the basis of this, for the last year we have been planning celebrations for our centenary.

“Then we were presented with the hitherto unknown photos of the band leading a procession of volunteers to Hawick Railway Station on their way to join up at the start of World War One, on August 8, 1914.

“For a band to be able to play on the march at least a couple of years of training must have taken place. We therefore conclude that the band was formed any time soon after the formation of the Scouts in Hawick in 1908

“We are still proceeding with the ‘centenary’ celebrations and having a smile about this particular piece of history.”

Events planned include the Reivers Torchlight Procession, the commemoration of the Battle of Arras in April at Edinburgh Castle, the Massed Bands Display at Floors Castle in August, culminating in a celebratory parade on Hawick High Street on Saturday, September 23.

New members, experienced or complete beginners of both sexes are always welcome to join the band, which meets at its headquarters in the town’s Union Street.

The band takes new members both from the local Scouts and anyone else who is interested, including adults.

The main commitments are “determination and steady practice”.