Girvan Scots Guards leading pipe band to victory

The Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, which is led by one and includes two other Girvan servicemen, has been shortlisted for “Pipe Band of the Year” in the Scottish Traditional Music Awards.

The band, based in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, are all operational armoured infantry soldiers and in 2011 has also seen a change of command between two Girvan men.

Pipe Major Brian Heriot handed over to Pipe Major Ross McCrindle in June of this year, both men’s piping prowess being a product of former South Ayrshire schools instructor, Sue McIntyre.

Scots Guards drummer, Lance Sergeant Robert McCutcheon is also one of Girvan’s own.

Pipe Major McCrindle said of the award nomination: “This is a huge honour for both the Pipes and Drums, and the entire Regiment. We’ve had a really busy year and it’s nice to get some recognition from outside the Army that you’re not resting on your laurels.

“We strive to be the best we can be, at home, abroad and on operations.

“When we’re abroad, the fact that we’re ambassadors for Scotland is always foremost in our minds.

“We hope that as many people as possible will vote for us.”

The award nomination is the culmination of an extremely busy and varied year.

Having returned from Afghanistan in late 2010, the band recorded their latest CD, titled “From Helmand to Horse Guards” in January of this year.

Since then, they have performed on the Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour), the State Banquet in honour of the President of the United States of America, and the 2011 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The Pipes and Drums have also been busy outside the United Kingdom travelling on Pipe Band tours and Military Tattoos to Italy, Japan and twice to the United States.

November will see them on the Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph in London as well as playing in Buckingham Palace for the State Banquet in honour of the President of Turkey.

2012 will again see the Pipes and Drums deploy in their military role to Helmand Province, Afghanistan as part of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards Battle Group.

You can vote for them by logging onto www.scottishcultureonline.com