Blog & News

Members’ Indoor Competition & Callum Beaumont Recital

The SPSL are delighted to announce that we will be holding an indoor competition on Saturday 18th March 2017 at the Caledonian Club London.

Non-members are very welcome if they wish to compete.

There will be a mixture of Open, Amateur and Juvenile categories followed by a recital by Gold Medallist Callum Beaumont.

Members’ Indoor Competition & Callum Beaumont Recital

Member’s Competition & Recital by Neil Scotland

August 8, 2014

Members competition 2014John Angus Smith and Andrew Hall split the top prizes at the SPSL Members Competition 2014, which took place at the London Welsh Centre on 22nd June.

John Angus Smith won the Open Piobaireachd with a wonderful rendition of Lament for the Only Son, with Andrew Hall and Allan Dunsmore taking second and third place respectively.

The same trio shared the prizes in the Open MSR, with Andrew Hall taking the top prize. John Angus came second prize, with Allan Dunsmore again taking third place.

John Angus Smith won the Open 6/8 March, while Allan Dunsmore had his chance to shine in the Open Jig, taking first place with a splendid run through The Handshaker.

The entry was strong and the three judges – guest judges Bill Wotherspoon and Glen Brown, alongside the SPSL’s Roddy Livingstone – were impressed with the overall standard of play, highlighting that piping continues to thrive in the South-East of England.

In the amateur grade, Len Durham won first prize in the Amateur Piobaireachd, playing Glengarry’s March. William Wardrope took the honours in the Amateur MSR and 6/8 March, playing Mrs MacDonald of Dunach, Dorrator Bridge and Lexie MacAskill in the former, and Jean Mauchline in the latter.

The amateur grade also provided me the chance to make my own competition debut, somewhat late in the day, but better late than never. Well, not quite. My real debut was premature and disastrous, somewhere to the north of Toronto in 1981. The members’ competition was my chance to face those demons more than 30 years later and put things right.

And facing those demons, glowering across at me from the other side of the judges table (sorry, Roddy), it turned out to be not quite as bad as I’d thought it would be. Could have been better, could have been a lot worse, with a silver in the Piobaireachd and a bronze in the MSR rounding off the day nicely.

In the Under-18 events, Kieran McAlea arrived just in the nick of time to sweep all prizes, playing an impressive set of King George V’s Army, Captain Colin Campbell and Lexie MacAskill in the MSR and Farewell to Port Askaig in the 6/8 March. Hunter Davis won the Under 15 Slow Air and 2/4 March events with Scot’s Whae Hae and Brown Haired Maiden.

Rolls were reversed in the evening, and it was the guest judges turn to take the stage for a recital, with the competing pipers retiring to the audience alongside other society members to enjoy a fantastic evening of piping.

Glenn Brown played a great set of tunes interspersed with piping anecdotes. He was followed by Bill Wotherspoon, whose set included a wonderful rendition of Maggie Cameron, a tune which I had made a slightly more hesitant attempt at earlier in the day.

A great day – and evening – was had by all!


Lachlan MacDonald – Pipers Wanted

July 8, 2014

Stow Caledonian is a relatively new band formed in London. We are looking for new members to play pipes to supplement our current compliment. Tuition will be provided for all levels including beginners who have not tried piping previously. Experienced players will hopefully perform in Grade 4 competitions initially and solo competitions plus other functions which the band has agreed to perform.The band meets on a Tuesday and Friday evening in Highams Park in north east London( just off the north circular) for practice. The format for the evening would be chanter practice  ie tuition followed by playing pipes in groups. Anyone interested in joining should  should speak to the Pipe Major Gareth Utting (ex Scots guards) on 07932 702493 and look at the web site for more background infomation

SPSL Tuition

October 30, 2013

The Great Highland Bagpipe is a unique instrument which, to play properly, requires plenty of expert tuition.
The Scottish Piping Society of London is a charitable organisation and we offer the following classes.


Subject to the availability of tutors, our Members who are beginners are currently being offered weekly lessons in Central London. As pipers advance beyond this level the Society can guide the individuals towards appropriate tutors and bands who can help them progress.


Tuition at an advanced level is available by arrangement. It is expected this is targeted at experienced pipers seeking to progress at the professional standard (B and C levels). Places are limited.


For any further advice on lessons or how to improve your skills, please contact us via our Facebook and Twitter links.

SPSL Year Membership


SPSL Yearly Membership that will run from time of purchase until the following January. Please remember to include the details asked below so that we may send you your SPSL membership badges. Thanks.

SPSL London Competition

London Competition

July 2, 2016

The 77th Annual London Competition

Information Page

This year marks the 77th event which will once again be held at the Kensington Conference & Events Centre in London.  The date for this year’s event is Saturday 5th November 2016. We hope all the information you need as a spectator or competitor is below. How do I enter ? How do I get there ? How much is it to enter ? All of these questions will be answered below, but where you are unsure, please email us any time on as we are here to help with whatever it is you need.

NB:  please note that the format for the Bratach Gorm will revert to the usual playing requirements where competitors submit seven tunes of their own choice.

Please see the sections below regarding all you need to know about the event. We look forward to seeing competitors and spectators join us for what will be another fantastic event this year and we are hoping it will be bigger than ever!

Piping Competition Entry Details

Can I enter by post ?

Yes. Postal entries are perfectly fine. Find below the PDF printable versions. Please ensure you include all the details as layed out on the form :

Can I enter online ?

Yes. Click here to enter online.

Rules : Closing date for entries this year are on the 11th September 2016 but we will announce when the entry process opens.  Entries will only be included in the draw once payment has been received and tunes have been submitted!

How much does it cost to enter ?

Entry fees will be £10 per event (Juveniles are Free!)

Travel Details

Travel Information

Nearest tube station – Kensington High Street

London Underground

Circle or District Line to High Street Kensington, out through the arcade onto Kensington High Street, cross the High Street and walk straight up Hornton Street approximately 100 yards. The Town Hall Conference and Events Centre is on the left hand side.

Local Bus Routes

(Alight at Kensington High Street/Wrights Lane junction) numbers: 9, 10, 27, 28, 49, 328, C1. Alternatively 52 or 70 at Kensington Church Street.

Car Parking

There is a public car park immediately below the Town Hall. Enter Campden Hill Road from Kensington High Street. Turn first right into Phillimore Walk. Turn immediately left down the entrance ramp to the car park. Additional public car parks are also available at the Royal Garden Hotel (Kensington High Street) and in Young Street.

SPSL Tom Curd – Playing in the Dark

Tom Curd-

February 16, 2016

A fantastic achievement for local piper Tom Curd, who has worked hard to finally complete his first collection of tunes in the latest piping tune book to be released.

“Over the past year I have been putting all of my compositions together to write a book of tunes. It has been a long year, but I have finally got there!”

Tom’s new tune book is named Playing in the Dark, and is now available to purchase on Amazon (Click Here). Below is the description of the product from the store. We wish Tom, who currently plays with the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band, all the success in the sale of his book and look forward to hearing his tunes being played. Below is also a link to a video where the Bedfordshire University Pipe Band play three parts of one of Tom’s tunes called : ‘Bullogy’.

“This book was initially a way of putting my compositions in one place. But after a few pipers took an interest in my tunes, I wanted to make something for pipers to pick up, play and hopefully enjoy. This book includes a handful of competition style 2/4 and 6/8 Marches with a sprinkling of Slow Airs, Waltzes and Strathspeys. But the majority is split between modern style Reels, Jigs and Hornpipes with some stories along the way.”




October 30, 2013

How do I contact the SPSL ?

The best way to get in touch with the society is via our email address :  Someone will respond to your questions or comments as soon as possible.

Are the SPSL using social media ?

Yes. The SPSL have an active Facebook and Twitter account. Those can also be accessed via the links on our Home page.

july, 2017

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