Pipe dreams come true for one local boy

Local bagpipe players at the opening of the new Borders railway
Local bagpipe players at the opening of the new Borders railway

Two talented young bagpipe players were thrilled to play for the First Minister and Queen at the opening of the new Borders railway recently.

Kenneth Macfarlane (16), a sixth year pupil at Bearsden Academy, and Gregor Norris (18) from Bearsden (Pipe Sergeant of the senior band), joined 22 other pipers and drummers to play with the National Youth Pipeband at Waverley train station in Edinburgh near the ‘Union of South Africa’ steam engine train, which pulled the train along the new line to Tweedbank in the Borders.

Kenneth has played the pipes for 10 years, firstly with the 1st Bearsden Company of the Boys Brigade, Strathendrick Pipe Band and currently Boghall and Bathgate (Juvenile) Pipe band who came fourth this year at the World Pipe Band Championships. The band piped the VIP guests from the National Gallery to the station to entertain everyone while Nicola Sturgeon and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh waited to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Royal Company of Archers, the Queen’s ceremonial bodyguards in Scotland, formed a guard of honour as she boarded the train.

His mum Pauline said: “There was a real sense of celebration since this was also the day that the Queen became the longest reigning monarch in British history.

“There was much flag waving, cheering and even a huge chocolate model of the steam train ‘The Flying Scotsman’ on display which apparently contained 440,000 calories!”