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Invergordon whisky distillery with proud piping history sponsors Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School (RACPADS)

By Niall Harkiss

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Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School
Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School

An Easter Ross whisky distillery once renowned for its pipes and drums prowess has thrown its support behind a local piping school.

Invergordon Distillery have agreed to become a sponsor of the Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School (RACPADS), which will see the cost of the group's uniforms, instruments, and buses to the competitions covered for several seasons.

Owned by Whyte and Mackay, the Scotch whisky distillery has a rich history with pipes and drums, having enjoyed great success between 1964 and 1967 as a Grade 1 competitive pipe band.

The 'original' Invergordon Distillery pipe band won the European Championships in 1965 and went on to win every major competition except the World Championships itself. The band's best overall result in the World Championships was third place in 1967.

The band had several high calibre individual players in their company during this time, such as Donald Shaw Ramsey, John D Burgess, Trevor Dear, Alex Duthart and Kit Reynolds.

The RACPADS group is currently graded at 3B and are under the leadership of pipe major Niall Matheson, pipe sergeant Colin Melville and leading drummer Roy Hamilton, all of whom have had success individually and in pipe bands in Scotland and around the world.

John Weatherston, who played for the Invergordon Distillery pipe band when he was 12 years old, is the present chairman of the drum school.

He said: "As an active drummer myself, I know how expensive it is to run a pipe band. With costs for uniform, instruments, and buses to the competitions, it all adds up very quickly.

"Having this sponsorship will help ease the pressure and let us concentrate on our music. Maybe one day we will make it as big as the original Invergordon Distillery pipe band. Until then we are going to work hard and have a band in the area that the community will be proud of."

The Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School
The Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School

RACPADS are actively looking for members to expand the band.

To find out more, the school can be found on social media channels on via their website at www.racpads.com.

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