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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pipe band on a rocket tour

Langholm pipe band have been entertaining the people of the town for longer than anyone cares to remember but their reputation isn’t confined only to the burgh boundaries.

Of course, we all recall that they have played for the Queen at the Braemar Highland Games for the past three years and, to their great credit, won the shield for the best band on the day in 2009.

There was a bit of a media frenzy following their win and it was very much deserved. Their fans were also treated to a celebratory concert in the Buccleuch Centre.

Now the band is set to steal the limelight again, this time at the Sands Centre in Carlisle.

A couple of weeks ago in Little jottings I mentioned that Rue and the Rockets played at the Buccleuch Hall in February 1963 during the heavy snows and next month are due to appear at the Sands to mark 50 years of performing.

So what has this got to do with Langholm pipe band, I hear you ask? The story is that the pipe band had been playing at the Moffat Christmas lights switch-on and had stopped off at the Brig Inn in Lockerbie for refreshments.

None other than Rue and the Rockets were supplying the live music in the inn that night and, I’m told, the place was ‘bouncing’. The music was ‘unbelievable’ and, although they wanted to stay, the band members had to get back to Langholm.

But not before Rue and co had invited the pipe band to play on the stage at their concert at the Sands and join them at the pre-concert party in their hotel in Carlisle.

Anyone wanting to catch the bands can see them on Friday, February 5. Tickets are £10. For groups of 10 one ticket is free.

Staying on a musical theme, the duo Bon Accords, Robin and Deryn Waitt, are proof that the show must go on.

The couple, who live in Claygate, can’t have found it easy just to reach Langholm during the worst of the recent snow but, undeterred by warnings not to travel unless it was essential, they fulfilled an engagement on the Isle of Skye on Hogmanay.

They travelled up on Hogmanay, played that night and returned home on New Year’s Day for the weekend’s gigs.

Two weeks ago and they were off again, this time for two dates in Northern Ireland.

Intrepid travellers they are but, as Robin said: “You can’t let anyone down.”

It’s that time of year again when you start to see people swerving in their cars for no apparent reason.

No, it’s not pheasants, although they are a common hazard in these valleys. I also just read in a new survey that Scots are more likely to hit animals when they have a crash than, for example, a wall, tree or lamp-post.

No, it’s not anything made of flesh and blood. It’s the motorist’s nightmare after a winter of frost, snow, ice and then a thaw and rain.

They’re appearing all over the place and you never know when another one is going to appear. It’s our old friend – the pothole. During the second half of our winters it’s not only the weather that drivers have to contend with. Nowadays, keeping their vehicles free of damage from the pitfalls of potholes means they have to be on constant look-out for that tell-tale gash in the tarmac.

We’d like to hear from you if you have had your car damaged by a pothole or send us photos of what you think are the worst potholes in Eskdale and Liddesdale that you have to drive through.

Contact the paper on 013873 80012, email eskdale.news@cngroup.co.uk or call into our High Street office.

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