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A photograph of Janet McDonald

Janet McDonald

‘It was our whole lives…’ Memories of Wick Girls’ Pipe Band

Born: 1939

Duration: 26m 0s

Type: Audio

Filesize: 34Mb

Recorded: 25 May 2019

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About this recording

Janet McDonald looks back on her eight wonderful years as a member of Wick Girls’ Pipe Band in the late 1940s and the ’50s, under the strict leadership of Pipe Major Jim Christie.
Janet reminisces about arriving in Wick by steam train when the family moved up from England and then learning to play the chanter and bagpipes. She talks about memorable trips with the band – notably their adventures in London in 1949 when they were photographed marching down Ludgate Hill with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background and were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament, while some of the girls even made an appearance on TV.
“My grandchildren will never be allowed to forget that their grandmother played the bagpipes down Ludgate Hill when she was 10 years old,” Janet says.
She also recalls trips to Croydon, Brighton, Trowbridge, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Stromness, as well as performances at concerts and dances around Caithness.
Janet and her late husband, Ian, ran J McDonald Photographers in Shore Lane, Wick, for many years. In a separate recording on Wick Voices, Janet talks about some of the memorable moments from the photography business.
In another recording, Vida Sinclair shares some of her own memories of playing in Wick Girls’ Pipe Band.




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