About Us

Torphichen and Bathgate Pipe Band are based in West Lothian, Scotland and consist of both an adult and a juvenile band.

The band was formed in 1902 in the small village of Torphichen, North of Bathgate, making it one of the oldest civilian pipe band still in operation today.

The band has enjoyed many years of competitive success since its inception, winning countless titles along the way. With a hard working ethos and strong desire to succeed in promoting traditional Scottish music, coupled with its illustrious history, the band is keen to recruit and develop players with a view to competing at the highest level.

A special mention should also be made to acknowledge the support and dedication of our hard-working Committee, to Chairman and Band Manager Derek McKie and to our sponsor, Kilmarnock Removals for their generous financial support.

History

Torphichen and Bathgate Pipe Band was Established in 1902 and is one of the oldest civilian pipe bands in the World.

The Village

A small but beautiful village just a few miles from the larger town of Bathgate in West Lothian, Torphichen can lay claim to one of the oldest continuously operational serving Pipe Bands in the world.

The name Torphichen originates from the gaelic: Torr-fithichean, which translates as ‘the Raven's Hill’.

The village church is said to have been founded in around 400 C.E by St. Ninians, whilst the Knights Hospitaller of St John made Torphichen their Scottish Headquarters in the 12th century.

It is also rumoured that William Wallace held his last convention of the barons here in 1297. The ancient remains of the Torphichen Preceptory still stand attached to the rear of the newer parish kirk, which in itself is one of the oldest parishes in Scotland.

Today, the village has a population of around 600.

The Early Years

Earliest picture of Torphichen Pipe Band 1908.  Donated by Moira Turpie From its formation in 1902 the band was originally known as the ‘Torphichen Pipe Band’. One of the earliest known pictures can be seen opposite.

This picture is from 1908 at Torphichen’s first ever Gala Day. Taken at the foot of the Low Brae, it shows Robert Nelson (right) and Peter Battision (left) on horseback, followed by the band

Through its connections to the village of Torphichen, the band is affiliated to the order of the Knights of St John. Throughout the band’s history it has proudly carried the emblem of the Maltese cross on its official band ties and Bass drum, together with specially designed Pipe Major & Pipe Sergeant Drone banners.

The photographs below show the band with a remarkably healthy membership through its early and developing years, allowing the band to flourish even through both world wars.

Torphichen and Bathgate 1930 - kindly donated by Ann Kerr Torphichen and Bathgate 1935 - kindly donated by Nancy Watson

Torphichen and Bathgate 1930 - kindly donated by Ann Kerr Torphichen and Bathgate 1940's - Pipe Major Donald Ramsey Shaw

Torphichen and Bathgate 1951 leaving Greenside - kindly donated by Ann Kerr Torphichen and Bathgate 1954 pictured in 1954 in the Loan - kindly donated by Diane Young