Probus appeals for lost music from Ellon musician

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AT the meeting of Ellon Probus Club on March 8, President Alistair Sinclair introduced Ellon man of many parts, fellow club member Alan Cameron, as the speaker for the evening.

As many will know Alan is a keen local historian and his choice of subject was ‘The Music of George Thom’. George was a long term member of Ellon Probus club and was made an Honorary Member in 2009 before unfortunately passing away in 2010.

One of George’s many notable talents was playing the bag pipes, a talent which he displayed at Armistice Parades, Burn’s Suppers and at many other events both locally and abroad. George started playing the pipes under his father’s tuition and then, at the age of 16, at the Military Piping School at Edinburgh Castle.

Many club members were surprised to learn that George not only played the pipes but also wrote pipe music, commonly as a request to mark a specific event. Currently Alan is compiling a book of George’s music including the story behind each of the tunes.

Such music is an integral part of our local culture and it would be a great loss to our heritage if it was to be for ever lost. Alan would be grateful to hear, either directly or via the Probus Club or the local Press, from anyone who may have an old pipe tune written by George stashed away and forgotten about in a drawer or wardrobe.

In his vote of thanks Duncan Milne thanked Alan for enlightening members on an aspect of George Thom’s life that has tended to have been known to only a select few in the piping world.

The next meeting is on 22 March when members will face the challenge of the Spring Quiz.