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Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard


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Dunoon’s two sparring bands could soon smoke the pipe of peace and play in harmony.

For years there has been huge rivalry, often bordering on a standoff between Cowal Pipe Band and Dunoon Argyll Pipe Band.

However, over the past couple of years’ circumstances have seen both with fast dwindling numbers until they have too few experienced players to form a full competing band.

But on the approach to Cowal Games with neither bands able to compete the remaining members got together to jointly play at Kirn Gala, Sunset Ceremony and Dunoon Presents . . .

Now it looks like harmony could prevail and from the ashes may rise a Phoenix in the form of a new band.

That is, however, still wishful thinking as Cowal Pipe Band secretary Margaret MacBrayne said. “We are only in discussions at this stage.

“It was mooted last year with the dwindling band numbers on both sides. We wanted to see if we could carry on as individuals this season, but both bands were too low in players.

“We tried to recruit more with not too much success and a few weeks ago we decided to approach Duncan Macleod (Pipe Major of Dunoon Argyll) to see if we could go out with them.

“We wanted to get out in the town and show we were still there and we did at these recent events and we marched down the street at the end of the march past on Cowal Games Saturday.

“The appearance was well received and everyone seemed to have a great time.

“There is lots ahead to think about and discuss. We are having a break for a couple of weeks and then we will have a meeting with the two committees and we will take it from there.

“Everyone so far is very happy and it had been a good achievement and it can only be good for the bands and the town if something comes from it.

“This could be the way to move forward – fingers crossed.”

Pipe Major Duncan Macleod was equally hopeful about the future.

He told the Standard: “The animosity between the bands has been a bit of a fallacy and for the last couple of years there has been no problems at all.

“We worked together for Kirn Gala and Sunset Ceremony and the march down the street.

“It’s the end of the season now and the bands usually take a break.

“However, we plan to get together over the winter to see if we can get something together, something more permanent.

“One of the things will be finding a way around the huge logistical problems that arise, but there is a will to get around it and I am very hopeful that we can.

“Things are definitely looking promising and in the end we may get one good band from it all.”

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