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TITLE
Drum Major, Isle of Skye Pipe Band
EXTERNAL ID
SLD_182_019
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF IMAGE
1973
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
Olivia James
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
39464
KEYWORDS
Drum Majors
drum major
pipe major
pipe band
Pipe Bands
pipe bands
highland games
Highland Games arena
Skye Games
Drum Major, Isle of Skye Pipe Band

The Drum Major (DM) of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band, Jimmy Devlin, stands resplendent in his full Highland Dress uniform. This comprises a Cameron of Erracht tartan kilt, red collared tunic, plaid, white spats (or gaiters) and tartan topped hose. An ostrich feather bonnet and the mace and white gauntlets of his position complete his attire. The photograph was taken at the Isle of Skye Games in Portree, probably in 1973. The uniform of the Drum Major is often different from the rest of the band, being more traditional in style and providing a very visual image of the band they represent.

The Drum Major's role today is very different from the historical position he once held as a military leader in charge of the drum corps during battles. The modern Drum Major still has to have a military bearing and dignity, and indeed still leads the band from the front. However the position today has little involvement with the music which is guided by the Pipe Major along with the Drum Sergeant. The timing and direction of the march is controlled by the DM with the mace or staff as well as vocal commands and instructions.

The Portree Pipe band was first formed in the late 1920s by Post Master William Watson. In March 1961, having been in abeyance since World War II, it reformed under the title of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band. Fundraising and instruction of young pipers and drummers helped to re-establish and strengthen the band which has played abroad and also for the Queen at the Balmoral Highland Games. During the summer months they can be heard in the main square in Portree.




Olivia James
The images in this collection are a selection from a set of high quality Agfachrome slides taken by Olivia James. Mrs James, a semi-professional photographer, took the photographs on visits to Skye between 1968 and 1989, using a Pentax S1A camera and CT 18 film. They record a variety of locations, people and activities which have now changed or indeed disappeared, and provide one person's view of the island through the camera lens. Born in Elderslie, Renfrewshire on 26th April 1932, Olive Grace James (née Purcell) moved to England in 1944, trained as a teacher and married Richard James in 1956. Her husband's forbears were from Skye and they began visiting on a regular basis in 1968. In addition to the slides, Mrs James has written an evocative account of her memories of places, events and people on Skye which she named 'Skye Magic', a copy of which is held at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.
'Skye Magic' has been incorporated into her privately printed autobiography 'Neivie, Neivie, Nick, Nack' which she has kindly donated to various institutions including the Clan Donald Library on Skye, the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the Weaver's Cottage, Kilbarchan.


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Drum Major, Isle of Skye Pipe Band

INVERNESS: Portree

1970s

Drum Majors; drum major; pipe major; pipe band; Pipe Bands; pipe bands; highland games; Highland Games arena; Skye Games

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Olivia James Collection

The Drum Major (DM) of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band, Jimmy Devlin, stands resplendent in his full Highland Dress uniform. This comprises a Cameron of Erracht tartan kilt, red collared tunic, plaid, white spats (or gaiters) and tartan topped hose. An ostrich feather bonnet and the mace and white gauntlets of his position complete his attire. The photograph was taken at the Isle of Skye Games in Portree, probably in 1973. The uniform of the Drum Major is often different from the rest of the band, being more traditional in style and providing a very visual image of the band they represent.<br /> <br /> The Drum Major's role today is very different from the historical position he once held as a military leader in charge of the drum corps during battles. The modern Drum Major still has to have a military bearing and dignity, and indeed still leads the band from the front. However the position today has little involvement with the music which is guided by the Pipe Major along with the Drum Sergeant. The timing and direction of the march is controlled by the DM with the mace or staff as well as vocal commands and instructions. <br /> <br /> The Portree Pipe band was first formed in the late 1920s by Post Master William Watson. In March 1961, having been in abeyance since World War II, it reformed under the title of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band. Fundraising and instruction of young pipers and drummers helped to re-establish and strengthen the band which has played abroad and also for the Queen at the Balmoral Highland Games. During the summer months they can be heard in the main square in Portree.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <b>Olivia James</b><br /> The images in this collection are a selection from a set of high quality Agfachrome slides taken by Olivia James. Mrs James, a semi-professional photographer, took the photographs on visits to Skye between 1968 and 1989, using a Pentax S1A camera and CT 18 film. They record a variety of locations, people and activities which have now changed or indeed disappeared, and provide one person's view of the island through the camera lens. Born in Elderslie, Renfrewshire on 26th April 1932, Olive Grace James (née Purcell) moved to England in 1944, trained as a teacher and married Richard James in 1956. Her husband's forbears were from Skye and they began visiting on a regular basis in 1968. In addition to the slides, Mrs James has written an evocative account of her memories of places, events and people on Skye which she named 'Skye Magic', a copy of which is held at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.<br /> 'Skye Magic' has been incorporated into her privately printed autobiography 'Neivie, Neivie, Nick, Nack' which she has kindly donated to various institutions including the Clan Donald Library on Skye, the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the Weaver's Cottage, Kilbarchan. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com ">Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a>