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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > History, Tradition, Heritage
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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 11-03-2017, 02:50 PM   #1
Pakeha
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Default McLeod of Forfar???

I have some ABW chanters with catalin soles and I can find no clear information about the chanters or maker(s).
Who knows the real story?
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:45 PM   #2
LloydB
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakeha View Post
I have some ABW chanters with catalin soles and I can find no clear information about the chanters or maker(s).
Who knows the real story?
My recollection is that Gillanders and McLeod
pipes were introduced in the mid-1970's. They
were certainly being widely marketed by 1979.

Their chanters were marked only McLeod and Forfar,
IIRC.
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:16 PM   #3
Pakeha
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Thanks Lloyd

I have a Gillanders chanter also and I was confused as to why my McLeod chanters only carried the one name. I suppose that is another story.
Does this mean these chanters are from the early seventies even though the company was called Gillander & McLeod?
Was McLeod a pipe/chanter maker? I have been told his field of excellence was PM and he was just a business partner.
The larger bore McLeod chanters of the batch are a very good fundamental Bb and reed with a large variety of different makers reeds. So nice to hear tone instead of the eye shattering pitch some crank it up to.
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:10 PM   #4
LloydB
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakeha View Post
Thanks Lloyd

I have a Gillanders chanter also and I was confused as to why
my McLeod chanters only carried the one name. I suppose that
is another story. Does this mean these chanters are from the
early seventies even though the company was called Gillander
& McLeod? Was McLeod a pipe/chanter maker? I have been
told his field of excellence was PM and he was just a business
partner. The larger bore McLeod chanters of the batch are a
very good fundamental Bb and reed with a large variety of
different makers reeds. So nice to hear tone instead of the e
ye shattering pitch some crank it up to.
Likely a search in the 'Instrument and Technique' forum, or
a wider browser search, would put this in focus. Again, I
depend on uncertain recollection... I believe 'of Forfar' was
added quite a while after the business was formed... to set
off their chanters from chanters made by other MacLeods or
McLeods.

So I'd suggest yours are later 1970's vintage and could be
1980's. (I've no idea, how many years they continued marking
chanters that way.) Can't help with the rest, but prefer, with
you, those lower tones and related overtones.
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Last edited by LloydB; 11-03-2017 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:32 AM   #5
Smjprogrammer
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Gillanders & McLeod also made practice chanters labeled Gillanders & McLeod Edinburgh, but no body seems to have one. Everybody except the one person I knew who did. Played great. Was full catalin minus the mouthpiece.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:51 PM   #6
OldPipes
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Alex Robertson of Woodstock, Ontario (Highland House was the name of his shop) was at one time the sole agent for all G&M pipes sold in North America, meaning he got a cut of all G&M pipes sold in NA, no matter what shop they were purchased through. Alex was a very close friend of Ian McLeod, PM of Glasgow Police and Alex also knew Bob Gillanders.

As I remember the story, originally Ian bought into Gillanders and developed his chanter which was stamped McLeod, Forfar. I assume this was a distinction against the other McLeod Bagpipes and a play on his winning years with the Glasgow Police PB. Eventually Ian became sole owner and it was also my understanding that the Gillanders drone bores maintained the original sizes, and the exterior shapes remained very close to Bob Gillanders design.

I'm sure that there are many Canadians on this site that knew Alex and can verify this, one way or the other. Ringo Bowen, among many others played in Alexs' pipe band in the early 70's.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

In Highland Bagpipe Makers Jeannie Campbell lists several makers named McLeod or MacLeod.

The one in question is probably the one discussed under the heading

R. Gillanders, R. Gillanders & Son, Gillanders & McLeod
1930- Dundee, Forfar, Edinburgh


"In 1926 Bert (Gillanders) decided to set up business for himself, firstly in the Cowgate, Dundee...

The firm became R. Gillanders & Son, opening a factory at Forfar in 1959...

In 1972 the firm became Gillanders & McLeod.

In 1977 Gillanders & McLeod opened a shop in Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh, although manufacturing continued at Forfar.

In 1999 the shop transferred to Brougham Place."

The McLeod of Gillanders & McLeod was PM Iain McLeod.

There are a number of makers named MacLeod and McLeod listed in the book:

Donald MacLeod, Tain (not the famous player and composer)
Torquil McLeod, Tain (son of the above)
F MacLeod, Dundee
W & M MacLeod, Glasgow
MacLeod Highland Supplies, Glasgow
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 11-22-2017 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Iain McLeod passed away on March 30th of this year. As recently as last year I emailed him regarding a question about my 1979 G&M AB2 He was still doing business then, but the webpage for Gillanders and McLeod is no longer active, so I would guess the business died with him.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
In [


In 1972 the firm became Gillanders & McLeod.
I was very new to piping then...these were my first set....maybe one of theirs too...I recall the chanter bore was nearly the same as on a practice chanter. The nickel ferrules looked like lead. I happily sold them at the 73 CNE and picked up a new set of Lawries from a vendor there. Might have been Jack Ironside.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: McLeod of Forfar???

Quote:
I recall the chanter bore was nearly the same as on a practice chanter. The nickel ferrules looked like lead.
Sounds more like a set of Pakistani pipes than any G & Ms I've ever seen. I've had since late 1977 or early 1978 a set of G & Ms that I bought used. Since this set had belonged to Alex Robertson's Woodstock Pipe Band that disbanded in 1975 or 1976 IIRC, my set was likely made around 1972-73. Like other G & Ms I have seen from that period, my pipes have stainless steel ferrules, not nickel ones, dull or otherwise. I still have the original chanter, whose bore bears no resemblance to that of a practice chanter. In fact, it's hard to believe that Bob Gillanders, who had been a highly respected pipe maker for decades before joining forces with Iain McLeod would suddenly have begun turning out chanters such as that described above.
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Last edited by acadianpiper; 11-22-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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