Tag Archives: Kingussie

Scotland ~ Highland Folk Museum: Day 3, August 28, 2017


I woke up about 8:30, having had a weird dream last night.  According to my app, I got 8:19 sleep.

Today looks cold and rainy as seen in the screenshot, above. Good thing I brought fleece-lined jeans.

I turned on the heat in the solarium and tried uploading those sermons again.

Tom is still trying to mess with the drain problem from last night.

Found out that since today is the August Bank Holiday, the bikers continue on through tonight.  Not exactly like Labor Day:

The August Bank Holiday was instituted by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 to give bankers a day off so they could participate in cricket matches. Since then, however, its significance has greatly expanded beyond those narrow limits. Now, it is a day intended to give workers of all stripes a three-day weekend before the summer holidays end and employees must return to the workplace and students to their schools.

(The video below says that they celebrate the August Bank Holiday on a different day in Scotland [August 7, 2017].  Where we were, they also celebrated August 28!).

Tom went to the main building to let them know about the drain issue.  They’ll fix it…sometime.

We decided to go to the Highland Folk Museum

The Highland Folk Museum is an open-air museum in Kingussie, Scotland. The museum, said to be Britain’s first mainland open-air museum, was opened in 1944. It was founded by Dr. Isabel F. Grant on a small site in Kingussie to house her collection of Highland life artefacts. Over the following years the museum was developed to include replica buildings such as the Lewis Blackhouse.

In the early 1980s, the museum, by then owned by the Highland Council, acquired a much larger site in Newtonmore. On the new site the open-air living history site was created. The new site was divided into four distinct areas: a 1930s themed working farm, a collection of re-located historical buildings, the Pinewoods and a reproduction of an early 1700s Highland township.

In 2013 the remainder of the collection in Kingussie was moved to the new site, which by then had developed to include a conservation laboratory, research areas, library, meeting rooms and offices.

The Museum now houses a variety of reconstructed buildings raging from an 18th-century highland township, traditional 1930s croft, tin school originally from Knockbain, corrugated church from Culloden, and various trades buildings such as joiners, tailors and clockmakers. Buildings are added on an annual basis to ensure that the traditional highland culture and heritage is preserved.https://www.highlifehighland.com/highlandfolkmuseum/



Welcome to the Highland Folk Museum. We are open every day, 10.30am to 5.30pm (Sept & October 11am to 4.30pm) until Friday 27 October 2017 – we look forward to seeing you in 2017!

Here at the Highland Folk Museum we give our visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s! We do this by displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period.  Some have been built from scratch on site and some have been moved here from other locations.

Our site is a mile long with our 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) at one end through to our 1930s working croft at the other. We have an on site cafe, gift shop and a fantastic children’s playground. The Museum is located at Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

We are also home to ‘Am Fasgadh’ storing 10,000 artefacts plus high quality meeting rooms, a research library, conservation laboratory and suite of offices.

Map to the Highland Folk Museum

The Museum was very cool.  We ended up walking 5 floors (some in stairs, some small hills), and 2.6 miles.

Stopped in the Gift store first.  Tom got a book on Scottish History for Children which actually looks very interesting – and I may “acquire” when he’s done.

After that, we went down the little slope and had to choose right or left.  Left went to the 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) and the right got later in time up to the 1930s working croft at the other end.

We went to the 1700s first but stopped several places along the way.

In the gallery at the end of this post there are pictures of  thatched roof houses, a Steam Engine, the bus (we didn’t take it), D. MacPherson Tailor and Outfitter,  Craigdru Tweed Cottage,  Clockmaker with netting to keep the birds from nesting, Lumber/joiners, Engine House and Paint Store, under the machine workshop.

Going to the Pine Forest, we crossed into another county and saw Scottish Water.

We crossed over the Wildcat trail and walked through the Pine Forest where there were some tree sculptures.  Owl, squirrel and raccoon are the ones we spotted.  There may have been more.

We saw a Travelling People’s Camp, lumber, pigs and finally got to 1700s.  It was a bit more than a 5 minute walk but very worthwhile.

These homes were so dark it was hard to get pictures inside.  The first was supposed to be owned by the most well-to-do and they went down in social status from there but I couldn’t see a lot of difference.

The thatched roof with fire inside, no chimney, lots of smoke, dirt floor.  The young man outside said that the things in the house were low down to keep the folks away from the smoke.  He said that the smoke helped keep animals out of the building (which should have been a lesson for all!) and made the roof last longer because no insects or anything would make a home there.

Their thatch lasts about 12 years.  The people living inside about 35-45 years.

Ducks and chickens wandering around.

Outdoor cooking – first barbecue?

A cruck frame (a pair of curved timbers extending from ground level to the transverse beam or ridge of a roof and forming a structure frame in a medieval timber-framed house) that you could assemble (like paint by numbers) and take apart

We left the 1700 for more “modern” times

We sat in the schoolroom where a “teacher” explained the typical day.  The school had a garden and some livestock.

More modern house with actual light inside

We went into the shinty pavilion.

Shinty (Scottish Gaeliccamanachd, iomain) is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread in Scotland, and was even played for a considerable time in England and other areas in the world where Scottish Highlanders migrated.

While comparisons are often made with field hockey, the two games have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.

The game was derived from the same root as the Irish game of hurling and the Welsh game of bando, but has developed unique rules and features. These rules are governed by the Camanachd Association. A composite rules shinty–hurling game has been developed, which allows Scotland and Ireland to play annual international matches.

Another sport with common ancestry is bandy, which is played on ice.

We met a man, another visitor, who explained shinty to us.  He is from Wales but has visited the states often.  He’s planning to come back to VA so Tom gave him his business card 🙂

A house with a real bathtub!

A Sheep Fank and Shepherd’s Bothy. A bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. It was also a term for basic accommodation, usually for gardeners or other workers on an estate.Bothies are to be found in remote mountainous areas of Scotland, Northern England, Ireland and Wales. This bothy was made from an old railway sleeper.

Sheep dip at this time they used tar.  Sheep dip is a liquid formulation of insecticide and fungicide which shepherds and farmers use to protect their sheep from infestation against external parasites such as itch mite, blow-fly, ticks, and lice.

We saw 3 coos aka cows:



Unfortunately, the sweetie store closed when we got there.

The Highland Folk Museum is where the TV Series Outlander was partly filmed so they have an Outlander Day: https://www.highlifehighland.com/highlandfolkmuseum/outlander-day/

Speak to any fan of the television adaption of Outlander, and chances are they’ll mention the incredible costumes, sophisticated sets and breathtaking locations utilised to convincingly recreate 18th Century Scotland. In previous editions of this Scotland Magazine column, we’ve visited various Outlander locations that – largely on account of their construction from stone – haven’t changed too significantly over the years. However, in the rural communities of Scotland’s past, wood was often the building material of choice for many township structures. Unsurprisingly, no suitable originals survived the long years since their construction intact.

This could’ve caused something of a stumbling block, particularly when filming scenes such as those seen in episode five of season one (‘Rent’). The protagonist, Claire, having joined the men of Clan MacKenzie, is taken along on a rent-collecting trip in the Highlands, on behalf of Laird Colum MacKenzie, and visits many impoverished villages constructed in the traditional style of the 1700s.

The episode is of particular note for giving an intimate look at the lives of women in such communities, and in one scene Claire joins the local women in a song as they ‘waulk the cloth’ (also known as ‘wool walking’ or ‘fulling’). The process involves pounding a large mass of wool, stretched across a long table, in order to eliminate dirt and thicken the material; songs were sung to help set the pace of work. The scene holds particular weight, as it is such everyday tasks that are often left out of historic fiction.

From our vantage point in the 21st Century, replete with modern comforts, it can be hard to imagine quite how hard life would have been for the occupants of such villages, thus making a faithful recreation of the period environment pivotal for the success of the series. In many countries, film-makers would now be faced with the daunting task of either building a set from scratch or relying on computer generated effects to create the desired environment; both are costly options and, as we have all seen on-screen many times before, the results of the latter can be less than convincing.

Thankfully, Scotland has its very own, painstakingly recreated, 18th Century township at the Highland Folk Museum near Newtonmore, Inverness-shire. Founded in 1935 by Dr Isobel F. Grant, a pioneer in British folk life studies and author of the seminal text Highland Folk Ways (1961), in just under a decade the collection had outgrown its original home, a church on the Isle of Iona, and relocated to a new site in Kingussie. This new museum, which was named Am Fasgadh (The Shelter), included a recreated late 19th Century blackhouse, livestock, crops and activities.

The Highland Folk Museum subsequently relocated once again, in 1996, to a significantly larger (80 acre / 32 hectare) location in nearby Newtonmore, and ever since has existed as a piece of ‘living history’ that is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. The collection, which now includes over 10,000 items, from teaspoons to tractors, was recognised in 2015 as a ‘Collection of National Significance’ by Museum Galleries Scotland, an accolade that coincided with its 80th anniversary.

The township itself, named Baile Gean (The Township of Goodwill), is based on a real settlement that once existed at Easter Raitts, high up the Spey valley near the hamlet of Lynchat. Raitts, the main settlement in the area prior to the 1790s era ‘planned town’ of Kingussie, was located on a drove road that crossed the River Spey from north to south, leading to the township of Ruthven.

The recreation was informed by significant archaeological excavation, physical and documentary research and extensive practical experimentation on site. Visitors are invited to learn of the complex techniques employed to build the various structures, which include the tackman’s (principal tenant) house; a barn; a cottar’s house (the house of a tenant who cultivated land); a weaver’s house; a stockman’s house (complete with animal pens) and a kiln barn (that demonstrates how villagers would have dried their grains).

After featuring in Outlander, the township has become very popular with fans of the series and as a result the museum now holds an annual ‘Outlander Day’ each June. This includes additional costumed interpreters on site (including a redcoat); cooking in the houses; weaving; an exhibition by the herbalist who advised on the TV series; additional animals; a working pole lathe and, of course, a display of ‘waulking the cloth.’

From http://www.scotlandmag.com/magazine/issue87/12011605.html



Stopped at Tesco.  Way fewer people now that the Thunder in the Glens is finished.

Got back about 5 and fell asleep immediately.  Woke up just after 9 making the total day’s sleep 12:52.

Looking back, I see that yesterday (Sunday) shows as 00: 00 time in the app.  Not sure what happened because I know I slept – and added the time to this blog (10:52).  Maybe the app was confused with time changes.  Interesting that both Sunday and Monday end with 52 minutes.  Hmmm.  The 7 day average is still ok.

And more pictures.  Sooner or later I may add more captions.  Click on any to see the larger slideshow…




Scotland: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I was pretty worried this morning.  Tom was still working on the client proposal, my computer battery was running down and we had a 2.5 hour drive to get to Edinburgh, then find the hotel and check in, then locate the ticket office for our will-call tickets before the Tattoo.  Luckily, the show didn’t start until 9:00pm.

Tom finished his work and got it sent off just after 1, so we packed up stuff we needed for overnight and drove back down to Edinburgh.

Over on the left, I saw what looked like an abandoned castle near Kingussie.  I wasn’t able to get a picture that time but I knew we’d drive by at least 2 more times before heading home.  I had bought Tom a book for Christmas (Fodor’s Scotland) and it mentioned my “castle” in it – it was actually the Ruthven Barracks.


From http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/kingussie/ruthvenbarracks/

The impressive and nicely proportioned mound on which Ruthven Barracks stands is said to be a natural leftover of the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age. Its regularity suggests that man has taken a hand as well. The mound overlooks the site of an ancient ford and ferry between it and today’s Kingussie. This was one of the few crossing places of the middle reaches of the River Spey before it was bridged near Newtonmore in 1808, and it lies at an important junction of the routes through the Cairngorms.

The first recorded castle to be built here appeared in 1229. By 1371 it formed the centre of activity of Alexander Stewart, Lord of Badenoch, and younger son of Robert II. More popularly knows as the Wolf of Badenoch, Stewart is mainly remembered for falling out with the Bishop of Elgin and being excommunicated by him for marital infidelity. In retaliation he destroyed Elgin Cathedral, and much of Elgin in 1390.

This first castle was destroyed in 1451, but rebuilt by 1459 as a much grander fortification. It was fought over during the Civil Wars, then badly damaged by Viscount Dundee, Bonnie Dundee and the Jacobites during the first uprising in 1689.

After the 1715 Jacobite uprising, the Government decided to tighten its grip on the Highlands by building four fortified barracks in strategic locations. Ruthven Barracks was one of them, and all remains of the earlier castle were removed to make way for the structure you see today. The barracks took much longer to build than planned, and was finally completed in 1721.

The barracks were designed to house 120 troops, split between the two barrack blocks. Officers lived separately. The stables, standing slightly to the west of the rest of the barracks, were built in 1734 to house 28 horses for dragoons. By this time its strategic importance had been enhanced by the building of General Wade’s military roads from Perth, Fort Augustus and Inverness that came together here.

In August 1745 some 200 Jacobites tried to capture Ruthven Barracks. A force of just 12 redcoats, commanded by a Sergeant Molloy, fought them off with the loss of just one man. By February 1746 Sergeant Molloy had been promoted to Lieutenant, and was still in command when a larger force of Jacobites arrived, this time equipped with artillery. The garrison surrendered.

History had one more, final, role in store for Ruthven Barracks. On the day after the Battle of Culloden as many as 3,000 Jacobites assembled here under Lord George Murray with the intention of fighting on. Awaiting them was a message from Bonnie Prince Charlie saying that each man should save himself the best he could. The Jacobites set fire to the barracks, and dispersed to try to evade a Government now set on finally suppressing the Jacobites, and the Highlands, once and for all.

What visitors to Ruthven Barracks see today is pretty much what was left by the departing Jacobites on 17 April 1746. Most of the exterior walls remain, but little of the interior structure, and no flooring or roofing. But come here on a quiet day and you can have Ruthven Barracks entirely to yourself. The distant traffic on the A9 barely intrudes, and it takes very little effort to transport yourself back 250 years to the days when history was being made here.

And, if it’s really quiet, and getting dark, watch out for ghostly chess-players. It is said that one evening in July 1394 a visitor dressed all in black arrived at Ruthven Castle and challenged Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch to a game of chess. By morning, no-one was left alive in the castle: for such are the perils of playing chess with the Devil.

Also, along the way, we saw amazon.com.uk and I got a picture of that our last day.  We got into Edinburgh and looked for our hotel with the very clever name – the Edinburgh City Hotel.  I had chosen that because it was fairly close to the castle and I knew we’d want to stay overnight since the Tattoo didn’t get over until 11:30 and it was a long ride back.

We checked in and got settled in a bit.  I was reading the info about the hotel and found that they had adaptors for rent.  Oh, happy day!  I immediately started charging my computer again.

I don’t remember eating anything this day but I must have had something, somewhere.

The hotel is only 10 minutes from the castle but I hadn’t realized we needed to walk further to get our tickets.  Fortunately, we left early enough to accomplish all this.

We set out to walk to the castle and to the Waverly Bridge where the ticket office is.  We walked by the huge queue filling up the wide Royal Mile to the castle, then on to the News Steps.  This picture doesn’t show the turns in the steps – there are 134 of them – between St Giles Street and Market Street.


At the ticket office we picked up our tickets for the Tattoo and a double decker bus ride for the next day.  Then, we contemplated walking back up the stairs, up the Royal Mile to the castle and decided to take a cab.  The driver said it was only a short walk but I was already exhausted and I knew we had to do the all uphill Royal Mile since it’s closed to traffic.


We were dropped off at the bottom of the hill and joined the mass of people waiting to go up the hill for the Tattoo.  The Fringe Festival was also happening at the same time and there lots of people attending those activities.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Town,_Edinburgh

The street layout, typical of the old quarters of many northern European cities, is made especially picturesque in Edinburgh, where the castle perches on top of a rocky crag, the remnants of an extinct volcano, and the main street runs down the crest of a ridge from it. This “crag and tail” landform was created during the last ice age when receding glaciers scoured across the land pushing soft soil aside but being split by harder crags of volcanic rock. The hilltop crag was the earliest part of the city to develop, becoming fortified and eventually developing into the current Edinburgh Castle. The rest of the city grew slowly down the tail of land from the Castle Rock.

We found our seats which were in a pretty good section and waited a short while for the Tattoo to begin.  The announcer did the typical thing finding out where the audience was from.  I was surprised to hear a large contingent from a high school in Alaska cheering.  When I went on school trips, it was usually to the next town, not overseas!

The folks near us were on a Seabourn cruise.  The next day, we saw their ship in the harbor.

There were folks from all over the world. – 70% of the audience comes from outside Scotland.  Half of these are from overseas.

The Tattoo as a whole was wonderful.  There were some things I didn’t like as well as others but that’s me.  I loved the pipers, the drummers, the lights on the castle, the Lone Piper, the Black Bear, Scotland the Brave (the ringtone on my phone!) … All the truly Scottish things.

I wasn’t so wild about the Indian Bollywood number, the Chinese dragons floating around or the Highland Dancers.  They weren’t bad but they weren’t what I really came for.  When I think of Highland Dancers, I think of men doing sword dances – but I can’t have everything!

I am a huge drumming fan so another favorite of mine was the Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps.

The Military Band of the People’s Liberation Army of China played my all time favorite hymn – Abide With Me.

The show, even through it lasted 2.5 hours was over all too soon.  We headed down the hill with the other 8,800 attendees, then turned right to go back to our hotel.

On the way, we stopped at a tiny store and got some junk food for dinner.

What a fantastic event – and now, I’ve fulfilled my 1-item bucket list.  I want to go back!

For the record – The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries – ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).

This is a commercial for the Tattoo which ran in the UK. The world is coming together for the 66th Tattoo! 2015 will see the world’s most spectacular military Tattoo host a parade of talent from 4 continents as the show piece event celebrates ‘East Meets West’.

From http://www.edintattoo.co.uk/news/tattoo-marks-raf-anniversary/

Tattoo Marks RAF Anniversary for 2015

All the traditional ingredients will be present – massed pipes & drums, massed bands, the Lone Piper along with a number of impressive overseas offerings – but some will be contributing a new look to next year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (7-29 August 2015).

Among new features will be one of the most popular military college marching bands in the United States, the 70-piece Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes, who will travel to Scotland from Charleston in South Carolina for August’s 66th Tattoo, while over 100 musicians and a cultural item from the East is also expected to add an unexpected new dimension to proceedings, as the showpiece military event celebrates ‘East Meets West’.

The Tattoo’s Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey, said: “The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is privileged to be in conversation with around 30 countries at any one moment, with customers drawn from across the world and contingents from over 40 nations having performed with us over the years.  Even with this pedigree, the cast for 2015 looks rather special with 5 major international contributors in the mix.  The theme of ‘East Meets West’ has allowed us a broad canvas and an excuse to draw in friends from 5 continents as well as the home team!”

For the sixth time in the Tattoo’s history, Switzerland is to provide participants who will also play a part next summer. The Swiss contingent, Top Secret Drum Corps, featuring 30 top percussionists from one of the world’s most sensational marching rhythm groups, will display an unpredictable style and dynamism that has drummed its way into the hearts of Tattoo spectators on four previous occasions.

New features will also include an exciting appearance by the Royal Air Force, which is set to observe the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2015. To mark this important occasion, which continues to occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of the British public, RAF Pipes and Drums, the RAF Squadronaires together with the Queen’s Colour Squadron will present a spirited display of piping, drumming, dance band classics and precision drill that is expected to delight audiences throughout the 3-week Castle Esplanade spectacular.

And along with the Massed Pipes and Drums will be some of the foremost services bands in the world, The RAF Massed Bands embracing representatives from The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, The Band of The Royal Air Force College and The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment in company with The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, with over 120 musicians drawn from across the UK.

“This year – we are already working as if it were 2015 – we are delighted to be supported by the Royal Air Force under their Principal Director of Music, Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs.  The RAF bands have huge quality and depth, their presentation is first rate and, their music is both excellent and broad in its appeal.  Of course, in 2015, we will be marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  This offers a splendid opportunity to showcase all the RAF have to offer.  We are all thoroughly looking forward to honouring ‘The Few’” commented the Producer.

From the United States will come a Highland Dance contingent who will join forces with the Tattoo’s own Highland dancers to offer a selection of colourful, complex and compelling dance patterns.

The 90-minute production will also feature the return of the Crossed Swords Pipe Band from Berlin. German composer and co-writer of the popular bagpipe melody ‘Highland Cathedral’ – Berlin-based Michael Korb – a band stalwart, may well perform at the event alongside the 25-strong group of pipers and drummers , as the Tattoo’s first German pipe band, ‘The Crossed Swords’, take to Edinburgh’s famous Castle Esplanade for a second time.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which is set-up and run for charitable purposes, is grateful to official partner, The Royal Bank of Scotland, for its continued support. Rhidian Taylor, Head of Brand at RBS said: “2014 proved to be yet another fantastic year for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  As Scotland’s most prestigious and internationally renowned event, we look forward to welcoming our customers and being part of the team making it happen for 2015”.

Tickets for the 2015 Tattoo (7-29 August) will be available online at http://www.edintattoo.co.uk and over the phone Tel: 0131 225 1188, from 10am on Monday, December 1st 2014. Counter Bookings from the Tattoo Ticket Sales Office at 32-34 Market Street in Edinburgh, will be accepted from Monday, December 8th.

My slideshow, including some short videos.  One of them was turned sideways for some reason – I have no idea why! The first image is our hotel.

This seems to be taken by someone in the audience

And, of course, Scotland The Brave.  This morphs into the next video, marching down The Royal Mile

I like this video of The Black Bear with the pipes and drums marching down The Royal Mile.  It is customary to yell or roar during this song.  In most Scottish infantry regiments of yore it was customary for a battalion led by the Pipes and Drums re–entering their barracks after say a route march to play the tune.  Often the drummers and the soldiers would roar/yell very loudly when the tune came to the fourth bar, two beats to further herald their arrival.

Professional videos.  I think this one might have been the TV show. “From the unique setting of the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, the 2015 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, with the Massed Bands of the RAF and the Queen’s Colour Squadron taking centre stage.

East meets west at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with the east represented by a Bollywood dance extravaganza, the Military Band of the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Changxing Lotus Dragon Dance Folklore Group.

From the west, the UK home team are joined by the Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes from Charleston in South Carolina and the United States Air Force Honor Guard, based in Washington DC.

Other highlights include a spectacular display from the Tattoo Highland dancers, precision percussion from Basel’s Top Secret Drum Corps and the unforgettable sight and sound of the Massed Pipes and Drums.”


The following are fantastic but they were done at the dress rehearsal and photographers and others were allowed on the esplanade.

1: This is the opening act, the massed pipes and drums, sorry about the interruptions by people who come late and sit in the wrong seats!

2: This is the second act, American Air Force personnel who indulge in some synchronised rifle maneovering with bayonets attached! (hope they have the freedom of the city!)

3. An Irish song “Toss The Feathers” played admirably by the band led by the fiddler.

4. This is a group of Indian Dancers enthralling the sell out crowd.

5. In 2015  The Citadel’s Regimental Band and Pipes returned to the invitation-only, world famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland. It is a month-long nightly event of music, pageantry and demonstrations by military organizations from around the world. The Citadel’s band and pipes is the only U.S. military college band to have ever been invited and will be “America’s Band” in 2015.

4. Here we have the Top Secret Drum Corps from Basel in Switzerland – what a brilliant act, a real favourite at the Edinburgh.  I especially liked the Top Secret Drum Corps.  I’d seem them before on YouTube and I was especially glad to see them live.  I loved when they whipped out fifes that looked like drumsticks and played Scotland the Brave.

5. This is video of a band who have joined us all the way from the Republic of China – The Military Band of the People’s Liberation Army of China.  I liked how they sang as well as played their instruments.

6. Here we have “Hector The Hero” performed admirably on the castle esplanade. Hector the Hero is a well-known traditional Scottish Air written by James Scott Skinner and played in the key of A. What a haunting melody!

There were a few others I might add later but this is enough for now!

Massed Pipes and Drums

This video is the Royal Air Force (RAF) band in action, heading to the start of the finale.

This is the rousing finale of “Scotland The Brave” and “The Black Bear” as they exit the esplanade and walk back to barracks via the Royal Mile – quite superb!

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