Colinton and Currie Pipe Band

John Neill father and son on the steps of Colinton House in 1925

The Colinton and Currie Pipe band, formed in 1887 by John Neill, joiner and undertaker in Colinton, is believed to be the oldest unattached band in Scotland. His son (the janitor at Juniper Green school) continued the piping tradition.

In the early days the band benefited greatly from the support of the big houses in the area. While many of its members learned their pipes at the Juniper Green's Drill Hall with the Royal Scots, the band itself practised in the hut behind the Kinleith Arms.

On the way to band practice in the early years of the band

Colinton and Currie Pipe Band members in the Montgomery's garden, Belmont Road, between the wars.
From the left: W Allison, J Ferguson, J Corse, W Todd, W Haston

The band was disbanded during each of the world wars but reformed in peace time. The band's bass drum was used by James Ferguson throughout the First World War in France and now resides in the museum of piping.

The band led the Village pageants.

The band would play to celebrate great occasions like the Bowling Club's victory in the Scottish Rink Championship in 1947. But, many people most enjoyed hearing it at practice on fair Friday nights in the Bloomiehall Park.

Colinton and Currie Pipe Band at the Annual Flower Show , Gibson Craig Hall, Currie 1949

Isobel Neill in the Colinton and Currie Pipe Band in 1955

In the 1950s girls joined and the band continues to teach youngsters into the twenty- first century!

Information from Lynda Reid and Isobel Campbell (nee Neill)

Isobel is the granddaughter of John Neill the senior founder of the band. She lived in 28 Baberton Avenue from 1937 when her dad became the janitor at the school. She remembers the school closing during the war and her mum Mrs Jenny Neill taking over janitorial duties. Isobel's class went to Foulis Crescent and took their lessons in Mrs Mackenzie's the builders house.

In 2007 Isobel still meets Juniper Green school friends every month: Olive McNab (nee Russell), Esther Elliott (nee Crabbe) and Marion Macfarlane (nee Bryce).