Be Part of Piping History
Bagpipes and Scottish piping culture has spread around the world. Piping is more popular here and across the globe than ever before. Since piping is a Scottish Highland tradition it’s hard to believe that the Highlands do not have a centre to celebrate and promote our piping culture and national instrument.
We intend to change that by opening “The Highland Bagpipe Centre”
It is usually a surprise when we tell people that there are three different kinds of Scottish Bagpipe in common use in Scotland today. They are amazed at how different they look and sound. We would like everyone who uses the centre to leave informed and inspired. A place to learn about how bagpipes are made, sound and play, our history, tradition and culture, in an enjoyable and informal setting.
The Highland Bagpipe Centre
Suitable sites for a project like this are rare in and around Inverness, the Highland Capital. Luckily we have identified a site, and although it needs a bit of work, the owner plans to refurbish it ready for us to move in by May 2019. Less than 10minutes from Inverness City, the move to the site and it becoming operational, will be phased. The first phase will get us to the site and the manufacturing and shop up and running. The second and third phases and the rest of the operation will be established, then streamlined and improved.
On entering the site visitors will be able to look through a glass panel into the workshop and see bagpipes being made assembled and tested. This will lead into a bright modern shop split into two areas. One for bagpipe and bagpipe accessory sales, and an area for quality gifts for the non-pipers. The bagpipe shop will contain a small comfortable section where customers can come and try the different kind of pipes before buying them. Backing onto this area will be tuition pods which will be used for the tuition of bagpipes to the local community as well as visiting piping parties. Leading from the shop will be our piping archive, museum and exhibition. It’s important that the legacy of the great pipers of the past are kept alive, as some of their achievements can never be repeated and will never be surpassed. We intend to display our large and well preserved family archive. Our archive includes, bagpipes made for family members, many of the world’s top piping prizes all in one place, photographs, correspondence and music. The archive underpins the long and successful family history behind Burgess Bagpipes.
In a separate area will be the option to participate in “Bagpipes Exposed” an authentic and light hearted introduction to the different kind of pipes, how they sound, how they are made, some historical context and modern piping in Scotland today. Exposed is a mix of demonstration, discussion and audience participation. It gives visitors the opportunity to learn about and experience our national instrument in a positive way. After all that visitors will be thirsty and hungry and could go to the café for refreshments and return to the shop for the opportunity to purchase merchandise and gifts.
Our Story So Far..
We are a modern Scottish family business who design and manufacture bagpipes, with a piping heritage going back to the 1700s and the only Professional Highland Bagpipe Maker in the Highlands.
Obviously you just don’t wake up one day and decide to become a Bagpipe maker. Our skill, knowledge and experience comes from an accumulation of an authentic Scottish ancestral mix of world champion players, skilled engineers, artists, tutors and judges. Fiona’s father, Scott’s grandfather, was a World Champion piper and multi Gold Medallist John MacDougall, and without him none of this would have been possible.
So after Scott finished his music course with the UHI in the Uist’s in 2015 we decided finally to “give it a go”, producing pipes professionally. Starting with our own designs, with multiple prototyping cycles we created our range of bagpipes. We have designed and developed a range of the highest quality bagpipes, manufacturing to order all three kinds of Scottish Bagpipes, Scottish Smallpipes, Border Pipes, and of course the great Highland Bagpipe.
We want you to be part of our wider piping family
As you have guessed, we have a passion for bagpipes and we really want to create a centre which will bring benefits to the Highland Community. It will bring employment, training, teaching and performance opportunities, allowing our young people to continue to work, learn and live in the highlands. Our manufacturing hub will allow people to see bagpipes being made and the centre will serve both local people and others from near and far. But to do this we will need your help.
We have tailored our rewards to pipers and non-pipers alike.
These are a thank you for your support. Most are unique and many will only be available during the campaign. There are items for every budget and each and every contribution, no matter how large or small will be acknowledged on our website.
Do you want to buy a reward and give it as a gift to someone else? Many of the rewards are transferable by voucher which will be emailed to you when the pledge funds have cleared.
Many of our rewards will be custom made just for you, these make our thank you rewards personal and unique.
*African Blackwood (ABW) Please note: Many of the piping items are made from African Blackwood. The raw materials for the practice chanter kit are also African Blackwood. If they are going out of the UK and European Union they will require a cites re-export permit. This is routine for us, however there is an additional cost of £75 and of course postage and packing will be extra for all rewards sent out.
Fiona's Celtic Art
Vintage Photo of John McDougall Snr and John McDougall Junior
How much is shipping and do I need a Cities permit?
All collections from our works in Forres are FREE. After the campaign has ended we will arrange a number of days when you can come and collect your reward and we will put this information up on the website.
All items made from African Blackwood and also the raw materials for the practice chanter kit, if they are going out of the UK and the European Union, will need CITES re-export permit this takes a minimum of 3 working weeks.
If you would like it posted please add an 'additional donation' at checkout (see below) depending on where you are.
Clothing items T-shirts, hats, aprons, hoodies etc. Silver Drone and scarf Shields:
• UK: + £3.25 • Europe: + £5.50 • Rest of the world : + £7.50
• UK: + £6.75 currently for the UK only
Practice Chanter, Make your own Practice Chanter Kit:
• UK: + £6.75 • Europe: + £12.50 • Rest of the world : + £95.00 including Cities Certificate
Highland Games Hamper:
• UK: + £15.00 • Europe: + £30.00 • Rest of the world : + £65.00
• UK: + £15.00 • Europe: + £30.00 • Rest of the world : + £140.00 including Cities Certificate
If you have any questions or concerns please email us at [email protected]
Thank you for your support and interest in our project. We are so lucky to have so many people who believe in what we are doing, please keep sharing our vision and follow us on our journey.
Burgess, Fiona and Scott.