Piper Speirs bags the Glenfiddich honours

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IAIN Speirs last night won the Glenfiddich piping championship, the competition regarded as the most prestigious event in the piper’s calendar.

Speirs, who is a member of one of Scotland’s most famous piping families, won the event for the first time at Blair Castle, Perthshire.

The son of Tom Speirs, a champion piper who won the Gold Medal at Inverness in 1980, he won the overall competition by coming second in both the piobaireachd – the classical music of the Highland bagpipe – and the march, strathspey and reel categories.

Entry to the Glenfiddich is confined to the top ten pipers of the year. In winning, Speirs defeated many former winners of a contest that most pipers only dream of qualifying for.

In addition to his father, Speirs was taught by Jack D Crichton and by his grandfather – the late Jock Speirs, Pipe Major in the London Scottish during the Second World War and formerly Pipe Major of the Johnnie Walker Pipe Band. Speirs is the secretary/treasurer of the Eagle Pipers’ Society, which meets fortnightly at the Scots Guards Club, Haymarket, Edinburgh.

Earlier this year, he won the coveted Silver Chanter competition at Dunvegan Castle, Skye – a competition/recital, that commemorates the legendary MacCrimmon family, whose members were the hereditary pipers to the clan MacLeod.

Speirs lives in Edinburgh with his wife Susanne and children Annie and John.