Pipe Major William Norris and Glasgow’s Clan Fraser Pipe Band

Category: News

May 25th, 2021

This band was formed on 3rd February, 1930, by the present Pipe Major, William Norris, at the age of 19 years. A committee consisting of six band members, with the assistance of several ladies, controls the financial side and this arrangement has proved very successful.

Much of this success is due to the energy and pertinacity of Mrs Margaret T. Hendry, a sister of the Pipe Major.

In 1933 the splendid co-operation existing amongst the band members resulted in them gaining second prize in the Grade 3 Championship at Stirling and fourth prize in the No. 3 contest at Dunoon. The following year they were delighted when they were placed first at Bonhill.

In 1935, the previous year’s performance was considerably improved on, the band gaining the three firsts at the three contests held for third grade bands that year.

These were first at the Stirling contest, Bonhill contest, and Renfrew contest, in itself an unusual feat. They attracted considerable attention, however, when they were prlaced third in 2nd grade at Renfrew in addition to winning the above first.

In 1936 the band was promoted to 2nd Grade and they proved their ability in their new sphere by being placed second at Alloa in the Grade 2 championship.

Following on this, they gained first place at the Renfrew Grade 2 contest and fifth in the No.1 contest and third in the No. 2 contest at Dunoon.

The band featured in an early edition of Pipe Band Magazine

The band consists mainly of ex-Boys’ Brigade players, and as their ages range from 16 to 25, the above performances do ample credit to them.

This band wears the Red Fraser tartan, Balmoral bonnets, Prince Charlie Coatee etc., and endeavour to maintain a smart appearance.

This is a most difficult job as most members of bands will agree who find, like the Clan Fraser, that their main source of income is obtained by doing a series of social functions each year.

The band members place implicit faith in the ability of their Pipe Major and fully recognise that co-operation and co-ordination are the qualities necessary for the success of any organisation musical or otherwise.

P/M Norris’s understanding of the essentials of piping, whether individual or band, coupled with his outstanding patience, have contributed vastly to the success of the band and the good feeling which permeates the atmosphere at practices and during the more serious preparations prior to entering the competing field.

As the enthusiasm of the band has not waned, and they are still receiving the splendid support of their friends, many of whom are not known personally to them, they intend to give of their best in the future to reciprocate this fine assistance.

The headquarters of the band are situated in Cowlairs Workmen’s Gardens, Hillkirk Street, Springburn, Glasgow, and they welcome any friends to their practices on Saturday afternoons.

This is taken in the main from an edition of ‘Piping and Dancing’ magazine from March 1937. It highlights the qualities and arrangements every band needs if it is to be successful: a good pipe major, organisation, co-operation and a good committee. The band, with a very young Pipe Major William Norris, is pictured below in 1931..

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