THE leader of a Barrhead pipe band believes his group can go right to the top – provided enough new members sign up.

Iain Grant, who is the pipe major of 3rd Barrhead and District Pipe Band, has launched a recruitment drive in a bid to bolster numbers.

Having started the band four years ago, 44-year-old Iain has seen a steady flow of pipers and drummers come and go.

It is a source of frustration for him that the group has been unable to retain a regular core of musicians.

And it is something he hopes will not be a concern for too much longer.

Currently comprising 35 members, aged between nine and 74, the 3rd Barrhead and District Pipe Band have plans to perform at the Paisley Pipe Band Championships, which take place in July.

Iain and fellow group leader Jamie Mitchell also have one eye on the continent, as they recently received an invitation for the band to play at an event in Spain but had to turn the offer down due to a shortage of musicians.

Iain has his sights firmly set on bigger and better things but knows he needs extra bodies to achieve his ambitious goals.

Issuing an appeal for keen pipers and drummers of all abilities to get in touch, Iain told the News: “We still need to try and get new members, experienced musicians as well as learners.

“We need to try and get drumming tutors as well, so we can have people dedicated to sit with the youngsters.

“We’ve had members come and go. Some people get fed up because they don’t realise there can be hard work involved. They eventually realise there’s a lot of free time required.

“We’ve been doing a lot of fundraising to raise money and also raise the profile of the band.

“It’s a fantastic pastime and it can take you to different parts of the world.

“We are encouraging anybody to come along, no matter how old you are. It’s never too late to learn.

“If we can get enough members to join, the world’s our oyster.

“We’re hoping to hit the Paisley Pipe Band competition on July 22. I think it would be great for people to give it a go and see if it’s something they’d like to take up.”

The group meets for practice sessions at St Luke’s High in Barrhead on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7.30pm to 10pm.

As of Tuesday, March 28, the band will gather at Barrhead United Services Club.

Start-up cost for beginners is £50 and there is a £8 monthly charge for those who are aged 16 and under.

Adults are asked to pay £10-per-month.

For more information, call Iain on 07751180684 or send a message to the 3rd Barrhead and District Facebook page.