A BARRHEAD pipe major has launched a drive to recruit new members as he aims to rebuild his band following the Covid pandemic.

As part of lockdown restrictions, the Scottish Government placed a ban on group practice sessions due to fears the pipes could spray an aerosol of infectious particles into the air.

With restrictions now lifted, the Barrhead and District Pipe Band is meeting again, with its own safety measures in place, but numbers have dwindled as a result of members not being able to practice normally for so long.

Iain Grant, band leader, told the Barrhead News: “There are a lot of people who are probably used to not doing anything anymore and have got into the way of not going to a pipe band.

“They are the ones I would like to target, just to urge them to get back into it again. It’s a lot of talent wasted.

“We are trying to remind them why they came to band in the first place – because they loved to hear the sound of the pipes and drums.

“It is a friendly pipe band and a great environment. It brings a skillset to youngsters and teaches them about discipline and commitment but, ultimately, it’s all about the fun aspect and being part of a competing band.”

Formed in 2013, the band has started to take part in grade 4b contests but new members who are able to play are needed so it can be more competitive over the next few seasons and beyond.

Iain has said learners aged between nine and 21 will also be welcomed, as they are the “key to the band and the tradition’s future.”

He is also keen to recruit tenor and snare drummers.

“We are looking for pipers and drummers of all ages,” Iain added. “We are trying to safeguard the band.

“It’s important to have youngsters coming through so that the Barrhead area has a band going forward.

“And, if we can get some experienced pipers and drummers coming in, it means we can actually compete because, as it stands, we are kind of struggling.

“That’s the aim over the next season – to try to play ourselves up into the higher grade but it’s difficult when you don’t have the numbers.”

The band rehearses on Tuesdays for beginners and also practices on Thursdays.

Anyone interested in playing or supporting the band through donations should email barrheadpipeband@gmail.com.