Stonehouse Pipe Band was founded in 1899 by Pipe Major Hector McInnes. The band progressed steadily, gaining alot of support and members from local areas. In 1909 a civilian competition was introduced to the Cowal Highland Gathering by Sir Harry Lauder, a miner and entertainer, since civilian bands could not compete against military competition. The band went on to win the "Sir Harry Lauder Shield" in 1909, 1910 and 1911.

 

However, during this time the band achieved a much greater accomplishment. In 1909 Stonehouse Pipe Band placed first for the "Argyll Shield" which was, at this time, regarded as the world Pipe Band Championship.

 

As detailed in the Piping Times, Volume 45 No 6, by Archie MacNeill:

 

"The first civilian band to make a real impact was Stonehouse... Stonehouse won the world championship shortly before the First War and they made a very good impression on everybody who heard them. Their pipes were so well tuned compared to the bands from the city. Previously very little attention was paid to the tuning of chanters or drones."

 

The "Argyll Shield" is now awarded to the first placed grade one band at the Cowal Highland Gathering.

 

Originally,  the band could be found kitted out in the McGregor tartan, however, in the 1930's this was changed to the Hamilton tartan.

 

Sadly the main band began to fall apart in the 1940s due to increasing pressure and competition from rival bands. A junior band did continue up until 1970 however, it too broke up eventually.

 

Stonehouse Pipe Band was reformed in 2007 with the intention of reintroducing the historical instrument to the community of Stonehouse. Pipers and drummers from the local areas were recruited, many of whom were complete beginners. The band has gone from strength to strength since 2007 and has enjoyed widespread support in the locality.

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