22nd Audlem Bagpipe and Hurdy Gurdy Day

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11th November 2019

A rough Guide — Last Saturday, the Annual Bagpipe and Hurdy Gurdy event took place at The Shroppie Fly in Audlem. Lucy and 'the Management' must have been pleased by the arrival of well over 40 musicians playing a great number and wide range of instruments.

There were (at least) 22 bagpipes, including Uillean; Scottish Small; four Northumbrian; English Border; Scottish Border; and Great Highland Pipes, some of which could play in different keys -- but never intentionally simultaneously.

There were 13½ Hurdy Gurdies, including a Hungarian Tekero.

In addition there were, in a very particular order, 4 drums; 4 recorders; 4 whistles; 3 fiddles and a violin; 2 guitars -- one of themmm English; 2 Mandolins; an accordion; a bouzouki; a citole; an harmonica; a pipe and tabor -- which only counts as one, because one person played them simultaneously; 1 beer barrel (D.M) and a Groupie, although I'm not at all sure who played upon it.

On the musicians, there was the unexpected but welcome return of Nathan Hayward of Vancouver, and the usual visit from Peter Karssen of London, this year accompanied by Sam Palmer -- Hurdy Gurdy man and an original member of Blowzabella.

Other new faces included that of a Yorkshire-based Hungarian piper called (possibly) ???????? and Barrie Renwick, a Melodion-playing music-guru from Glossop. Word of the event spreads far and wide.

Hurdy Gurdy maker and player Neil Brook of Preston made his regular and much appreciated visit, along with other long-time visitors from Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, North Wales, and Scotland.

The beer and food were excellent and the music amazing. A very good time was had by all.

Photographs courtesy Geoff Turner

Editor's note — normally we attempt to correct the sometimes wayward and idiosyncratic spelling of our contributors — unfortunately this has not been possible on this occasion due to the many technical terms known only in the world of Bagpipes and Hurdy Gurdies (or Hurdy Gurdys?)

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