Meet the Band
P/Maj John Young
P/Sgt Tom Broderick
P/Sgt Tom Randall
Lead Tenor Kylie McGregor
D/Sgt Paul Butler
Come Join Us
Could you see your name appearing in our ranks? There’s always a space in the circle!
In 1995 in Essex, the idea came for two pipe bands to join forces. Already successful in their own terms, the members of the Harwich & District Pipes and Drums and the Brentwood Caledonian Pipe Band hoped that this new band would become a force to be reckoned with. The Red Hackle Pipe Band was duly founded, with the intention to create both a Grade 4 and Grade 3 band. Unfortunately, this super-sized band was short-lived, and within a matter of months, there was a split. By early 1996 the Essex Caledonian Pipe Band had come into being, immediately taking part in competitions that season under the guidance of Pipe Major Jock Stobbs and Drum Sergeant Vic Saunders.
Due to ill health and his battle with Motor Neurone Disease, Jock spent less than a year in charge of the band, passing away in 1997. P/Maj Wally Wallace stepped up to lead the band through many successes. During his 14 years in charge, the band began to compete up into G3, took part in Majors including the Cowal, European and British Championships, and won best drum corps at the All-England Championships in Ashbourne.
In 2007, D/Sgt Paul Butler took leadership of the drum corps, and with P/Maj Brian Smith taking over in 2011, the band continued to build upon its strong foundations.
With a renewed focus on disciplined playing and helping members to build their abilities through practice, Essex Caledonian was highly placed in all competitions, including taking home first Prize at Scotland in Colchester/Pipes in the Park local contest. Founded in 1993 and run to this day by members of ECPB, this is always a highlight of our year, and it’s still a great honour to win a prize at our ‘home’ competition.
As well as the usual competitions, the band continued to take part in a variety of engagements, from local carnivals and parades through to joining The Chieftans on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.
A period of adjustment began in 2016 as P/Maj Smith stood down from the band, and several key positions needed filling. Fortunately, our dedicated P/Sgt John Young took the reins as Pipe Major, and with the support of the band, has enabled us to weather the challenges of Covid to emerge stronger than before. The appointment of experienced piper Steve Watterston as Musical Director, and Kylie McGregor as Lead Tenor completed the band’s musical leadership. With the ongoing hard work of players old and new, we’re now busy working towards the next exciting chapter of the Essex Caledonian Pipe Band.
We wear the Bruce Tartan. One of the
most renowned Scottish Clans, their
origins are actually French, with Sir Robert
de Brus coming to England during the
We wear the Bruce Tartan. One of the most renowned Scottish Clans, their origins are actually French, with Sir Robert de Brus coming to England during the Norman Conquest.
Like all pipe bands, we couldn’t achieve what we’ve done without the dedicated support of our band followers, partners, spouses and families. We host regular social events throughout the year for our band supporters to enjoy, including a BBQ and camping weekend, and a regular end of season trip to Belgium. The continued hard work of our current members, and the contribution of all our ex-members, no matter how small, continues to drive the band forward. You’re all a part of our pipe band family. Thank you all!