Massed Pipes and Drums

Sunday 26th June 2011

Event Donations

Event Sponsors

CKD Galbraith - Cottages and Castles

"GIVE THE TROOPS A BREAK" is an initiative set up with the support of Cottages and Castles who have donated 10 free holidays to members of the Armed Forces. They have also donated a £500 voucher towards staying in one of the properties on their website. Enter the raffle to win this amazing prize on Armed Forces Weekend!

Shortbread House of Edinburgh

Shortbread House of Edinburgh have supported DecAid throughout the appeal. They are a major sponsor of the DecAid Massed Pipes and Drums event. Shortbread House have also supported DecAid in numerous other ways including a donation of a large amount of their special festive shortbread to the DecAid Carol Service.

Walkers Shortbread kindly supported the DecAid Massed Pipes and Drums with financial sponsorship. They helped the appeal to ensure that as with all of the DecAid events all donations are given in full to the supported forces charities. Their support helped to create a wonderful day which was enjoyed by thousands of people throughout Edinburgh. If you would like to see more about the shortbread and oatcakes they produce please visit their website on the link above.

Edinburgh Embroidery were incredibly helpful in the build up the DecAid Massed Pipes and Drums. As the weather forecast threatened they produced a full set of "DecAid Team" jackets in just 24 hours. On top of this they produced a wide variety of fleeces, gilets, caps and other clothing completely free of charge. Their help and enthusiasm was absolutely incredible.

Rifles Band and Bugles

DecAid's Massed Pipes and Drums

Mass Parade of Pipers and Drummers 

Edinburgh's Royal Mile

National Armed Forces Celebrations - A Big Weekend

An absolutely fantastic and an incredibly memorable day for us all. The massed parade was a huge success and the Royal Mile was absolutely packed with smiles as more than 300 pipers and drummers marched down from Edinburgh Castle, past HRH The Duchess of Rothesay and into Holyrood Park.

DecAid's Pipes and Drums Parade

Image: DecAid's Massed Pipes and Drums parade, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Photography by Maria Falconer and Paul Hill

Huge thanks go to Maria Falconer and Paul Hill who very kindly took these photographs of the day. They are absolutely fantastic!

Image Gallery

Open Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham

Event Organiser

Jamie is in his second year studying History and International Relations at the University of Exeter. He has been working with the DecAid team over the last year to try and open our series of events with a bang. Being a piper himself and the son of a serving member of the Armed Forces, DecAid and this event in particular is close to his heart.

07748 803 216

George Stinton

Event Coordinator

Open Sophie Biddulph

Sophie Biddulph

Event Coordinator

Sophie is a second year student reading BA Human Geography at the University of Exeter. She has been working as part of the Massed Pipes and Drums DecAid team over the last year in order to mark the ten years since the beginning of the conflict in Afghanistan and to raise money and awareness for three very worthy service charities. She has enjoyed being part of a small team within a larger organisation and has found it very exciting to see the rapid growth and increasingly large following that the appeal has generated. She really enjoys being involved with such a dynamic and exciting organisation and likes the opportunity to get involved with both local people and national organisations over the course of the planning process. Sophie has thoroughly enjoyed being involved with some of the early DecAid events, such as the carol service that took place over the Christmas period at Exeter Castle, which was a super festive evening and enjoyed by all. Although there are a few inevitable hurdles during the planning of such a large scale event, she very much looks forward to making this occasion a flying success.

Open Ann-Maree Morrison

Ann-Maree Morrison

Massed Pipes and Drums Fair Organiser

Open Megan Richardson

Megan Richardson

Massed Pipes and Drums Fair Organiser


Peter Lord

Event Marketing Director

Parade from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace.

Sunday 26th June 2011- the final day of a big weekend of celebrations in Edinburgh in conjunction with Armed Forces Day on the Saturday.

We would like to thank all the bands who took part in the parade and in particular the fantastic National Youth Pipe band who led the parade. And also The Lord Provost's Cadet, Brendan Crombie who carried The Baton as the leading figure of the parade. 

The Baton is a symbol of national conscience – of pride, hope, courage and suffering. Most importantly, it is a message of gratitude from those who wish to support the brave men and women of our armed forces who regularly risk their lives so that we may live with freedom of choice, peace and safety.

Encouraging the Young People of Scotland to Stand Up and show their Support to our Forces after 10 Years in Afghanistan.

Young Bag piper. DecAid Pipes and Drums

Many of the Pipers and Drummers who were part of the parade were aged between 10 and 25 years old. They were able to show their support to the members of our Armed Forces and played a fundamental part in the success of the day.

To join the young people of Scotland in their mission to honour 10 years in Afghanistan have a look at our other events which will be taking place thoughout the summer of 2011.

Photography by Maria Falconer and Paul Hill

A Fun Family Day Out.

Boy in Tunnel on Obstacle Course

We had a fantastic afternoon in Holyrood park which started with a wonderful address from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. We then launched into our Battle of the Bands Final with the epic Rising Souls taking first place and securing themselves a days recording contact with Banana Row Recording Studio in Edinburgh. Our thanks go to Callum Beattie, Carrie Mac and Xander Rawlins who also put on incredible performances later in the afternoon. 

The fun obstacle course was a highlight of the day with over 250 participants and, by the end of it, absolutely exhausted British Military Fitness Instructors and volunteers who ran alongside many children up and then back down the course!

Photography by Maria Falconer and Paul Hill

On Your Bike!

Selex Bike Ride

Young graduates from SELEX Galileo had the goal to cycle the distance from Edinburgh to London on static bikes in support of DecAid. But on reaching their target quicker than they had thought they would they kept on cycling, nearly making it all the way back up to Edinburgh! Our endless thanks goes to these graduates and Selex Galileo for their incredible support towards the DecAid cause.

SELEX Galileo have pledged to double the total amount raised over the weekend! The final total will be announced very soon!

We would also like to thank Edinburgh Leisure for providing the static bikes free of charge to DecAid.

Photography by Maria Falconer and Paul Hill


SELEX Galileo

Without the support from the City of Edinburgh Council and the Armed Forces event organisers we would not have been able to run this event and we are therefore hugely appreciative. Armed Forces Day is an annual opportunity for the nation to ‘Show Your Support’ for the men and women of the Armed Forces community, which includes serving personnel and their families, veterans and the Cadet Forces.

Armed Forces Day 2011 was on Saturday 25 June 2011 and Edinburgh will host the Armed Forces Day flagship national event. In addition, a number of events will take place between 24 – 26 June across the city, including a great Sunday with DecAid.

Further information can be found at

Armed Forces Day Logo



The City of Edinburgh Council

The Parade

We would like to thank all the Pipe Bands who took part in the parade. It was an excellent day and could not have happened without the fantastic talent and support that you gave us on the day.

The parade comprised many different bands from around the United Kingdom and we were honoured to have a small group from Muckhart Girl Guides who came along to show their support to members of our Armed Forces. 


A huge thanks to the following bands who played a part in the parade:

National Youth Pipe Band
Triumph Pipe Band
Hawick Scout Fellowship Pipe Band
St Columba's School Pipe Band
Balaklava Pipe Band
Pipes and Drums of Central Scotland Police
The Edinburgh Academy Pipe Band
Tranent and District Pipe Band
Scout Centenary Pipe Band
Kelso Pipe Band
Haddington Pipe Band
Jedburgh RBL Pipe Band
Craigmount High School Pipe Band
Stonehouse Pipe Band
Glencorse Pipe Band
The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band
Kintore Pipe Band
Musselburgh Boys Brigade
James Gillespie's High School Pipe Band
Stewarts Melville Pipe Band
Alloa Bowmar Pipe Band

The Main Stage

To complement our DecAid Massed Pipes and Drums Parade there was a fair in Holyrood Park which was held in association with the National Armed Forces Celebrations in Edinburgh that weekend. Most of the acts and attractions on the day raised money for the DecAid charities, SSAFA Forces Help, BLESMA and Talking2Minds.

DecAid's Battle of the Bands

Sunday 26th June saw the final of DecAid's Battle of the Bands. This was a competition which has been kindly run by Forth One Radio Station on behalf of DecAid. Iain Waugh did a fantastic job hosting all the acts which played throughout the day. Thank you very much indeed Iain!

Our congratulations goes to The Rising Souls who were the winning band.

The three finalists were:

JAEGO - An Edinburgh based band, that are melodic and rhythmic, they have a sound that changes constantly moving from heavy to light and back in the blink of an eye; one song can have you banging your head and the next makes you want to dance. It is regularly said they are extremely professional and tight. Either way, it will make you believe in live music again.

THE RISING SOULS - A four piece band who have been together for a year and a half and play all their own original material. They are currently working hard recording their debut album which will hopefully be ready by the summer. Their music is best described as soul meets blues/rock with a very commercial edge. 

JAPAN FOUR - Music fuelled by a deep love of rock & roll.

To see the Battle of the Bands homepage and for more details please click here.

Main Acts

Carrie Mac

Callum Beattie

Xander Rawlins

Clann An Drumma, the impressive tribal pipes and drums band.

Clann An Drumma


The Raffle

We are pleased to be able to announce the winner of the raffle very soon. They won a £500 voucher which can be used to stay in one of the hundreds of properties available on the Cottages and Castles website.


Give the Troops a Break Prize Draw

The winners of this fantastic prize draw have now been selected and are in the process of being told. Thanks to CKD Galbraith we have been able to give away TEN FREE HOLIDAYS to members of the armed forces on the 10th anniversary of the conflict in Afghanistan. This competition has been held in association with Tickets for Troops.

The Display Area

The Obstacle Course.

With queues lasting all day this obstacle course was a huge success! Throughout the day and thanks to the many different individuals and families that took part we were able to raise over £500 for our three chosen charities, SSAFA Forces Help, BLESMA and Talking2Minds.


The Closing Ceremony

At the end of the day, the closing ceremony was held in the main arena. This involved the handing over of the DecAid Flag and The Baton to the next of our 6 events, The Munro Mission. This event will see 3 members of our team climb all 283 munros, a mountain over 3000ft, in Scotland without the use of motorised transport. It will be the equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest 14 and a half times! For full details on the Munro Mission please visit

The Baton is a symbol of national conscience – of pride, hope, courage and suffering. Most importantly, it is a message of gratitude from those who wish to support the brave men and women of our armed forces who regularly risk their lives so that we may live with freedom of choice, peace and safety.

The DecAid Flag and The Baton will be passed through each of our DecAid events in turn.  Following the journey that the DecAid team will be taking this summer in our attempt to raise £350,000 for three incredible service charities.



'Give the Troops a Break'

10 free holidays to give away to members of our armed forces 

This competition has now closed.

Cottages and Castles, along with their home owners, kindly donated TEN free holidays to members of the Armed Forces. The scheme gave ten forces families the chance to win a free holiday in one of Scotland's most beautiful locations. These have been donated to provide a break for members of the forces at a time when so much is being asked of them. It is a way of DecAid, Cottages and Castles and all of the home owners involved to say "thank you" after ten years in Afghanistan.  

Forces charity, Tickets For Troops has run the scheme on behalf of DecAid. Anyone registered with them was eligible to enter the ballot for a free holiday. There is information about all of the holidays below. The winners have now been announced.

All of the properties have been offered free of charge for one week but we regret that DecAid and Cottages and Castles will not be able to cover any of the other costs involved with the holiday, such as food or transport. 

Choose your favourite holiday location below and sign up today!

Finlaggan House and Cottage

Finlaggan House DecAid
Finlaggan Cottage DecAid

More information: HERE and HERE

Location: Ballygrant, Isle of Islay
Sleeping Arrangements: House: Sleeps 8 (1 double, 3 twin) Cottage: Sleeps 6 (1 single, 1 twin) 
No Smoking
Pets Welcome
Please note: a ferry is required to reach Islay 

Finlaggan House is an outstanding detached house in a spectacular location looking out over Loch Finlaggan on the scenic Isle of Islay. The owners have also very kindly offered Finlaggan Cottage. This charming little cottage provides traditional and well furnished holiday accommodation in a wonderful setting with its striking rural aspect, the fantastic Finlaggan loch and Islay as a backdrop. Islay is known as the “Queen of the Hebrides” with its spectacular scenery, golden beaches, magnificent sea views and lush green pastures. Both properties must be booked together.

The Stables
The Stables DecAid

More information: HERE

Location: Ardachearnbeg, Isle of Bute
Sleeping Arrangements: Sleeps 4 (1 double)
No Smoking
Pets Welcome
Please note: A ferry is required to reach the Isle of Bute 

The Stables is a delightful ground floor apartment, converted from the old farm steading. This compact holiday hideaway has wonderful thick stone walls and is comfortably furnished providing cosy accommodation for up to 4 guests.

 Glen Isla - Alyth
Glen Isla DecAid
More information: HERE

Location: Nr Blairgowrie, Perthshire
Sleeping Arrangements: Sleeps 4 (1 double, 1 twin)
No smoking
Pets Welcome

Situated overlooking Strathmore to the Sidlaw hills beyond, Glen Isla is one of the cottages in this sympathetic and wonderfully designed steading conversion. 


Nisbet Tower
Nisbet Tower DecAid
More information: HERE 

Location: Eyemouth, Scottish Borders
Sleeping Arrangements: Sleeps 2 (1 twin)
No Smoking
Pets not permitted

One of Scotland's most unique holiday cottages, Nisbet's Tower sits high above Eyemouth Harbour, and has the most stunning views of the pretty fishing town and the North Sea beyond. 

 Broombank Cottage
Broombank Cottage DecAid

More information: HERE 

Location: Culloden Moor, Inverness
Sleeping Arrangement: Sleeps 6 (2 doubles, 1 twin)
No Smoking
Pets not allowed

Broombank Cottage nestles in the lovely community of Newlands, next to the historic and moody Culloden Moor and just 7 miles from the city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. 


 Rothwell Lodge Apartment
Rothwell Lodge Apartment DecAid
More information: HERE

Location: Brodick, Arran
Sleeping Arrangement: Sleeps 2 (1 double) 
No smoking
Pets not allowed 
Please note: a ferry is required to reach Arran 

Nestled in the heart of Brodick Rothwell Lodge Apartment is a great base for exploring what this beautiful island has to offer. This spacious, self catering property was newly built in 2009 and is ideal for single occupancy or couples who wish to have a relaxing break. 

 No 1 Kingie
No1 Kingie
More information: HERE

Location: Glen Garry, Loch Ness
Sleeping Arrangement: Sleeps 6 (1 double, 2 twins)
Pets are allowed 

A pleasant, newly decorated and furnished cottage, which would suit walkers and those seeking a remote get-away.  

 The Bard
The Bard DecAid
More information: HERE 

Location: Ardgay, Dornoch
Sleeping Arrangement: Sleeps 4 (2 twins)
Pets are allowed

The Bard is a traditional pine-panelled Scottish cottage in a peaceful rural setting with uninterrupted mountain views. 

 Inverskilavulin House
Inverskilavulin House DecAid
More information: HERE 

Location: Glenloy, Fort William
Sleeping Arrangement: Sleeps 12 (4 double, 2 twins)
No Smoking
Pets are allowed

This superb modern and extremely luxurious holiday house has been built in the traditional highland style with a slate roof and white washed walls. 


 The Captain's House
Castle Mey House DecAid
More information: HERE

Location: Castle of Mey Estate, Caithness
Sleeping Arrangement: Sleeps 6 (1 double, 2 twins)
Pets are allowed 

Bright, spacious accommodation this property has magnificent views over the Pentland Firth. Ideal for a family who love outdoor pursuits


Tickets For Troops DecAid  Cottages and Castles DecAid

Make a donation to the Event
Massed Pipes and Drums

Click Here

or, to donate to DecAid as a Whole click here

Virgin Money Giving