History

R. G. Hardie & Co. is a premium-quality bagpipe maker based in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland. The company is led by Alastair Dunn, double Gold Medalist and former Pipe Sergeant of 12-time World Champions, the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. Alastair worked with Duncan Campbell, a craftsman with R. G. Hardie & Co since 1962, to modernise and develop the current range of bagpipes, chanters and the extensive range of accessories.

Our highly-skilled team includes pipers who have played at every level of competition, including Grade 1, and they are dedicated to providing premium-quality products and first-class customer service for all Pipe Band requirements.

Hardies is part of the St. Kilda (Holdings) Group, which includes Gaelic Themes who specialise in Highland Dress, and have two manufacturing facilities in Glasgow. This association places Hardies in a unique position to supply Pipe Bands with bagpipes, bespoke uniforms, kilts, jackets and waistcoats, doublets, custom cap badges and kilt pins. The company utilises the latest technology in 3D printing, CNC machines and laser engraving, as well as time-honoured traditional skills.

R. G. Hardie & Co. was originally founded in a Bishopbriggs garden shed in 1950 by Robert Gavin Hardie, and his associates John Weatherston and Joe Henderson. Hardie was a championship-winning piper and had learnt bagpipe making from the Glasgow firms of Robert Reid and later Piobmor. Hardies soon outgrew the shed and set up at Bishopbriggs Cross. Over time their bagpipes and pipe chanters became world famous among the piping community. This hard-won reputation was cemented in 1966 when R.G. Hardie & Co was awarded the Royal Warrant of Her Majesty the Queen for bagpipe manufacturing.

In 1966 Hardie & Co acquired the bagpipe makers of James Robertson of Edinburgh, securing the secret recipe of ‘Airtight’ seasoning. Then, in 1973 the firm merged with Peter Henderson Bagpipes of Glasgow and moved into their shop at 24 Renfrew Street. Peter Henderson’s was claimed to have been established in 1868, although this was probably when the seventeen-year-old Henderson starting learning how to make bagpipes. In 1880 Henderson took over the bagpipe making workshop of Donald MacPhee and business properly started. He also published music, some of which was his own, such as the Henderson’s Collection of 1888.

Bob Hardie died in 1990 and R. G. Hardie & Co. continued under John Weatherston. He was also a championship-winning piper and was also awarded the MBE and the BEM. At the time of Hardie’s death, the firm employed six people and made around 1000 pipe sets a year. Weatherspoon died in 2003, and in 2005 the company was acquired by St. Kilda (Holdings) Ltd.

In 2018 the company celebrated 150 years of Peter Henderson bagpipe making with the creation of the Heritage bagpipes set. These sets pay tribute to the Henderson tradition and features laser-etched nickel and Satinwood projection mounts. The Heritage set is an instrument of the highest quality to play and pass onto the next generation.

R. G. Hardie & Co. has a worldwide reputation for quality, innovation and crafting instruments played at the highest level of competition. The company supplies its heirloom products throughout the world to places such as North America, Australasia, Europe, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, India and Brazil.