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Happy New Year - Here's Hardies Highlights of 2023!

Before we start, we must mention the biggest highlight of 2023 for Hardies, which has been Callum Beaumont’s solo piping successes!

Callum had a fantastic year, winning the Gold Clasp and also his first Silver Star at the Northern Meetings, Inverness. At the same event and worth a special mention, was Innes Smith winning the High Society of London Gold Medal, playing an R.G. Hardie Blackwood Pipe Chanter.
Callum then went on to win the 50th Anniversary Glenfiddich Piping Championships!  This event features 10 pipers who have won the previous 12 month’s elite competitions, and to win this award is seen as the pinnacle of solo piping. The annual championships took place at the picturesque Blair Atholl Castle on 28th October, and Callum’s win in the piobaireachd event split a three-way tie to take the overall award.
Callum’s Bagpipe 2023 Set-Up includes:
  • PH2HT Heritage Silver Peter Henderson Bagpipes
  • Blackwood Peter Henderson Pipe Chanter
  • Canmore Hybrid Zip Pipe Bag
  • Dri-Flo Moisture Control System
  • Ezeedrone Absorption Drone Reeds
We have worked with Callum for 5 years now and we are absolutely thrilled for him, we are delighted that we can support him through his many successes!

Pictured: Callum Beaumont with the Glenfiddich Trophy after winning the 50th Anniversary Glenfiddich Piping Championship

What a year 2023 was! From the Rugby World Cup, Barbie taking over our screens, the Beatles hitting number 1 with their last ever hit, and the Coronation of King Charles III. 2023 was packed with events and highlights that we certainly won’t forget in a hurry, and now it’s time to share with you our highlights of 2023.

January kicked us off in style when Andrew Carlisle won the Gold Medal at Winter Storm playing a custom set of Antique Celtic Heritage Peter Henderson Bagpipes, as well as a Blackwood Infinity pipe chanter.

R.G. Hardie Champion Connor Sinclair won the inaugural Ardmore Invitational Solo Piping Competition in February. This event and the Sun Belt Invitational, which takes place in Florida, are managed by Eric Stein and we are delighted to be a sponsor of both events. Connor is a multi-instrumentalist, and a member of folk group Gnoss, who released their new album ‘Stretching Skyward’ in May.

Video: Connor Sinclair entertains Qimper with a set of hornpipes and jigs.

Shop 'Stretching Skyward'

In February, we introduced the R. G. Hardie and Peter Henderson Travel Mugs which can be used for almost any liquid – tea, coffee – even wine! The perfect accessory to take to band practice, competitions and for your morning caffeine boost!

On International Bagpipe Day we re-vamped, re-designed and re-imagined our online store.

The new layout helps you explore and easily navigate our products, whilst enjoying new features such as Champions Choice, new merchandise, more categories and products, all finished off with our corporate colours, to create a modern, classy website.

In the run up to the start of the Pipe Band Season in May, we worked extremely hard to make sure that all of the competing bands had everything that they needed (accessories, covers and uniforms) to perform and look their best. We also sponsored and supported many events throughout the year such as Winter Storm, The Lochaber Local Mòd, Piping Hot Summer Drummer, The Ipswich Piping Society Recital and Piping Live!

Speaking of the Pipe Band Season, we were over the moon that our Pipe Chanters were played by Dollar Academy and St. Columba’s School for the 2023 season.

Dollar Academy’s Juvenile Band hit it out of the park last year, as they came 1st at not only the UK Championship’s but also the European, Scottish and World Pipe Band Championships. What a fantastic achievement to win ever Major they competed in!

St. Columba’s also had great success playing our Omega Pipe Chanters, when their Juvenile band came 1st at Gourock in May, and their Novice A band were crowned World Champions!

We are incredibly proud that these young bands are playing so well with our chanters, and we wish both Dollar and St. Columba’s all the best for another successful season in 2024!

Pictured: Dollar Academy Juvenile Pipe Band celebrating their win at the World Pipe Band Championships 2023

June saw an exciting partnership with ‘Enjoy Your Piping with Gary West’ as R. G. Hardie became the main sponsor.

Gary West is the recognisable voice from the BBC Pipeline radio show, and this new piping podcast already boasts 36 episodes, over 55k downloads and listened to in 84 countries… all in the space of 9 months… well done Gary!

Pictured: Sales Manager Isla Jane Stout, Gary West and Director Alastair Dunn.

We launched our brand new Navy Piper Glengarry! This premium quality navy wool glengarry features a navy bobble and tails, which compliments our range of blue jackets and hosiery. A great addition to our pipe band uniform offering.

Pictured: Isla Jane Stout wearing our new Navy Piper Glengarry, matched with a Hardies Lomond Blue Piper Waistcoat

Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band enjoyed a fantastic 2023, winning the UK Championships and World Championships. The band have been knocking on the door for many years, and it was great to see them lift the award.

The band have been a customer for several years and a pleasure to deal with. We would like to congratulate Pipe Major Ross Harvey and Lead Drummer Kerr McQuillan, and everyone from the Boghall organisation on their successes.

Video: Boghall & Bathgate Pipe Band’s Winning Performance at the 2023 World Championships

2023 saw Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band enjoy another successful season, winning their 17th Scottish Championship and 27th All-Ireland Title.

New leading drummer Gareth MacLees and his corps won 2 major drumming championships and were runner-up at the World Championships. Not bad for your first season in charge, well done Gareth!

We are proud that nearly half of the pipe corps choose to play Peter Henderson and R.G. Hardie bagpipes, and what a drone sound they produce!

R. G. Hardie have sponsored Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band for 18 years, and in this time the band have won 9 World Pipe Band Championships.  We are incredibly proud to continue to support the band, and fingers crossed 2024 can be the year they make it 14 World Titles!

Listen to the bands winning performance at Dumbarton below!

Video: Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band’s Winning Performance at the 2023 Scottish Championships, Dumbarton

In August, at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, we were very proud that Alasdair Henderson won the Gold medal playing our Peter Henderson Blackwood Pipe Chanter.

Also of note, was that 4 out of the 5 prize winners were playing this chanter – Sarah Muir (2nd), Darach Urquhart (3rd) and Cameron Drummond (5th) . We spend many hours perfecting our pipe chanters, and it is fantastic to see these great pipers taking the big prizes.

Video: Alasdair Henderson Live at the Celtic Thanksgiving, Las Vegas!

We launched some exciting new products this year including our Pipe Band Towels, the Heritage Legacy Set and our stunning Heritage Piper Cover.

Our R. G. Hardie & Co. Pipe Band Towel is perfect for band practices! The gold carabiner allows you to clip the towel onto your jeans, pipe case, drum case, sporran chain, anywhere you need to allow for easy accessibility and a more comfortable practice. Complimented by our gold Hardies logo, this towel acts as a handy yet stylish addition to your practice and competition needs.

In August, we expanded our Heritage range by adding the Heritage Legacy Set… and chosen by our social media followers! We offered 3 options to choose from, and this classical Imitation Set with laser-etched thistle slides won!

The aim of the Legacy set is to create your own piping legacy, with an instrument of the highest quality, to play and pass onto the next generation. These are a unique set of Heritage Bagpipes, featuring laser-etched thistle blackwood slides and distinctive imitation ivory mounts.

The projecting mount profile is based upon a 1910 set, which are more refined in comparison to those of the 1920’s. This set features plain ferrules and flat ring caps, adding a touch of elegance, for a truly unique look. Using state of the art software, we have created a unique thistle design with a level of detail that can only be achieved with laser etching.

In addition to this we launched our brand new Heritage Piper Covers. As part of our Heritage range, these covers feature a classy and sleek new Heritage braid to compliment your bagpipe.

The Heritage Piper Cover is constructed using a weather resistant breathable bonded fabric with a fleece lining, that repels water and stretches. The covers come in our most popular combinations, navy and silver, black and silver, and black and gold.
If you want your bagpipe to stand out from the rest, then our Heritage cover is the way to go!

In November, Spotify Wrapped dominated social media by listing everyone’s top listened to songs and artist’s of 2023, so we decided to make our very own Hardies Wrapped but by listing the top selling products and bagpipe sets for 2023!

Here were the results!

We finished the year on a high when Jori Chisholm, from BagpipeLessons.com, made an amazing magical bagpipe music medley to spread Christmas cheer for all to hear, on our Twist-Trap Practice Pipes. We absolutely love this and it certainly got us into the Christmas spirit! Thanks Jori!

That’s it for our Hardies 2023 Year in Review, and we think it’s fair to say that it was a pretty successful one! We are proud to support so many bands and pipers, and we can’t wait to see what 2024 brings! Wishing everyone good luck and a safe and prosperous 2024!