History

Uniform

Coastals is the only pipe band in the world which uses the Ancient MacLaine of Lochbuie Clan Tartan for their kilts.   It has been said that the ancient colours of the tartan, an imitation of the original vegetable dyes, were possibly chosen to reflect the ancient history of the band.   However, we are informed that the members most liked the Ancient MacLaine of Lochbuie Clan Tartan when given a choice of several tartans by the executive of the band.  It was important to them all that it was distinctive and not worn by other bands.  We now know that this last remark is certainly true.  The tartan has been worn since 1969 and the band has become almost famous for it especially considering that it is only worn by Coastals and is therefore recognisable all over the Australian continent.  The only problem with this exclusiveness is that it is difficult for the band to acquire material for new members.  Manufacturers insist that enough material for eight kilts be purchased before they will make the tartan for the band.   2009 saw a change in the colour of the band shirts from white short sleeved uniform style to dark grey long sleeve business style shirt. Accompanying this shirt is a black waistcoat. The ties are also grey colour with a distinctive shine.  The jacket worn by the band is a black woollen Argyle type day dress jacket.  This type of day dress jacket was chosen for comfort and it is the modern choice of most bands in Australia.  The band wears a black Glengarry, clearly displaying the band’s badge.  The Glengarry has a black toorie.  The band wears black leather belts with a chrome buckle.  A black leather sporran with three black leather tassels is worn.   The hose are dark grey to match the shirt and the flashes are a silvery colour to compliment the hose.  The band marches on black leather ghillie brogues.

Coastals started with the Gordon tartan, which changed to Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1927 and then again to the Royal Stewart Tartan in 1938 which was worn until 1969.  The uniforms worn in those days were the Full Highland Dress type and clearly different from the current one.  This Full Highland Dress finds its origin in the military No1 (Ceremonial) Dress, which is a reflection of the uniform that has been worn by the Scottish soldier up until the end of the 19th century.  The pipers wore the large piper’s ’fly plaid’, which contains approximately the same amount of woollen tartan material as the kilt.  The cross belt, a left over from the time when army pipers wore the broadsword, was worn above that, and on the kilt the hair sporran completed the impressive look of the full dressed piper.  The drummers used the ‘belted plaid’, which differs from the piper’s plaid in the fact that it contains far less tartan material and it is not wrapped around the body, but ‘flied’ free from the shoulder.  Remarkable is that the Drum Major of Coastal pipe band was the only one who wore the feather bonnet, though this head dress is commonly worn both by drummers and drum major, or sometimes indeed the whole band.  Finances certainly played a part in this and over time it became ‘acceptable’ to have only the Drum Major fully turned out. It is clear that the full dress contains far more items than the present day dress and some of those items, like the tartan plaid and the woollen high collared doublet (jacket) are very hot and uncomfortable to perform in.   The exact reason why most modern pipe bands, like Coastals, choose the more comfortable day dress for their nowadays combat; the pipe band competition.

Life Members

Many members over many years have given excellent support to the band.   Life Membership has been given to those whose efforts have been considered outstanding.

Coastals life members are:

  • James Goodwin
  • John Hope
  • Cecil Scott
  • Thomas Shields
  • Simon Holthouse
  • Digby Claydon
  • Roy Hamilton
  • Bridget Millar
  • Jim Brash
  • Graeme Gurney
  • Alan Hamilton (Current President)
  • Barbara Gurney
  • Barry Walker
  • David Walker

Medals and Band Badges

In 2007 Coastal Scottish Pipe Band WA made history by not only winning the bands first ever international competition, but also winning at the 100th anniversary of the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships.  That was without a doubt the most historical event in the bands 109 year history and it will also remain in the NZ Pipe Band history books forever.  Each member attending the competition received a silver medal in honour of winning the grade 4 event.  The Drum Major, Pipe Major and Drum Sergeant all received gold medals.

Drum Major Frew is considered to have been the first Drum Major for the band. His granddaughter Jean did not play in the band but married a drummer, Laurie Campbell who played with the band for a short time after having been a member of the WA Caledonian Pipe Band for many years. Jean attended the Centenary Celebrations and was able to give us some well documented photos along with showing us the solid gold Life Member medallions of her father and grandfather. This medallion is her fathers.

Life Membership Medalion of Jean Campbell’s Grandfather, Drum Major Frew.

Life Membership Medalion of Jean Campbell’s Grandfather, Drum Major Frew.

Coastals Hat Badge and tartan was worn by the band in the mid 1900′s.
This was also said to have been crafted at the Midland Railway Workshops.

%d bloggers like this: