This is a short historic timeline of how the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band started and where are we today:

1924 – The Beginning of the Road
The Cape Town Caledonian Society Pipe Band was formed in 1924HendersonPipes wearing the MacKenzie tartan. At the same time, in 1924 a Sir Mackie Bart of Glenreasdell, Scotland (engravings on the chanter stock ferrule
), presented the Pipe Band with a number of sets of Henderson bagpipes (quantity unknown), of which four are still in the band’s possession today, and two of those sets are currently being played in the band


1939 – Outbreak of World War II

At the outbreak of the Second World War the band was dismembered because members of the band enlisted in the Armed Forces. Once peace had been declared the Pipe Band was reformed 1946.

1949 – New Beginning

Mace1In 1949 the word ‘Society’ was dropped from the band name, and so became the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band. The reason for this was that the band no longer was under the financial control of the Society

On the 20th of June 1949, His Worship the Mayor of Cape Town. Councilor H.E. Gearing presented a Mace
to the band to commemorate the City’s official adoption of the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band.

The fact the Pipe Band was in serious need of uniforms at the time, a grant was received from the City of Cape Town to aid the band’s needs.



Photos from the City of Cape Town adoption ceremony, 20th June 1949.

1980 – Formation of the Cape Town Piping Society Pipe Band

In 1980, Ted Hey, who served as Pipe Sgt for the Cape Town Highlanders during World War II bought all the uniforms from the defunct Port Elizabeth City Pipe Band who wore the Ancient MacDonald tartan. He then recruited a few ‘retired’ members of the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band and some youngsters he had tutored to form the Cape Town Piping Society Pipe Band.

1981 – Amalgamation of Bands

During 1981 negotiations to amalgamate both bands resulted in the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band becoming the Cape Town Piping Society Pipe Band – although the Callies band had insisted that some part of their name be retained. However, this never materialized.

1982 – New Tartanmacdonald-clan-ancient-10oz-wool-tartan-swatch_lg

in 1982 the new Cape Town Piping Society Pipe Band resulted, wearing the Ancient MacDonald tartan.

1989– From Ceremonial to Argyle

It was in 1989 that the band changed from wearing Ceremonial dress to the more comfortable Argyle uniform, which is now the accepted dress of all civilian pipe bands world wide.

2000 – Back to Caledonian

In 2000, the band’s name changed back to the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band. This was an unanimous decision agreed upon by all the band members at the band’s AGM, as the pipe band began orientating itself towards competitions.

The band still wears the Ancient MacDonald tartan today.

Previous Pipe Majors:

Date Name Description
1924 – 1930’s Pipe Major Sandy Cruickshanks Being a Pipe Major before the 2nd World War, it is believed that he could have been the first Pipe Major in the band. So we are probably looking at 1924 – 1930’s
1930’s – 1944, 1946 – 1970 Pipe Major George ‘Knobby’ Clark R.M Ex Royal Marine
1970 – 1974 Pipe Major Ian Clark Ian Clark (son of P/M Knobby Clark), took over the Pipe Major’s armband
1975 – 1981 Pipe Major Roger Hendry
1982 Pipe Major Ted Hay
1983 – 1987 Pipe Major Des Martin Retired from piping in 2007
1988 – 1999 Pipe Major Jim Wilson
2000 – Present Pipe Major Tony Reis