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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Bagpiper 'delighted' at honour
Bagpiper Robert Shepherd has told of his surprise and delight at being awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Mr Shepherd, 64, from Cardenden in Fife, was honoured for services to bagpipe music and teaching.

The father-of-two has travelled from Australia to Canada to the Far East, instructing new pipers and adjudicating in competitions.

He began teaching youngsters in the 1960s and his book on bagpipe tuition, first published in the mid-1980s, has been translated across the world.


It's a delight to witness a growth in piping across the world.

Robert Shepherd MBE
It has been translated into an Urdu print following a request by regimental pipers in Pakistan.

Mr Shepherd said: "I'm completely surprised, delighted and proud.

"It's been a good week, because my wife Dorothy and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary on Tuesday."

Mr Shepherd, who retired as a maths teacher at Ballingry school, in Cardenden, nine years ago, now runs a bagpipe manufacturing business, along with son Douglas, making between 15 and 20 instruments a week.

'Difficult to explain'

He said: "It's a delight to witness a growth in piping across the world.

"I think the popularity in the United States and Canada was due to the large number of Scots emigrating to North America, but that's no longer the case.

"It's much larger than that, we've quite a big market in Japan, for example."

He admitted it was "difficult to explain" people's individual reasons for loving bagpipes, but suggested a growing interest in folk music has seen more people start with small pipes.

He added: "The sound is possibly condemned by some people, but many, many people love the sound, the richness of the sound, perhaps."


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16 Apr 02 | Scotland
07 Apr 02 | Scotland
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