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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 20:02 GMT
Pipes of peace for noise row boy
Andrew Caulfield
Andrew Caulfield intends to practise playing the pipes even more
Special 1,000 bagpipes have been gifted to a Paisley schoolboy, who was told to stop practising his instrument outside by the local council.

Renfrewshire Council said Andrew Caulfield, 13, was breaching anti-social behaviour law noise limits.

After hearing about the young piper's plight, professional piper Fred Morrison decided to donate the pipes, which are quieter than normal.

Mr Morrison, 42, said he could not let bureaucracy dampen Andrew's enthusiasm.

Fred, who played with the folk band Capercaillie and on the soundtrack for the film Rob Roy, said: "When I saw that story, it really irritated me.

"I thought here's another wee boy trying to do his best and get involved with piping.

"I thought I would give him a set of small pipes and he can practise to his heart's content."

They make a lovely sound and are much quieter
Elaine Caulfield
Andrew's mother

Fred, who lives on the Hebridean island of Benbecula, designed the pipes.

They also have a special switch which turns off the instrument's drone, allowing an even quieter sound.

Andrew was delighted with his gift, which he described as "brilliant."

He said: "I was really excited when I heard about it. I'm going to practise more now that I can."

Andrew's mother, Elaine, said she could not thank Fred enough.

"They make a lovely sound and are much quieter," she said.

Gained support

The council had written to Elaine after a neighbour raised a petition calling for Andrew to stop playing outside.

Noise abatement officers carried out tests and found Andrew's playing was two decibels above the Anti-social Behaviour Act's permitted daytime level of 41 decibels.

Andrew gained support from pipers as far away as the United States.

In an e-mail to the BBC Scotland news website, US piper Paul Boland said: "Me and the rest of the piping and drumming community fully support Andrew Caulfield, his students, and fellow pipers in Paisley.

"They should be able to hone their craft and celebrate Celtic music and culture in a fostering environment.

"With so many things changing in our world so fast and the 'global village' getting smaller and smaller our cultural identifiers should become more and more important. Keep on piping Andrew."

Boy reeling after pipe down order
09 Dec 05 |  Scotland

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