A4 Brass – Day 4: Biggar

We woke in idyllic surroundings in Gatehouse of Fleet, in the middle of beautiful woodland. After a wonderful breakfast I was handed a bugle by the hosts that was built in 1915 and was used in the trenches of World War 1 with the seemingly easy challenge of playing it (which proved relatively difficult). After a brief attempt we picked up the other members and were on our way.

We had quite a lot of time before the concert so we decided to stop in Moffat. One thing that is always a struggle on tour is trying to keep healthy due to the amount of time in the car and the irregular meal times. Therefore we managed to fit in a quick game of football. Unfortunately our moment of healthy behaviour was cancelled out by the deep fried mars bar and Irn Bru fudge that we consumed after (both were wonderful, by the way!).

We arrived at the concert venue in Biggar to a wonderful chamber music venue! After setting up we headed for our last meal of the day and a local pub. The concert was well attended, including the chairman of Brass Bands England, Kenny Crookston and our Euphonium player Chris’ dad, who managed to watch the quartet in a more ‘local’ concert for the first time! We enjoyed the performance very much and gained lots of positive feedback after the concert, which is always nice to hear!

After the concert we went back to our accommodation, which was a stunning 17th century building entitled, ‘Skirling House’. The hosts bought it 25 years ago and used it a guest house until only 2 years ago, hence us all having our own double room with en suite! After talking about the history of the building, bonding with their pets and sampling some local beer it was time for bed.

Time for rest before the final day of our tour. On to Peebles!


Jamie Smith