The people of Newtongrange pipe up for “hero” key workers

For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday as part of a parade to thank key workers.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 10:33 am

Last Thursday was the last such parade to be held in the village, with locals again taking to the streets to join in, while socially distancing.

Parade organiser Brian Tannerhill said: “We played, marched and danced to entertain the villagers. Our exploits can be seen on Facebook at ‘100 pipers Newtongrange’.

“We have shown our gratitude to our key workers whom we have all hidden behind throughout this coronavirus epidemic. God bless them.

The weekly parade through the village started as a response to the Thursday evening ‘clap for carers’. All photos supplied by Brian Tannerhill.

“We also have plans to put on a Newtongrange Tattoo event to thank our heroes.”

Explaining more about why the weekly parade came to be, Brian added: “Shortly after lockdown started and the community of Newtongrange came out to clap every Thursday night, a sense of helplessness came over some of us, that this was not enough to show our gratitude for those risking their lives every shift every day for us, while we hid indoors away from the virus.

“A meeting was called and we agreed to contact two local pipers we knew and ask them to march through our streets from 7pm to 8pm each Thursday to rouse the community and show a deeper respect for those who had no choice but to face the virus on a daily basis to protect us.

“By week two it was clear the whole community was of the same mind. We were approached by two local motorbike riders asking if they could fly an NHS flag at the front and rear of the pipers.

For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday with flag men on foot and on motor cycles to show thanks to all key workers. Last Thursday was the last such parade through the village. Photo supplied by Brian Tannerhill.

“We agreed to split the pipers up, to cover a wider area of our community, still keeping rigidly to the distancing rules and so the pipers march was born.

“Weekly videos On Facebook of our endeavours sparked greater interest. More pipers joined us. A open land rover carrying a piper allowed us to cover more streets. Facebook spread the word and we responded to the community’s call.”

Brian explained how the mood of the parade changed over the weeks.

He said: “As finally the virus was curtailed and the restrictions eased, our joy and relief gave us more enthusiasm to express our gratitude. We were no longer being clapped through the streets we were all singing and dancing, smiling and waving and the community became one.

For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday with flag men on foot and on motor cycles to show thanks to all key workers. Last Thursday was the last such parade through the village. Photo supplied by Brian Tannerhill.

“Last Thursday was our final pipers’ march and the streets were alive as dancers young and old showed testament with the pipers of our true gratitude to those who served us without fear for their own well-being and won the first battle against the deadly coronavirus. God bless them and may we never forget those who we lost fighting our battles to protect us.

“Newtongrange has history written in its soul, this year another chapter was added, as we stood up to thank and remember those who took the risks in protecting us.

“We would like to honour our two pipers who started the march, 83 year old Andrew Sharp and 14 year old Struan Mcintosh. Over the whole period not one penny was requested in payment or expenses by any of the pipers team including all the dancers. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Newtongrange is blessed.”

For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday with flag men on foot and on motor cycles to show thanks to all key workers. Last Thursday was the last such parade through the village. Photo supplied by Brian Tannerhill.
For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday with flag men on foot and on motor cycles to show thanks to all key workers. Last Thursday was the last such parade through the village. Photo supplied by Brian Tannerhill.
For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday with flag men on foot and on motor cycles to show thanks to all key workers. Last Thursday was the last such parade through the village. Photo by Brian Tannerhill.
For 12 weeks during lockdown pipers marched through the streets of Newtongrange every Thursday with flag men on foot and on motor cycles to show thanks to all key workers. Last Thursday was the last such parade through the village. Photo by Brian Tannerhill.