Nigel Warmington

Nigel W Pipe Major of Kernow Pipes and DrumsNigel started learning the pipes in 2003 with The City of York Pipe Band, but in 2005 moved to Lincolnshire and became a member of the RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums where he was able to continue his development. He has travelled widely across Europe with both the RAF Waddington and Kernow Pipe Bands to play at international music events.

On his retirement he returned to Cornwall and played with both the Cornwall Caledonian Pipe Band and the Kernow Pipe Band before being elected as Musical Director of the Kernow Pipes and Drums in 2009 and then ‘pipe major’ in 2011. Since 2007, he has been tutored at the College of Piping in Glasgow by the late PM Joe Wilson and subsequently by Willie Morrison attaining a Grade 5 Piping Examination in 2015, while nearer to home he is tutored by James Robertson.

Dave Maitland

dave maitland, piper with kernow pipes and drums, cornwallI started learning in Caol primary school being taught by P/Major Evan MacRae, former PM of Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, before progressing to Lochaber Schools Pipe Band. I continued with this band for 6 years until leaving school in 1984 and joining the Royal Navy. After being asked to play at a friend’s wedding in 1991, my wife bought me a set of pipes and after two weeks of panic practice on them, I successfully carried it out and have been playing since, sea time permitted.

Having travelled extensively with the Navy, I have been lucky enough to play in many places including Shanghai, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and various European countries. Also playing with the RN Pipe Band association, I regularly attend the Cologne Carnival and was lucky to be chosen as their representative, playing at the naming of the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2014.

Massed band events include a world record in Edinburgh, playing ‘Flower of Scotland’ at Murrayfield before Scotland V South Africa (Scotland won) and 3 American Tartan day parades in New York.

Having played with all 3 bands in Cornwall on and off since 2001 and guesting with the Rose & Thistle band in Portsmouth, I returned to the Kernow band in 2018, after another 3 year break. Since then I have had a great time playing at various events with highlights being 100th Remembrance Day and 75th Arnhem Anniversaries and being asked to play the solo lament at one of the Menin Gate Last Post ceremonies.

Keith Garner

I came into the band after a Burns Night dinner in 2009, after meeting several of the band members at the event and expressing an interest in learning to play the pipes. This interest had stemmed from a conversation with my partner Miranda (also in the band) as to what other instruments we would like to learn, I play a smattering of guitar as does she, so bingo we started.

This is also the first time that I have learned to read music at any level and find the tuition at band night practice and workshops excellent and extremely encouraging. There is a great camaraderie in the band and we all learn from each other regardless of ability and all views are listened to in order to further the band musically and visually.

Miranda Garner

Miranda Garner, Kernow Pipes & DrumsI have loved the sound of the great highland bagpipes since I was a child and when, following an accidental meeting with a friendly crowd from Kernow Pipes and Drums, I was offered the chance to learn to play, I jumped at it.

Having for some years worked in the family music shop in Truro (anyone remember West Country Music?) I had a rudimentary grasp of quite a few different instruments, but the bagpipes have proved to be a whole new world. I can honestly say that they have been the most rewarding to date and would encourage anyone interested in learning to play to come along and have a go.

Allan Downie

Allan Downie Kernow Pipes and DrumsAs a boy in Glasgow, I loved pipe bands and learned to play the pipes with the local Boys Brigade band.  After graduating from university, I worked in the USA where I played with the City of Rochester Pipe Band in upstate New York.  I then moved to Canberra Australia, where my pipe playing expanded into playing for dancing with a folk band at woolshed dances.  A special memory I have in Australia was playing the pipes high up on the roof of a friend’s house overlooking Sydney harbour on the night of the Australian bicentenary in 1988.  I returned to the UK in 1988 and I only played occasionally for several years.  In 2014 I met up with Alex McColl, who encouraged me to join the Kernow Pipes and Drums, even though I am in Cornwall only some of the time.  I really enjoy playing pipes with this friendly and very supportive group.

Dave Cox

David Cox Kernow Pipes and DrumsBorn in London but raised in Devon, I disappointed my mother by not wanting to play the violin as a child!  Whilst still at school, I joined the Air Training Corps, subsequently joining the  R.A.F. as an apprentice. It was at R.A.F. Halton that I was introduced to the pipe bands for which Halton was famous, however, with the pressure of learning to be an aircraft electrician I did not have the time to learn to play the pipes. My only regret in life, even more so since my grandfather had played the clarinet in the band of the Grenadier Guards.

It was while walking the dogs in 2009 that I found somebody’s camera chip on the pavement. I dropped it into the police station in St. Austell and the young lady behind the desk commented on my writing being “just like my pipe tutor’s”. I replied that my only regret in life was not taking up the pipes when I had the chance and received a fairly lengthy briefing on Kernow Pipes and Drums.

I duly enlisted the next week….

John Christophers

John Christophers Kernow Pipes and DrumsI was born in Falmouth in 1945, later joining the CCF band at school in London, where I proudly played the bugle wearing blancoed white gaiters, belt and lanyard. But it was to be over 50 years before I marched with another band. I joined Kernow Pipes and Drums in 2013. In 2014 I was privileged to play with the band at the 70th. anniversary of Operation Market Garden in Arnhem, where this photograph was taken.

I would urge anyone who is tempted to learn the pipes or drums to join us without delay. With the help of our skilled tutors, you will soon experience the thrill of marching and playing with a pipe band, and make many new friends.

Ali Robinson

I joined the Kernows in 2017, after seeing a performance at Newquay harbour festival. I had been interested in playing pipes for years as I’ve always loved the sound, so when invited to come along to a practice night, I duly went the following week, and began to learn the pipes! 

After many sessions with the very patient pipe major, and lots of encouragement and support from the band, I was very proud to begin marching and playing at events the following year.

Mike Heaslip

Mike H of Kernow Pipes and DrumsComing from a long history of bagpipers in the family, my great grandfather first got me interested in piping at a very young age. At the age of 16 I was playing for the Essex Caledonian Pipe band in which I competed at grade 4 and grade 3 at many competitions that included the European championships and cowel games.

I then became pipe major of the Britannia Pipe Band for four years before moving here to Cornwall.

Jon Earl

Jon has played the Bagpipes on and off since 2000 and took it up as a hobby having heard the Scots Guards play Highland Cathedral. Jon is married to Nicola and has 3 lovely children and his Mother and Father in law, Sue and James, also play with the band.