When scanning the web I was amazed to read about Lochgelly. I am William Peden. I lived with my parents Andrew and Louie, sister Ann and bother John, at 29 Parkview Place, Lochgelly. My father was a coal miner and we attended Lochgelly South Primary School before moving on to the East Secondary school. The Clark Family lived opposite us. June, who became a policewoman, played in Lochgelly Ladies’ Pipe Band and Sheila was the Drum Major.
Their older brother Donald went on to play professional football for Cowdenbeath. All three went to Lochgelly East.
Our upstairs neighbours were the Wyse Family and the sons Harry and Bobby played for Lochgelly Silver brass band. I think it was the Campbell family who lived above the Clarks. If my memory is correct Donald Campbell the young father was killed in a mining accident.
I think by then we had moved to 13 Hugh Avenue, a new housing scheme and found for the first time that there was a bath in the house. What a luxury.
My mother was the secretary of Lochgelly Ladies pipe band and my Dad and I travelled by bus with them to all the competitions. The band was very successful. I think that the pipe major was Jean Harris and the pipe sergeant was Jean Lawson. Her younger brother John was in my class at Lochgelly East and went on to become a professional football player.
I started playing the pipes with Lochore Juveniles Pipe Band and we won the World juvenile championship and Cowal Games championship several times
I gave up the pipe band to keep racing pigeons. Later I joined Dundonald Pipe Band. The big drummer was Bill Davidson and a side drummer was David Donaldson and were my best friends. I actually introduced Big Bill as he was known to his Glasgow based wife Lilias and was best man at their wedding. David Donaldson and his wife Jane were also there.
Bill and his wife settled in Toronto and we kept regular contact. I always had to have Dundonald Bluebell’s football results to hand. Provided of course by the Sunday Post. Bill and Lilias and children (Ranald. Marie-Ann and Fiona) visited my wife Julie and I at our home in Eskbank, Dalkeith, where we still live.
My wife and I twice visited Bill and Lilias for the weddings of Marie-Ann and Fiona. I piped at both weddings. Sadly, 18 months ago Bill died. Lilias preceded him a few years earlier. It was a very nice service but a sad return flight home.
While in the police I was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship and spent two months in America studying how the police and social agencies dealt with the young unemployed.
June Clark and her husband invited me to stay with them for a week-end in Cedar Rapids and that was very enjoyable. I retired from Lothian and Borders police in 1986 and was Chief Inspector in charge of East Lothian.
Lochgelly ladies’ pipe band taking a break. My mother is at the rear on the extreme right I think the other lady might be Mrs Bogie.
Following winning a competition at Dundee the band piped their way to the coach. I am carrying one of the cups and I have a feeling that the girl is a Ms Fairgrieve. But don’t bet on that.
I am piping before our band played in a competition.
Dundonald pipe band playing in Lochgelly on the way back after piping at the funeral of a previous pipe major. Pipe major Bobby Mackay is front left and I am immediately behind him. Bill Davidson, 6 feet 6 inches tall can just be seen above the big drum. David Donaldson is the tall drummer on the extreme right at the rear.
William Peden(age 74,)