45th Anniversary: 1967 - 2012

London Police Pipes and Drums (LPPD)

The History of the Pipes and Drums

In 1966, Canadians began planning their special events to celebrate Canada's Centennial the following year. Sergeant Robert Young and Constable Maurice Coghlin, both members of the London Police Force, decided upon the formation of a pipe band as their centennial project.

They obtained many articles of band equipment and clothing from the then defunct London City Pipe Band and recruited twenty-four members. Numerous organizational meetings were held and on April 26, 1967, the first practice took place at the Grove Methodist Church on Huron Street. The band was under the direction of Pipe Major Duncan McGregor of the Essex and Kent Regiment. Constable Coghlin was appointed Drum Major and Sgt. Young was Band Director.

During the nicer weather the practices were held in the police station parking lot on King Street. However, due to complaints from neighbours, these practices were stopped. The band moved to the #427 RCAF Association Hall on Crumlin Road.

The City of London Auxiliary Police sponsored the Pipes and Drums and the Board of Commissioners of Police authorized Band members to wear the insignia of the Auxiliary Police. London City Council granted the Band the use of the City crest on its equipment and the official name of the Band became the City of London Auxiliary Police Pipe Band.

The City of London had previously adopted the MacGregor tartan in honour of Peter MacGregor, London's first permanent resident, and this honour was passed on to the Band.

The Band soon became popular and participated in many civic functions and charitable events.

Sergeant Young and Constable Coghlin achieved their Centennial Year goal by participating in London's Centennial Parade.

In its early years the Band participated annually in the Canadian Safety Patrol Jamboree in Ottawa and the Fortnight Festival in London. They also performed at the opening of the new City Hall in 1971 and played during the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1973.

In 1974 the sponsorship of the Band was passed to the Board of Commissioners of Police and became known as the Pipes and Drums of the City of London Police.

For several years the Band continued to play an active role in civic events and police public relations.

In 1980 membership dwindled and the Pipes and Drums were threatened with being disbanded.

On November 16, 1983, the Band was reformed under the direction of Major Archie Cairns, MMM, CD.
Major Archie Cairns, MMM, CD
Membership grew quickly and the Pipes and Drums again performed at many events representing the London Police. They have participated in the Police Memorial Service in Ottawa, several years at the London Tattoo, March Past ceremonies at the Ontario Police College and annually at the London Warrior's Day Parade, Remembrance Day Parade and Police Week activities. The Band played for Her Majesty, Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, at the lighting of the eternal flame at Banting House in London. Since 1992 members of the London Police Pipes and Drums have played annually with Orchestra London at their Celtic Ceilidh. In 2000 the Band was invited to play with the Kitchener- Waterloo Symphony in celebration of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Centre in the Square. In 2004 the band was named the staff band for the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, ON.

The Band members are citizens of the community representing a variety of occupations and pastimes. They practise weekly at the London Police Headquarters.

To inquire about engaging the band for a parade or function, or if you are looking for a piper/drummer for a wedding, funeral or to lead a head table procession, please contact Executive Officer (519-660-5859).

More pictures of the band.

Links to Bagpipe Websites