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Chorley Pipe Band, once known as St George's C.L.B. Pipe Band
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The band was formed in 1952 as St George's CLB Pipe Band (Church Lads Brigade). The founding Pipe Major was Robert S. Walkingshaw, a native of Fife and a former Pipe Major in the R.A.F. during WW2 before moving to Chorley. He taught all the original pipers of the band from scratch. They went straight into Grade 3 and under Bob's guidance eventually won the Grade 3 Cowal Championship in the mid-1960's. It was through Bob's efforts that Chorley Highland Games took place in 1959. This was also the birth of the All England Pipe Band Championship. George Walkingshaw was Pipe Sergeant to Hugh MacPherson at Lahore & District Pipe Band during its time in Grade 1. A close relationship existed between the Chorley and Lahore Bands during the 1950's and 1960's, and in the early 1960's George moved south and joined his brother Robert in the band, became Pipe Sergeant for a while. His expertise led to a very successful period in the band's history but ill health led to an early retirement from piping.
 
The drummers were tutored by Leading Drummer Allen Baybutt who first taught himself and then trained the Drum Corps to a very high and successful standard. The Drum Corps became World Champions (Grade 3) in 1965 and 1972 and later, under Leading Drummer Alan Bunyan, European Champions (Grade 3) in 1989.
 
The Band entered its first contest in 1958 at the Manchester Highland Games winning 1st prize. Since then it maintained its good standard, rising to Grade 2 in 1976. It reverted to Grade 3 around 1982 and then returned to Grade 2 in 1989 for another four years. In the late 1970's as some of the members were by then over 18 years old and ineligible to stay in the Brigade but wanted to continue in the Band, it became the ''St. George's C.L.B. Association Pipe Band''. In 1978 the St. George's C.L.B. Company was disbanded and the Band continued as ''St. George's Pipe Band, Chorley''. In 1994 the Band's affiliation to St. George's Church ended and the Band was named ''Chorley Pipe Band'', the name it has today. Joe Swarbrick joined the band as a piper in 1956 at the age of eight. In 1968, aged 20, he became Pipe Major, a post he was to hold for the next thirty years, apart from a gap of two years from 1982 to 1984. George Walkingshaw provided invaluable support to the young Pipe Major in the early years, always ready to give tuition, help and advice.
 
In 1976 the band moved up to Grade 2 where it remained for the next 6 or 7 years. It was also in 1976 that the Juvenile band was formed. For the next few years the Juvenile band won many trophies. Their high point was in 1978 when they came second in the Novice Juvenile Grade at the World Championships, held that year at Lanark.
 
In 1982 Joe stepped down as P/M and Gerry McComb took over. Shortly afterwards Joe left the band. Around 1983 the band returned to Grade 3 and the Juvenile band was disbanded. In 1984 Joe returned as Pipe Major.
 
In 1985 a second band was formed under the name of ''St. George's Pipe Band Chorley (1985)''. and competed in Grade 4 for several years with Gerry McComb as its Pipe Major and Leading Drummer Colin Keir, .
 
In 1994 It became, for various reasons, difficult to support two Bands and for two years virtually no contests were attended. In 1995 it was decided to amalgamate both Bands into a Grade Three Band. This was a very positive decision and the Band re-grouped and returned to competitive status for the 1996 season. During 1996 and 1997 the Band entered various contests with mixed fortunes but there was an underlying feeling of optimism. 1998 saw a great deal of change. By this time both Chorley and the City of Salford Pipe Band were really struggling for numbers and they agreed to amalgamate. Also, around this time, Iain Kirkland, the Leading Tip, left and Stuart Wilson took on the job. Also during this year Joe Swarbrick announced his retirement from the band because of health problems after thirty years as Pipe Major.
 
Terry Blake took over as P/M and, with Iain Kirkland as Leading Drummer, the 1998 season was a return to the successes of the past. The Drum Corps took all before them, including 1st prize in each of the five Majors, emerging as World Champions and Champion of Champions in Grade 3A. The pipe corps were placed 2nd at the British Championships at Ayr and the band as a whole finished the year 2nd in the Grade 3A Champion of Champions league table.
 
In 1999 the drum corps lost Iain Kirkland who returned to Scotland. Then in 2000 L/D Stuart Wilson also left along with three other drummers and four pipers, leaving the band without a viable drum corps. A good nucleus of pipers remained but for a while the band was off the road, and in 2001 the band requested regrading to Grade 4. But throughout this difficult period the band managed to maintain a high standard and the band continue to pick up trophies in every grade in the Branch Solo Piping, Trio Piping and Miniband contests.
 
In 2007 Andy Paton took over as Pipe Major with Alan Thompson as Leading Drummer. By 2010 Andy and had stood down and Alan had left. The present Pipe Major is Kenny Smith.

  
Teams A and B competing at the North West England RSPBA Branch Minibands contest 2004.

Chatsworth House
1999

Chatsworth House
1999

Chatsworth House
1999

Chatsworth House
1999

Chatsworth House
2003

Chorley Fire Service
Training Centre

Chorley Fire Service
Training Centre

Massed Bands, Chatsworth House

occasion?
D/M Lyndsey Seddon

Chatsworth House
1999

Chorley Town Hall

(caption?)

(caption?)

Dickensian Day
Standish

1998 2nd in Grade 3a
Champion of Champions

Cowal Championship
Walking up
Argyle Street

Chorley Walking Day
Combined Senior and
Juvenile bands

Gerry McCombe as
Pipe Major

Lancashire and
Cheshire Federation
Highland Games
Blackpool

1989 Grade 2
English Champions

Setting off: St George's Church in background

(caption?)

Juvenile Band
Cleckheaton
Highland Gathering
c. 1978

Juvenile Band   c. 1978
occasion?

Juvenile Band   c. 1978
P/M Joe Swarbrick

Outside main door of
St George's Church
L/D Alan Bunyan

(caption?)

P/M Joe
Swarbrick

occasion?
D/M Dave Woodyet

(caption?)

Church Lads Brigade
Royal Review 1958
Buckingham Palace
(Keith Seddon
centre right
2nd rank)

Church Lads Brigade
Royal Review 1958
Leading the Parade
P/M Bob Walkingshaw
P/Sgt David Prebble

Church Lads Brigade
Royal Review 1958
L/D Alan Baybutt (extreme left front row)

Taken outside old
St George's School. (date?)
L/D Alan Baybutt

Cowal - year?
2nd from left, P/Sgt George Walkinshaw
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