VIDEO: New plaque in Aberdeen remembers one of “all-time piping greats”

A plaque commemorating one of the “all-time piping greats” has been unveiled outside his former workshop in Aberdeen.

George Stewart Mclennan, better known as G.S Mclennan, wrote some of the most popular piping tunes played by bands across Scotland – and even played for Queen Victoria.

The former Gordon Highlander pipe major was also renowned for his craftsmanship, and created hundreds of bagpipes from his shop on Bath Street in the city centre – which is now a hair salon.

To celebrate his life, which was cut tragically short by lung cancer at the age of just 46 in 1929, Bucksburn and District Pipe Band have now put in place a special memorial plaque outside the shop.

Mr Mclennan’s grandson Hamish Mclennan travelled from Thurso for the unveiling on Saturday, and the piper’s two great-grandchildren, Calum and Shonagh, were also in attendance.

The band played a number of Mr Mclennan’s most popular tunes at the unveiling, with the group’s manager Fred McKay playing on one of the celebrated bagpiper maker’s very own instruments.

Mr McKay said: “When I was learning to play, we were brought up playing this guy’s music, and almost 100 years on his music is still very prominent in the pipe band world.

“He’s idolised, he’s one of the all-time piping greats for certain.

“His father was as piper, and the rumour is he wanted to go to sea to join the navy, but his father wasn’t having that so he was sent to the Gordon Highlander barracks in Bridge of Don, where he became a pipe major.

“He was a boy star – at the age of 10 years old he was taken up to Balmoral and he played for Queen Victoria, but his greatest contribution was as a composer of music.

“He wrote so many classic pipe tunes that are still played in competitions today.”

Originally from Edinburgh, Mr Mclennan moved to Aberdeen to join the Gordon Highlanders and remained in the north-east for the rest of his life.

Mr McKay added: “The family were absolutely delighted, and unveiling this plaque was an enormous honour for us in the Bucksburn and District pipe band.

“We hope it will serve to honour his memory.”

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