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MacPherson, Hugh

Hugh MacPherson started an import business in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada in the late 1920′s. After WWII, he moved back to Edinburgh and opened another shop, with his brother Dick remaining in Canada to run the St. Catherine’s shop. Hugh was not a pipemaker himself, but had MacPherson branded bagpipes made by William Sinclair & Son. Because of this, it is often difficult to tell the difference between a MacPherson and Sinclair bagpipe.

The following set was recently refurbished bu Thomas Doucet, hallmarked silver and ivory from 1975 –

Before -

And after -

Note the radius inside the cord beads

A good look at the stocks

The bagpipe below is a 1948 MacPherson that belongs to P/M Kevin MacIntyre. This bagpipe’s identification was confirmed by Alastair Sinclair in 2004 while Kevin was over in Scotland.  Alastair Sinclair said it was a MacPherson made by Sinclair tools.

A flaring bass bell

Very typical profile and beading patterns for a Sinclair lineage bagpipe

Unique inner radius of the bass cord bead

Bottom ivory projecting mount and ferrule

Top projecting mount

Another look at the bottom projecting mounts

Looks like a 3 piece ringcap to me?

This set below came from Ontario and is now played by Chris Stanger of the Comox Valley Pipe  Band.

Hmmmm.....looks like a Sinclair.

"MacPherson Edinburgh" stamped on the chanter.

A shot of the stocks

Flat one piece drone caps

Note the small groove inside the radius of the inner cord bead

This next set comes to us from Martha Yates of Santa Rosa, California.

Here is a bit of history on the set.

“Hallmark on silver on pipes: HM (Hugh MacPherson) Thistle, Castle, G: Edinburgh 1962

Hallmark on silver sole of chanter: FN , Anchor, Rampant Lion, L : Birmingham 1960

Top of Chanter under bell: MacPherson Edinburgh

Bottom of Chanter just above sole: Scotland

These pipes were made in 1962 by  MacPherson (Sinclair) for Donald Shaw-Ramsay’s son-in-law, Robert Hankins. Bob Hankins was a police officer and a member of the SF Police Pipe Band.   In 1994 DSR took the pipes back to Scotland to be refurbished by Sharpe Bagpipe Co., Bridge of Allan, Scotland. I purchased the pipes in 1995 from Bob Hankins through Donald Shaw-Ramsay. (I had been a student of his for a number of years) The pipes at that time had a Goretex bag and a new Naill ABW chanter. However, the purchase included the original chanter, and DSR added another chanter, an ABW P. Henderson, Glasgow. When telling me about the pipes, .Donald pointed out that the drones had been turned by Jimmie Tweedie who worked for MacPherson/Sinclair at the time. I got the impression that the Henderson chanter belonged to Donald and, perhaps, had been a band chanter for one of his bands.   The MacPherson chanter, when properly reeded, will tune to a true Bb: 466.”

"MacPherson Edinburgh" stamped on the chanter

One Response to “MacPherson, Hugh”

  1. Gord…. my teacher, Dick MacPherson, Hugh’s brother…my upbringing in

    Hugh MacPherson Imports
    231 Lake Street,
    St. Catharines, Ontario

    My close friend…Willie Sinclair

    After Dick died,in 1964, Hugh offered my wife and myself the Canadian half of the business…

    Very close to home with this…. Alastair was still a boy …. my first set were imitation… then when Dick died i got his S/I 1947 set…. sold them to Dr. Henry Spangler of Topeka, Kansas a few years ago, who still has them….cheers, Ken

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