The 2019 Highland Society of London's Gold Medal Piobaireachd competition was won by Andrew Hayes from Nepean, Canada. From a field of 24 pipers, Andrew won first place in the Gold Medal playing The Old Men of the Shells. Andrew is pictured here receiving the Gold Medal and Pipe Major's Banner with Torquil Telfer, Argyllshire Gathering's Piping Steward.
2nd place: Sandy Cameron, Roy Bridge, Scotland
3rd place: Andrew Donlon, Maryland, USA
4th place: Nick Hudson, Houston, USA
5th place: Cameron Drummond, Edinburgh, Scotland
Tune Notes: The Old Men of the Shells
With seashell being a convenient and popular drinking vessel, one tradition holds that this tune is about the distillers or purveyors of stong liquor. There is an old song "hand me over the scallop shell, the shell that has ruined me." A second legend links it with a battle at the head of Loch Sligachan in Skye, where the MacLeods drove a force of invading MacDonalds back down to the sea, where they found their galleys had in the intervening time been caputred by the MacAskills. Every surving MacDonald was killed and their heads were carried in triumph back to Dunvegan.