Loretto School Pipe Band accompany the Queen's Bodyguard in Scotland
3rd June 2015

AS has been the tradition in recent years,  last week, the Loretto School Pipe Band accompanied The Royal Company of Archers (Her Majesty, The Queen's Bodyguard in Scotland) on their march to Musselburgh Racecourse where The Royal Company of Archers compete for the oldest sporting trophy in the world - 'The Musselburgh Silver Arrow'.

Jonathan Hewat, Director of External Affairs at Loretto School said, “We are honoured that, once again, the Loretto  Pipe Band were asked to accompany The Royal Company of Archers to this prestigious competition, which is steeped in history and tradition and once won by the late Michael Mavor, a past Headmaster of Loretto School.”



The Loretto School Pipe Band

The Loretto Pipe Band has been part of life at Loretto for over a hundred years. The earliest remaining photograph of the Scottish School's Pipe Band dates back to 1910 and shows six pipers and five drummers. 

Today the Loretto Pipe Band is often accompanied by the School's troupe of highland dancers. The Loretto Pipe Band is highly regarded and regularly perform at School events and in public. They have performed at Holyrood Palace, Lords Cricket ground, Sandhurst, for the Pope during his visit to Edinburgh and event supported Sir Paul McCartney in concert on two occasions!

The Royal Company of Archers and the silver Musselburgh Arrow

The silver Musselburgh Arrow, which is claimed to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world, is competed for annually by members of The Royal Company of Archers.  The Arrow was first shot for in 1603.

The members of The Royal Company, who are The Queen's Bodyguard in Scotland, assemble behind the Brunton Hall, Musselburgh and then march behind the Loretto School Pipe Band to the Musselburgh Racecourse where the targets will have been laid out for the competition.

The prize is competed for over a distance of 180 yards and each archer fires two arrows standing in front of one target, towards a target at the far end of the range.   When all have shot their two arrows all move to the other "end" and fire two arrows back at the other target.   There are ten "ends" normally in these competitions.

If an Archer's arrow strikes the target which is called "the clout" then he scores two points, otherwise the nearest arrow to "the clout" scores one point. When ten ends have been completed the Archer with the most points is the winner of the Arrow. Should there be a tie then a prize end is shot with the closest arrow winning.

Attached photographs show the Loretto Pipe Band accompanying the Royal Company of Archers to compete for the oldest sporting trophy in the world - 'The Musselburgh Silver Arrow'.


Loretto School

Set in a leafy campus just outside Edinburgh near East Lothian's coastline, Loretto provides an all‐round education for around 630 boys and girls – boarders and day pupils ‐ aged 3‐18. The School is made up of two parts: the Junior School ('The Nippers') for children aged 3‐12, and the Senior School for those aged 12‐18.

Founded in 1827 as Scotland's original boarding school, Loretto is well known for its relaxed family atmosphere, traditional values and emphasis on the development of the whole person, mind, body and spirit. 

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