Pipers sound off at party conference

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt and his wife Lynda Bryans pictured with members of the Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band and Highland dancer Jodie Mills. INNT 43-500CON
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt and his wife Lynda Bryans pictured with members of the Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band and Highland dancer Jodie Mills. INNT 43-500CON

The majestic sounds of Ballyclare’s Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band signalled the end of the Ulster Unionist Party conference at the weekend.

The band’s Great Highland Bagpipes and top Highland dancer Jodie Mills added an element of tradition and vibrancy to bring the curtain down on the event at the Ramada Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast.

The audience were treated to an atmospheric audio spectacle for the final 15 minutes of the conference. The band played many of their favourite tunes, with Highland Cathedral being specially requested by party leader, Mike Nesbitt.

“It was a great opportunity to raise the band’s profile,” said Pipe Major John Fittis. “Playing at events like this are important and we firmly believe that playing here was a positive way to express our cultural identity and give something back to the community.”

The Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band, named after Major John Maynard Sinclair, the Ulster Unionist Finance Minister who lost his life in the Princess Victoria ferry disaster in 1953, are regulars at RSPBA competitions across the province and in Scotland, providing highland bagpipe and drumming tuition, which is free to all. 

The piping and drumming school takes place on Tuesday nights at 7:15pm in the Linfield Supporters Club, Ballyclare. 

For more information call John Fittis on 07866 129726 or check out the band’s Facebook page.