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Bishop's Stortford piper Glen Malcolm joins global performance to commemorate VE Day

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Bishop’s Stortford piper Glen Malcolm joined a worldwide commemoration of VE Day on Friday (May 8) by playing atop the Castle Mound in the town.

The 52-year-old Glaswegian – who lives with wife Alison, their three daughters Eilidh, 19, and 17-year-old twins Mairi and Grace, and rescue hound Monty – is one of more than 1,000 bagpipe enthusiasts in 28 countries assembled by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek.

As well as the UK, including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, there are representatives of Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, Russia, USA, Canada, Bermuda, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Glen Malcolm (34394393)
Glen Malcolm (34394393)

They will play Battle’s O’er, the traditional march played by pipers at the end of a confrontation, and 'VE 75 Years', which was written especially for the 75th anniversary by Pipe Major Roger Bayes, of the City of Norwich Pipe Band.

Bruno, who has organised historic celebrations and international events for nearly 40 years, said: “The fact that over 1,000 pipers in 28 countries are still taking part from the safety of their homes during this difficult time in all our lives shows the determination and strength of the family of piping throughout the world that wants to pay tribute to the many pipers that lost their lives during the Second World War, along with the many, many millions at home and abroad that gave and sacrificed so much to ensure we all share and enjoy the freedom we have today.

"I feel sure I will have a tear in my eyes on the day, knowing that these pipers are playing this together at this special moment in time.”

Glen Malcolm (34394386)
Glen Malcolm (34394386)

Glen was originally booked to play as part of the VE Day 75 celebrations at Bish Bash, the Bishop’s Stortford music festival, and is thrilled that he will still be able to perform – albeit without a real audience.

Instead of entertaining crowds of revellers in Sworder’s Field, he will observe social distancing in Castle Park and play alone on the historic Waytemore Castle mound.

He said: “After playing for the 100-year Armistice in 2018, I am proud to also be participating in this historic international event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, a pivotal moment in our history. It’s a chance to commemorate those who sacrificed so much and celebrate the peace that they achieved.”

Glen, a mortgage advisor and will writer, has been playing the pipes for 40 years. He learned initially with the Boys' Brigade then went to the College of Piping and joined Bishopbriggs Pipe Band in East Dunbartonshire in Scotland.

When he’s not playing the bagpipes he likes pounding the streets: “The whole family are members of Bishops Stortford Running Club and my daughters also compete for Harlow Athletic Club. Alison and I are qualified UK Athletics officials. I love a run with Monty – it's always an adventure!”

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