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.:: THE BELFAST TATTOO - Manor Cunningham ::.

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Manor Cunningham - ODYSSEY ARENA - 27th & 28th Spptember 2013
The band was formed in the early 1900's, by a group of enthusiasts who were keen to learn to play the Scottish bagpipes with the idea of starting a pipe band. They invited the Pipe Major from a local band in Carrigans, Billy Radcliff, to help tutor the band. The band got off to a good start and was soon participating in local events. The band had no uniforms for a number of years.

The band eventually got uniforms made by a local tailor but these were only worn once. Founding Band Members 1935-1939 Willie Walker George Crawford Alex Lindsay Willie Turner Fred McCrossan William Stevenson Richard Platt Willie Galbraith Thomas Platt David Browne Robert McCrossan Fred Stevenson Ernest Crawford James Dill Andrew Walker With the outbreak of the Second World War the band ceased operation until the war was over. When the war was over in 1945 the band was revived under a new Pipe Major, Robert Walker, with some former members and some new recruits. The band attended many local events but did not attend competitions. The band saw numerous changes in personnel over the years and there are some old photos showing the band on parade. The photos show the band wearing uniforms which were purchased in the 1950s. The band at this stage wore the Logan MacLennan tartan.

For a time in the 1970s Billy Wray was band tutor and he was followed for a time by Charlie Land from Londonderry a very experienced teacher who had served in the British Army. It was not until the 1980s that the band made the decision to attend competitions. Willie Walker from Londonderry who was the Pipe Major with the Mitchelburn Pipe Band became the tutor for the pipers and Victor Wray was appointed teacher to the drummers. A lot of new members were recruited to the band at this time and slowly the band's performances at competition improved throughout the 1980s with the highlight of this period being the band wining the All Ireland Title in Grade 4A, the first Donegal band to do so. In 1987 the band purchased new uniforms and drums.

The tartan chosen was the Modern Red McLean which is still worn by the band today and the new uniforms were dedicated in the hall on 13th April 1988. 1988 was the band's most successful season to date in competition winning the following: All Ireland Championships Lagan Valley Championships Mid Ulster Championships Co Antrim Championships The band was upgraded to Grade 3 in 1989 and continued to compete but began to struggle as some senior members retired and other members left due to work commitments. In 1991 David Middleton was appointed band tutor and Pipe Major along with Gary Wray and Russell Tinney to teach the drummers. A number of new members were recruited but were not yet ready for competition. The band only attended a few competitions.

The band continued to struggle over the next few years due to lack of members to compete in competition. In 1993 Robert Wallace took over as Pipe Major and as the band was unable to compete he and several other members joined Tullintrain Pipe Band from Londonderry to compete in Grade 3. The band continued to attend local events and compete in some competitions throughout the 1990s. A new influx of learners joined the band in 2000 and 2001 and the band began to build again with the aim to get back into the competition scene.

In 2002 Gordon Carson was elected as Pipe Major and the band started competing in Grade 4B in 2003 with some good results winning the :- 1st Co Fermanagh Championships 1st Ulster Championships 2nd Mid Ulster Championships 2nd North Down Championships 2nd Mid Down Championships 2nd All Ireland Championships The success the band had resulted in the band being upgraded to Grade 4A.

The band continued to build and compete in competition. Again in 2007 the band had a very successful season collecting the following titles along with numerous other placings. 1st Cowal Games Championships 1st Co Fermanagh Championships In 2008 Alan Laird was recruited to take over the drum corp as the band continued to recruit new members.

The band again competed in Grade 4A and finished the season as Champion of Champions in the Grade having been crowned champions at the European Championships All Ireland Championships Several other titles were won at local competition in Northern Ireland. As a result of this the band was upgraded to Grade 3B. In 2009 the band took the step into Grade 3B but with plenty of hard work and dedication the band had quite a successful season and was delighted with their performance.

1st All Ireland Championships 1st Co Antrim Championships 1st Co Down Championships 5th World Championships 5th British Championships