These are a set of pipes I believe to be made by John Ban Mackenzie, who lived between 1796 and 1864.

They belonged to a gentleman named Ken Macrae, who’s 90th birthday I played for in January 2019. Sadly, on 26th June 2019 I played for his funeral after he passed away.

Ken Macrae playing John Ban Mackenzie Bagpipes
Ken Macrae

Kenneth Grant Donaldson Macrae, 24/12/1928 – 15/06/2019


Ross at Johnstone Bagpipes has done a great job of refurbishing the pipes.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if they would take a modern chanter and drone reeds, and be tuned to a pitch considerably higher than what was played all those years ago. However, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised!

John Ban Mackenzie Pipes

This is a quick recording made using my phone after I stuck in a G1 plastic chanter with a random old chanter reed, and plugged in some Crozier Cane drone reeds. The recording was made pretty much straight after sticking the reeds in and making a few adjustments.

March, Strathspey and Reel

Slow Air and Hornpipes

I’m wondering about the top sections of the drones though, and if perhaps one section is actually made by one of the Glenns. The chalice of each of bells are all slightly different, and the ivory of the lower mounts of the top sections are all slightly different too.

On the chanter, indistinguishable in the photos, are etchings Mck above the High G and High A holes.

S F. Donaldson was Ken Macrae’s grandfather.

The above photo shows these pipes next to my Sinclairs. The top sections on the Sinclairs are a bit longer.