Pipe down or play on? Sunderland community has its say on city's bagpiper branded a 'nuisance' by neighbour

Does the sound of bagpipes soothe you, or set your teeth on edge?

Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 4:43 pm
Updated Friday, 16th August 2019, 2:58 pm

Opinion was split among the people of Sunderland, after a professional bagpipe player in the city spoke out about the abuse he had received for his playing from a neighbour.

Alan Jamieson, 37, relocated to Wearside from Wishaw, Scotland in 2015 and practises twice a week for 30 minutes.

He has played since he was 10 – but recently received a letter of complaint from a neighbour in Roker, branding him a “public nuisance” and insisting he stop the “horrendous racket”.

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Bagpiper Alan Jamieson has received a letter of complaint about playing at home.
Bagpiper Alan Jamieson has received a letter of complaint about playing at home.

Dozens of Echo readers got in touch to share their support for Alan – adding that they “love” the bagpipes and would enjoy hearing his music.

Here is what you had to say on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:

Roddy Macpherson: “He should do his practising at home on a chanter, and save the full blown pipes for band practice. He should know that. I love the pipes, but would soon go off if a neighbour was playing regularly.”

Would this bother you if you lived next door?

Janet Welsh: “If I were the piper I would just go to the town centre and practice there every day … might make a bit cash at the same time.”

Eileen Joyce: “Sorry but I wouldn’t like it at all no matter how short his practice is. Cannot stand bagpipes.”

Ann Ray: “Wouldn't mind at all. Love Scotland would just remind me of all the fabulous holidays I’ve had there.”

Maureen McLuckie: “I love the bagpipes, fantastic to hear them. I wouldn't mind having him for a neighbour.”

You have been having your say on Alan's talent - and many of you are all for it.

Wendy Armstrong: “No bother as long as not doing it at stupid hours, don’t mind the bagpipes.”

Leigh Morris: “I live about 15 metres from this address. You hear them once or twice a week always late afternoon for a maximum of 30 mins. What’s the problem? I think he is being very considerate/sensitive to surrounding neighbours! Play on!”

Catherine Meddes: “I lived with this for many years. My eldest brother was in the Sunderland and District Pipe Band. He used to stand on the landing and practice. Everyone used to ask what the noise was that was coming from our house.”

Mo White: “Love the pipes, love the folk that play them but they should show restraint and consideration for others.”

Pat Ross: “I would protest as well. I feel that anyone should be entitled to a quiet neighbourhood.”

Janet Smith: “If he can play them as well as he does what is the problem.”

Paul Lewis: “Bagpipes are like Marmite ... I hate them.”

Vivien Thompson: “Sorry not for me.”