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    The Sound of Bagpipes in Aubigny-sur-Nère…

     

     

    Emblematic Scottish bagpipe Aubigny-sur-Nère Berry France  © 2011 Scotiana

    The emblematic Scottish bagpipe at the entry of Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

     

    Hi everybody !

    We’ve taken this photo at a crossroads on arriving at Aubigny-sur-Nère. Isn’t the bagpipe looking like some big greedy insect ready to plunge into the flowers to gather its lot of pollen!

     

    Aubigny-sur-Nère François 1er house and St Martin church Berry France  © 2010 Scotiana

    François 1er house and St Martin church © 2010 Scotiana

    We’ve already introduced ‘Aubigny-sur-Nère‘ on Scotiana. Together with a vast area around the town, including Concressault and Oizon, it remained Scottish for four centuries. In 1423, the French King Charles VII gave it to John Stuart Darnley as a reward for his help during the Hundred Years’ War. Alas, the courageous knight didn’t have time to enjoy his new estate for he was killed in 1424. Aubigny-sur-Nère is a very picturesque town with its flourished streets lined with old timber-framed houses, its 13th century church and 15th century Stuarts castle. It is situated in the beautiful valley of the Nère, about 50 km from Bourges.

     

     Aubigny-sur-Nère The Auld Alliance Memorial and the Stuarts Castle  © 2011 Scotiana

    Stuarts Castle and Auld Alliance Memorial © 2011 Scotiana

    The Stuarts castle shelters the very interesting Auld Alliance museum and a very moving memorial has been erected in front of the castle.

     

    France Aubigny-sur-Nère Auld Alliance memorial © 2010 Scotiana

    Aubigny-sur-Nère Auld Alliance memorial France © 2010 Scotiana

    “The Auld Alliance has not been written on a ewe skin parchment, but engraved on
    human skin, traced not in ink but in blood “.

    (Alain Chartier, 15th century .)

    On July 17th, we decided to go to Aubigny-sur-Nère to catch a glimpse of the 2011 Scottish-French festivities. We missed the cavalcade and were quite disappointed about that but, as  the sound of the bagpipes were still resounding in the town, it stirred our enthusiasm and we joined the crowd.

    Aubigny-sur-Nère podium  © 2011 Scotiana

    Aubigny-sur-Nère podium © 2011 Scotiana

    Colourful performances were succeeding on an open air scene…

     Mediaeval group Aubigny-sur-Nère Scottish French festivities © 2011 Scotiana

    Mediaeval group Aubigny-sur-Nère Scottish French festivities © 2011 Scotiana

    As we couln’t find a place to watch the spectacle, we decided to follow the parade along the streets of Aubigny…

    Ladies wearing mediaeval dresses in the Scottish-French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère  © 2011 Scotiana

    Ladies wearing mediaeval dresses in the Scottish-French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

    The streets were crowded. Many people were wearing colourful tartan clothes or mediaeval costumes…

      Aubigny-sur-Nère Scottish French festivities a knight and a man in a black cloak © 2011 Scotiana

    The knight and the man in a black cloak © 2011 Scotiana

    Here a knight was discussing with a mysterious man wearing a black cloak…

    Aubigny-sur-Nère Scottish French festivities a group of warriors  © 2011 Scotiana

    Scottish French festivities a group of warriors © 2011 Scotiana

    There, a group of warriors seemed to be waiting for orders…

     

    Flags fluttered in the wind, the Scottish thistle mingling with the French fleur-de-lys. The atmosphere was very cheerful. No empty tables outside the cafés where people were sitting, watching the parade.

    As the pipe-bands were playing traditional Scottish tunes and wore Scottish tartans we could have taken them for Scottish players but they were French ;-)

    The pipe-band's drummer at the Scottish-French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère  © 2011 Scotiana

    The pipe-band's drummer at the Scottish-French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

     

    We first identified the Aubigny pipe-band ;-)

     

    Aubigny-sur-Nère  Scottish-French festivities the Scottish pipe-band and  the leading boy © 2011 Scotiana

    Aubigny-sur-Nère's pipe-band at the Scottish-French festivities © 2011 Scotiana

    A young boy proudly marched ahead, leading the group…

    The Aubigny-sur-Nère pipe-band parading at the Scottish-French festivities  © 2011 Scotiana

    The Aubigny-sur-Nère pipe-band parading at the Scottish-French festivities © 2011 Scotiana

    The Aubigny pipe-band was created in 1993 by Pascal Perot, the 1st piper, on the initiative of the town council. Several Scottish pipers succeeded to train the players and their first public performance took place in 1999. First composed of seven players the group was soon joined by new members, among them one bass drum and two snare drums. The Aubigny pipe-band participates to a lot of festivities : the Joan of Arc celebrations, the Bressuire Highland Games, the Inter-Celtic Festivals and more. It is twinned with Haddington pipe band.

    Haddington Pipe Band – formed in 1981 – takes its name from the former Royal Burgh of Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland. The band is based there and many of the members live locally. Our home town is twinned with Aubigny-sur-Nère, France, which also has a pipe band and we visit each other regularly. Here our band can be seen on a recent visit (…)
    A major step for the Band was our first visit to Haddington’s twin town in France – Aubigny sur Nere in 1989 – which was organised by Bill Bradford. Aubigny lies about 100 miles due south of Paris and our first visit coincided with the bicentenary of the French revolution. That visit was a major success for the Band and the first of very many visits to France. Indeed the Band have become almost a fixture at the town’s annual fete Franco/Ecossaise. The Band was also a major factor in the establishment of Aubigny sur Nere’s pipe band and retains very strong links with that band.

    In the Haddington pipe band website there is a very moving article entitled  “So the pipe band came to the French mayor’s rescue”… YES ! the Auld Alliance well survives !

    Here’s the link to their photo gallery which displays some photos taken during the 2010 Scottish French festivities in Aubigny.

     

    The 92nd North Fox Pipe Band at the Scottish French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

    The 92nd North Fox Pipe Band at the Scottish French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

    Very recognizable is the 92nd North Fox Pipe Band with its emblematic fox…

     

    The 92nd North Fox Pipe Band at the Scottish French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

    The 92nd North Fox Pipe Band at the Scottish French festivities in Aubigny-sur-Nère © 2011 Scotiana

    This pipe-band comes from Colombes in the Hauts de Seine, near Paris.

     

    An extract from  the 92nd Norh Fox Pipe Band brochure

    You can notice that this group wears different kinds of tartan…

    Aubigny-sur-Nère Scottish French festivities Askol ha Brug Pipe Band  © 2011 Scotiana

    Askol ha Brug Pipe Band © 2011 Scotiana

    Last but not least came the Askol ha Brug Pipe Band . Looking very Scottish too! It was founded in 1977 in St Herblain, Brittany, with the purpose of making known the Scottish bagpipe and battery as well as Celtic music. The group wears the Royal Stuart Tartan which had been allowed to be worn in France by the Stuarts. On their blazon there is a hermine and a crawling lion and on the escucheon the thistle and the heather under a chief of hermines.

    Let us end this post listening to their very moving music: the Rose of Allendale, Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace, Highland Cathedral, Flower of Scotland and more…

    WOW !

    A bientôt. Mairiuna

     

    The old castle of Aubigny-sur-Nère behind its gates in Berry France  © 2011 Scotiana

    The old castle of Aubigny-sur-Nère behind its gates © 2011 Scotiana

     


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