The Alwynes: Bagpiping


Thursday in the life of the Rawcliffe Piper

We wake . . . to know that the day is structured and important to a lot of local people, and to my local animal home as well. A little bit nervous, wanting to do my best, worrying that the pipes misbehave-they are like a controlled octopus . . . but sometimes out of control!

The day has an edge, knowing what the night will bring. Joy, tears, community spirit. Celebration and support for all of the key workers and everyone, those who have not seen anyone for 6 weeks, those alone, scared and lonely. The pressure of not making mistakes, and of how important the night is.

It started with my friend in Scotland saying that 8pm Thursday nights was to be celebrated with pipes. I thought, why not, I can do that. So on the 23rd March, the Alwynes had our first event!!!

The response was wonderful. I still feel overwhelmed when I finish and turn round and see people talking to each other, smiling . . . bringing back the old fashioned community spirit! Every time I do it, it still gives me a great sense of well-being, incredibly humbling that something like being able to play the pipes can make such a difference. And that's it. Making a difference.

Alwyne's Pipey. Xx

Rachael Blueman's playing brings Alwyne neighbours on the street for socially-distanced support of key workers and each other.
Many other local streets request her, but she always plays for us first, and it's such a delight.