Boosey & Hawkes




Boosey and Hawkes were manufacturers of woodwind instruments and publishers of music.  Like other notable london music firms (John Grey & Son, Rudall & Carte, Miller Browne) they, at one point or another, had bagpipes made and branded under their own name. 

Boosey and Hawkes purchased what was left of the Henry Starck business around 1955 or 1956.  They immediately shut down the bagpipe making operation however continued with the flute making business.  According to Les Cowell, there were three possible makers of bagpipes stamped Boosey & Hawkes being Starck, Lawrie, and Miller Browne.

We know that Henry Starck was a flute maker prior to his partnership with William Ross. His flutes endure today.  He probably also made flutes that were private branded and I suspect he was the maker of bagpipes branded by all three firms (and others) mentioned in the first paragraph.

The pictures to the right are of other bagpipes stamped Boosey & Hawkes, London.  The profiles and style of all these images all point to Starck

The firm still exists and I believe there is a museum on site with about 80 sets of bagpipes from around the world.
chanter
B&H_09
Makers of Old Bagpipe Place Home
This email was received with respect to the Boosey & Hawkes bagpipe pictured below....

As fpr tje gentleman that originally played this instrument, his name (I'm told) was Robert MacRae Robertson, and fought during the First World War.  Iím led to believe that he was with a Scottish regiment (not sure which) and immigrated to Australia later.  Iím not certain if he participated in WW2.  Robert died some 30 years or so ago, and his wife had told the piper (Robert Scot - who later gave them to me) at the service, after she gave him these pipes, that at one time during WW1 Robert was playing at a military funeral on the front with another piper when disaster struck.  Apparently, the two pipers had been marching pass one another, about facing and then marching toward one another once again while the funeral party conducted its business.  It was while they were furthest apart that a bomb fell from the sky and directly hit the funeral party.  Unfortunately, the other piper had turned early and was closer to the funeral party and was killed with the funeral party.  As for Robert, he had just turned and faced the funeral party when the explosion occurred, the force of the explosion blowing him backward, stripping him of clothing and injuring him.  Robert is buried not too far from here at a town called Cootamundra.
As you can see, the stocks are no longer in service however the profile is distinctively "Starck".  The pictures below, all of B&H stamped bagpipes, only strengthens the argument that Starck was the maker.
The chanter to the right is made out of bakelite, an early plastic used extensively by makers of other woodwind instruments.  No doubt this was either experimental or otherwise misguided and short-lived.
Museum The Bagpipe Place