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Ronnie Wathen's pipes

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 12:08 pm
by PJ
I was browsing the Uilleannobsession website and came across a photo of the late Ronnie Wathen playing his Wooff B set.

It seems to be quite an unusual set. Firstly, the ends of the drones and regulators seem to be flared. I've not seen this before. Secondly, the 4th regulator. It's not so unusual to have a 4th reg but this one seems to have a very large diameter. Finally, the chanter seems to be tied into the neck of the bag.

Here's a link to the photo :

http://www.uilleannobsession.com/photos ... wathen.jpg

Are there any recordings floating around of this set being played?

Re: Ronnie Wathen's pipes

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 12:46 pm
by billh
PJ wrote:I was browsing the Uilleannobsession website and came across a photo of the late Ronnie Wathen playing his Wooff B set.

It seems to be quite an unusual set. Firstly, the ends of the drones and regulators seem to be flared. I've not seen this before. ...
I think that's take from Egan's work... the bell-shaped ends are, IIRC, separate pieces that can be removed for easier access to the end-pins - they slip over the solid part of the regulator end cap. There may be a pic of an Egan with this feature somewhere on PDarcy's site, not sure

Bill

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 4:26 pm
by the plod
the neck on that bag is impressive.

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 6:59 pm
by donax
Somewhere I have a tape of Ronnie playing the set in breaks during a long poem he wrote about Geoff Wooff. I have a couple more photos of that set. Seeing the inspired my ordering a set from Geoff which had the same regulator caps.

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 7:00 pm
by donax
Somewhere I have a tape of Ronnie playing the set in breaks during a long poem he wrote about Geoff Wooff. I have a couple more photos of that set. Seeing the inspired my ordering a set from Geoff which had the same regulator caps.

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 8:04 pm
by Jonathan_P
donax wrote:Somewhere I have a tape of Ronnie playing the set in breaks during a long poem he wrote about Geoff Wooff.
Lifted shamelessley from
http://www.uilleannobsession.com/extras_stuff.html

Geoff Wooff
by Ronnie Wathen.

Now, musical-instrument making is murder,
It can drive a man to insanity's border
Drilling a full set of pipes to order.

To give you a clue to the size of the task
There's forty-eight pieces of ivory tusk
Fitted to my pipes,just so I can busk.

These silver mountings that add to my fun
Total one hundred and seventy-one,
Work as exquisite as a naval gun.

Fifteen battens of the blackest ebony
Were turned by Geoff Wooff to the sweetest of honey,
Every inch of my pipes has been worth the money.

Here's a cover of green that is velvet and dark
Over a leather bag with a very long neck,
And a rosewood cup and a boxwood stock

Which is tapered and hollowed to mellow the guills
Of the elder-drones with a purr that thrills,
And incidentally adds to my bills.

All made by Geoff, now deprived of his work,
Without my pipes in the Australian outback
He wishes he'd the money to buy them back!

Re: Ronnie Wathen's pipes

Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 4:02 am
by Peter Laban
billh wrote:
I think that's take from Egan's work... the bell-shaped ends are, IIRC, separate pieces that can be removed for easier access to the end-pins - they slip over the solid part of the regulator end cap. There may be a pic of an Egan with this feature somewhere on PDarcy's site, not sure

Bill
That feature was modelled on Dan O Dwod's pipes

Re: Ronnie Wathen's pipes

Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 3:18 pm
by PJ
Peter Laban wrote:
billh wrote:
I think that's take from Egan's work... the bell-shaped ends are, IIRC, separate pieces that can be removed for easier access to the end-pins - they slip over the solid part of the regulator end cap. There may be a pic of an Egan with this feature somewhere on PDarcy's site, not sure

Bill
That feature was modelled on Dan O Dwod's pipes
Bingo:



Image
Patrick D'Arcy wrote:Iain Cameron sent this one also of Dan O'Dowd's Egan set. He says, "this was taken at Bettystown and we actually had a go at playing them but my dad couldn't get it together as they were so easy and Dan just sat and laughed at him".

Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 5:08 am
by dropkick
In who's care are Ronnie's pipes now?

Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 6:38 am
by Peter Laban
Ken McLeod has them. The fourth regulator disappeared in Ronnie's last days. Geoff replaced the chanter for a new design one.

Re:

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:14 am
by martolod
dropkick wrote:In who's care are Ronnie's pipes now?
bit late in the piece but....better late than never

i am the current Custodian of Ronnie's Ginsberg D Set.....though i would not mind taking care of the B set......or any B flat set for that matter....... :D

Re: Ronnie Wathen's pipes

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:07 pm
by wooff
Those long Ivory end caps hide the "stopped end correction" pistons which help to focus the gammut by adjustment of the closed length of the bore in the way that an organ pipe is tuned. A similar idea is used on the closed chanter of the Northumbrian Small Pipes.

The very large diameter fourth regulator was not really a double bass but a double Baritone... so if the normal Bass is an octave lower than the Tennor then this forth reg. was an octave lower than the Baritone and had the notes E, G, F# and D in decending order of key touches aligned with the C,B,A and G keys of the Tennor.... shame the lower section of it disapeared... although there is someone currently restoring it.

Yes the styling of much of the Ronnie pipes was borrowed from the work of Michael Egan and those end cap shapes especially from the Dan O'Dowd set, though that one does not have the adjustment pistons.

I made this set in 1982 and it is based on another Egan set which John Wayland took to Australia in 1911. The set had been bought by Wayland after the death of the previous owner Michael Wallace who, according to Egan himself, was one of the two finest pipers he had ever heard.

All the metalwork is solid Silver on the Ronnie set and all the key blocks were metal lined...