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Archibald Gibson Desert warfare veteran who had an eccentric career
[Final Edition]
The Herald - Glasgow (UK)
Date: Apr 18, 2005
Start Page: 16
Section: Features
Abstract (Document Summary)

A good singer and talented musician, at the tender age of 14 he played his pipes for Queen Wilhelmina, when, in the early 1930s, she used to take up temporary residence in St Fillans. She liked to paint the dramatic landscapes surrounding the loch. Archie played his pipes upon her arrival and he played outside her dining room in the evenings. He accompanied her to the lochside - carrying her painting equipment. When she was departing in 1933, her ADC gave Archie an ornate envelope. Oh good, thought Archie . . . money. However, after he had "piped her awa' " he found in his envelope a certificate confirming him Official Piper to Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, but, alas, no money.

He and [Joan] were married in 1946 in a very simple, unconventional ceremony that cost the equivalent of 35p for the certificate and 50p for the book token as a present for the minister. In due course, Archie started his own business and became very successful. His son, Paul, born in 1956, went into the business with Archie and when Paul was able to be manage the business, Archie was off.

Archie's father originally painted the boulder dragon emerging from the wood just outside St Fillans, and Archie repainted it. It's an interesting and humorous landmark. A little nearer the village, Archie painted just two white rings for eyes on a roadside rock - and, hey presto - a giant frog. It sits there waiting to cross the road.

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