Billy James is a bagpiper based in Grantham, Lincolnshire. He was born to a family of pipers from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He started learning the bagpipes at the age of eleven and was taught by Pipe Major George Grant from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Billy began winning solo piping championships from the age of 16 and at the age of 20 became Pipe Major of the Mickleover Royal British Legion Pipe Band who won countless competitions. Billy spent thirty years piping for highland dancing championships throughout the world and during the last thirty five years Billy has been the family piper to Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire and has piped for many dignitaries including members of the British and overseas Royal Families. Billy has played for celebrities including Gareth Gates’ wedding. He has also been included in footage for American television programmes. In 2002 he played in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Ryder Cup at the Belfry. Billy currently plays and competes with the Nottingham Police Pipe Band Billy has forty year’s experience of piping at a wide range of public and private events including weddings, parties, funerals, Burns Suppers, and Hogmanay events.
“A huge thank you to Billy for making my father’s 90th birthday party go with such a swing. My father loved the music. Billy had researched what my father would enjoy and it was a really emotional occasion for him. It made the party for him and all of us.
Billy was extremely popular with all the guests and the impromptu lesson was a great success. We’re looking for another occasion to invite Billy to?Thank you, Billy.”
“Billy was playing at my wedding yesterday. He is very professional, extremely talented and lovely to talk to.
It was a surprise booking for my husband to play at our wedding, it remained a surprise and he was so shocked to hear the pipes as we walked out of the chapel.
Billie played throughout the photos in relevant places to where the guests were and also planned how to pipe us into our meal so we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Everyone loved him, highly recommend to any bride to be, party etc. Thank you Billie for a fantastic job”
Jane and Jonathan Mckie
“Hi Billy, Sorry it has taken so long to send you this, but we have been away on our honeymoon and only just got all the photos back from the wedding. We just wanted to say a massive thank you for piping at our wedding on Saturday 8th June in Teversal. You sounded absolutely amazing and I have had so many people comment on how good you was. The bag pipe gives me goose bumps anyway, but I was blown away with it, it all sounded amazing! My only regret is that we didnt get the wedding recorded by video (I would love to watch some of you playing again!). I’ve attached a few photos of you from the day. Once again, thank you for making our day as perfect as it was and if I ever hear of anyone needing a bag piper, I will definitely pass your details on! ” – Jane and Jonathan Mckie
“Just wanted to say a big thanks for recommending Billy to play at my wedding, he was brilliant, lovely guy“.
Kev and Laura Fraser
“Billy played at our Wedding on 16th July 2011, he was fantastic and would recommend him highly. Billy was dressed very smart and knew how to play every song we required. He was friendly, polite and he just loved to play the pipes, he just played all the time for us. Thank you Billy for making our day as perfect as we imagined. All the best in the future. ”
Mr and Mrs Henderson
“Hi Billy, we just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for playing at our Wedding on 31st July at Clumber Park. You had such an amazing impact on everyone and you deserve much credit for your talent in playing the pipes. We would strongly recommend you to any venue and wish you the best of luck for the future. Thank you once again, best Wishes”
Sarah and Stuart Drummond
“Billy James played at our wedding last Saturday and was absolutely fantastic. Almost everyone commented on how special he made the day. A very passionate piper and a truly genuine person. If you book Billy for an event you will not be disappointed.”
“Billy played at my daughter Katherine’s wedding to Mark on 28th May 2011 at Cuckney and he was absolutely brilliant. Immaculate, professional, personable and obliging are some of the adjectives that come to mind but, this piper really can play the Bagpipes. Thank you Billy, you made a very memorable day spectacular and I will never forget “Highland Cathedral” resounding in The Church as The Register was being signed. I wish you every success for the future. You are a the real McCoy.”
Paul and Wendy
“We wanted a piper for our wedding blessing ( we got married in Gretna Green) and wanted a scottish feel to it. We were given Billy’s number and from the moment I rang him through to the time he left the reception. He is such a nice man and very helpful. We explained that we would like the Lincolnshire Poacher song when we walked down the aisle. He played that and also the guests arriving at church, us going down the aisle and back down. When photos were being taken. And at the reception. The guests were all very impressed as were we. We would recommend him for any occasion you want a piper for. He is fantastic.”
“Hi, I hired Billy as a surprise for my daughter Caroline’s wedding to Matt in Derby, we were not disappointed, he was excellent, such a lovely man, couldn’t do enough for us, immaculately dressed, and a brilliant piper, the guests were more than impressed, would not hesitate to recommend him, thank you Billy, you made a special day even more so.”
“Thankyou so much for making our day even more special,it was all perfect,and you were the icing on the cake, not only do you play the pipes with passion,you are probably one of the nicest people I have ever met,and Im glad that I chose you to walk me to the church,it was a very special moment.”
James and Leah Kerr
“We would just like to say a big thank you to Billy James for making our special day even more perfect. He looked smart and was a very genuinely nice man. We would highly recommend him to everyone. As my husband didn’t know we was having a piper, Billy James helped keep the surprise by keeping out of sight until piping me down the aisle. So again a massive thank you from us.
Mr and Mrs Macdonald
“Firstly I would like to just point out that I am not one to leave comments and secondly I was hesitant to hire a Bagpiper from the internet…. But my word was Mr Bill James worth it!!! Having served with the Highlanders and being Scottish, with a lot of Scots attending my wedding. I originally asked friends within the Regiment to Pipe at my wife and my Wedding, Due to work related matters, they could not attend, which left us without a piper. Searching the internet, I found a Piper, but again due to commitments, he too could not attend, but suggested Mr James. From the start, my wife, myself and our guests, were amazed. He was fantastic. His playing of the Pipes, I am afraid to say, would have put even some of the best within the Regiment to shame!!! The perfect manner in which he conducted the pipes and himself was world class! His presentation, friendly and very professional manner stood out!
(He was even at the Church before me)!! Would I recommend Mr James….? YES…. I would strongly recommend the Gentleman!!! Without any hesitation I will be keeping his details for any further function or event that we have!!!!! Thank you very much Mr Bill James, you certainly completed our wedding! To that we are both grateful.
“Billy James played at my wedding on 13th Oct 2012 and I would highly recommend him to anyone thinking of having a piper. It was a joy to have such a genuine and lovely man at our wedding and an honour to have someone at such a high calibre play. BIlly piped myself down the aisle, played through the wedding and also piped my whole wedding party in a parade to our reception. I cannot recommend him enough for any event you may have, it was a complete pleasure to work with him on what we wanted and have him as such a massive part of our special day.”
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