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1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper
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Author:  RenaissanceGuy [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:34 am ]
Post subject:  1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

While doing some armchair perusing of historical materials, I found the 1946 Richard Hayward film "Back Home in Ireland" on Youtube (Hayward was the folklorist who also produced and appeared in the 1938 film "Devil's Rock" which had a scene with R.L. O'Mealy).

"Back Home in Ireland" is a rather simplistic and romanticized look at the US Army presence in Northern Ireland during WWII, also describing historical links with American political figures. There's footage of an uilleann piper at the end, when the American GIs are boarding a ship to leave. The part with the piper starts at about the 27 minute mark:
Youtube link

Does anyone recognize the piper? The Irish Film Institute and British Film Institute both have listings for this film, but don't indicate the names of any of the musicians or dancers. Also, there are a couple of close-up views of the pipes. Any distinctive features that might indicate who made them?

Author:  Mr.Gumby [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Riverdance avant la lettre line hoofing and all too :D

The first impression of the sound is definitely O'Mealy-ish. On second listening I am not so sure though.

[edited after second listen/watch changed my first impression]

Author:  andymay [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Looks like an O'Mealy chanter he's using though, oddly enough, maybe the whole set?

A

Author:  Mr.Gumby [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

It could be O'Meally in old age. I tried to compare photos but the seanreidsociety.com is acting a bit strange. Will have to go to the CD rom later.

Author:  dunnp [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

The pipes do look O’Mealy. The chanter looks like the one that was auctioned recently.
The piper doesn’t look like O’Mealy though sure sounds like him in the soundtrack.

Author:  PJ [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

I’m getting serious déjà vu here. There was a thread here or on FB in the last 6 months asking to identify a piper who looked like this guy.

Author:  myles [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

PJ wrote:
I’m getting serious déjà vu here. There was a thread here or on FB in the last 6 months asking to identify a piper who looked like this guy.


Probably thinking of Sean Maguire, who was certainly known to Hayward. Could it be Maguire? The piper on film seems a bit old. How about Frank McFadden? He was in the right place and time.

As mentioned the recording is I suspect O'Meally though the piper isn't.

Author:  andymay [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Mr.Gumby wrote:
It could be O'Meally in old age. I tried to compare photos but the seanreidsociety.com is acting a bit strange. Will have to go to the CD rom later.


This is supposedly 2 years before the Devil's Rock was filmed. Looking at RL in the Devil's Rock, I can't quite see that this is he - although those big beards change someone's look a lot.

Looking at the pipes though -comparing tohttp://www.seanreidsociety.org/SRSJ3/ ... 0Pipes.pdf

I think the pipes in the film are number 17 - the Paddy Maxwell set.

Could the man in the movie be Paddy Maxwell? Sounds like Maxwell and RL were quite good friends - maybe RL sent him to the filming as a stunt double for some reason?

A

Author:  myles [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

andymay wrote:

I think the pipes in the film are number 17 - the Paddy Maxwell set.

Could the man in the movie be Paddy Maxwell?

A


They look about right. I would guess it is Maxwell then, perhaps with O'Meally supplying the soundtrack. Great to have another example of his air playing if so.

Author:  andymay [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

http://seanreidsociety.org/SRSJ3/3.16/P ... axwell.pdf

OK there's a picture of Maxwell here for comparison.

I'm pretty convinced it's him in the film

A

edited to add - ALSO notice the air on the pipes is in C sharp and uses the extra reg notes not visible on the set we see.

But the hornpipe is played on a set pitched much closer to C, and here the piper uses notes available with the single baritone reg of the Maxwell set. So I now think the air is a recording of RL, and the hornpipe is actually Maxwell playing.

Author:  Mr.Gumby [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Quote:
Probably thinking of Sean Maguire, who was certainly known to Hayward. Could it be Maguire?


As you say, wrong age. Maguire did play on at least one of Hayward's recordings. I have a 10 inch disc here and have posted a clip from it here in the past.

Quote:
OK there's a picture of Maxwell here for comparison.


That seems to fit nicely.

Author:  JR [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

andymay wrote:
Mr.Gumby wrote:
It could be O'Meally in old age. I tried to compare photos but the seanreidsociety.com is acting a bit strange. Will have to go to the CD rom later.


This is supposedly 2 years before the Devil's Rock was filmed. Looking at RL in the Devil's Rock, I can't quite see that this is he - although those big beards change someone's look a lot.

Looking at the pipes though -comparing tohttp://www.seanreidsociety.org/SRSJ3/ ... 0Pipes.pdf

I think the pipes in the film are number 17 - the Paddy Maxwell set.

Could the man in the movie be Paddy Maxwell? Sounds like Maxwell and RL were quite good friends - maybe RL sent him to the filming as a stunt double for some reason?

A


Great spot! It certainly is the Maxwell set.

The playing on the hornpipe is reminiscent of O'Mealy's style but sounds a little basic to my ear compared with the other recordings we have of him. So it could be Maxwell playing on the hornpipe. It says on the SRS that the Maxwell set was a C# set, but could be possible that it was more towards C to fit with the old Egan reg.

The film here was made by Richard Hayward, who also made The Devil's Rock, so there is an O'Mealy connection (and the Maguire connection too).

Great find and thanks for the share.

Author:  andymay [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Yes, it's curious that the description in the list of O'Mealy pipes places Maxwell's set as a C sharp, whereas in the 'Paddy Maxwell' article the drones are described as '3 Cs and a G' by Wilbert Garvin.

Piched slightly sharp of C perhaps?

As I listen again though there is something kinda strange going on in the hornpipe recording......

A

Author:  oleorezinator [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Who is the piccolo player in the beginning
and who is the singing harp player?

Author:  Mr.Gumby [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1946 film footage of a (Belfast-area?) piper

Here is the record at the British Film Institute. Not a lot more detail, unfortunately, but it does show Hayward was only the commentator on the film, not the producer or director. IMDb doesn't have an entry for the film and little about either Hayward and Donovan Pedelty (the director/producer).

My guess is Hayward is the singer. His photo would suggest a likeness or at least a similar taste in headwear :D

Image

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