Loretto School – The Haggis Hop

24 Jul 2020

The inspiration behind the lovely event on Saturday 11th January was for as many Loretto families as possible to learn the Reel of the 51st Highland division because Lieutenant Jimmy Atkinson of the 7th Arglls and a former Lorettonian created and originated the dance whilst he was a prisoner of war following capture at the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940.

His idea of a reel with a Saint Andrew′s Cross in its key formation was intended to symbolise Scotland and the Highland Division, in adversity. Atkinson’s letter home with instructions for the dance was intercepted by the German security service, the Abwehr, who spent the rest of the war trying to break the code. However, another version of the dance reached Scotland where it was published while Atkinson was still a POW and became instantly popular.

So, the Friends of Loretto team decorated Linkfield Hall (the CCF and Pipe band building) with lots of tartan bunting, fairy lights and candles and pulled together a team of dance experts, an accordion player and booked a local caterer. Lots of laughter, patience from our instructors, toes being trodden on, spinning kilts, clapping, giggling and fun ensued and the whole room was a blur of spinning bodies and we now have some confident 51st Reelers.

Thanks so much to everyone who came along, for our young pipers Charlie, Harry and Benji, Stuart on the accordion, Ben, Isla, Mark, Jamie, Chris and Emily for the expert tuition, Angela, Alan and Stevie for helping set up the Hall and Barbarella Beets who served wonderful food all night. Well done to The Kinloch Andersons for supplying all the tartan off cuts for Lizzie’s amazing bunting and a big thank you to the FOL team.

We are planning to give any money raised to The Loretto Pipe Band to buy branded travel bags for all their kit as they fly the flag for the school from Edinburgh to Lords and locally.

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