Pipe Band’’s Trip of a Lifetime

Members of the ‘Cockenzie and Port Seton Royal British Legion Pipe Band’ have recently returned from a trip of a lifetime to New York where they were taking part in the city’s annual Tartan Day Parade and Tattoo.

Thirty-seven members in total made the trip (aged between 10 and 60), led by Pipe Major Rod Paton, who is a Painter at local bus operator, First Scotland East.

In order to help reduce the costs of the trip, Rod approached the senior management team at First Scotland East to see if the company could provide coach travel to and from Edinburgh Airport. The company agreed, and went one better. First Scotland East’s parent company, FirstGroup, is the largest provider of yellow school buses in North America. And so the company arranged for a yellow school bus, complete with driver, to take the pipe band on a complementary New York sight-seeing tour whilst they were in the Big Apple.

Rod said, “The trip was absolutely fantastic. I started the Pipe Band in 2010 and could never have imagined that some four years later we would be performing at the Tartan Day Parade or the New York tattoo. It was a little nerve-wracking, but the entire band were tremendous – I’m extremely proud of each and every one of our members.”

He added, “I was delighted that First supported our trip by providing transport to Edinburgh Airport and laying on the yellow school bus. Being able to tour New York in a yellow school bus was a real thrill and was especially popular with younger members of the band – Central Park and Grand Central Station were two of the favourites.”


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Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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