Death of Scottish banding legend

The death has been announced of Hugh Johnstone MBE — one of Scottish banding's legendary sons.

Hugh Jonhnstone

Scottish banding has been saddened to hear of the death of one of its favourite sons — Hugh Johnstone MBE. He was aged 90.


His great friend Bert Ritchie told 4BR: "The whole of the banding community will be saddened to hear of Hugh's death on Monday 17th August, following a serious car accident that took place on Sunday 12th July.

He died in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow following weeks of effort by the wonderful staff in Ayr and Glasgow Hospitals who fought to save his life."

Hugh Johnstone is survived by his daughter Ucilla, her husband George, their daughter Claire and Claire's husband Jono.

Heart broken

Bert added: "Family members and friends are absolutely heart-broken at the death of one of Dalmellington's great men, leader and historian within the brass band movement in Scotland."

Throughout his long and distinguished banding career Hugh Johnstone served the banding movement both locally and nationally, and became a proud Honorary Vice-President of the Scottish Brass Band Association a few years ago.

He was awarded the MBE in 1982 for his outstanding service to the brass band movement — particularly in Scotland where, much to his amusement, he was accorded 'legendary' status by friends and colleagues.

Scottish titles

As a conductor, Hugh led Dalmellington to the Second Section Scottish Championship in 1967, and then to Championship Section victories in 1969 and again in 1976. The band also won the prestigious Carnegie Contest under his command in 1975.

After retiring from his conducting role, he found a position he loved in Dalmellington Band, and for the last 10 years or so taught 'new start' youngsters from all over Ayrshire — ensuring a steady supply of talented youngsters ready to enjoy a lifetime of banding by progressing into the Dalmellington Junior Band.


He took great pride in the fact that this band had also achieved considerable success during these years — crowned Scottish Champions at four different grades and becoming the current Premier Section Champions of Scotland.

He was a man who was highly respected by everyone who knew him — nothing was too much trouble for him to help others. He enjoyed a fascinating life and was a remarkable manBert Ritchie

Remarkable man

Bert Ritchie concluded: "Hugh was a huge part of the great town of Dalmellington. He was proud to know everyone and everything about the history of the town he loved.

He was a man who was highly respected by everyone who knew him — nothing was too much trouble for him to help others. He enjoyed a fascinating life and was a remarkable man."


The funeral will be held on Friday 28th August at 1.45pm at Dalmellington Parish Church, followed by a service in Ayr Crematorium at 3.30pm.

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