|Anthony made regular visits to try out the pipes at David Hillery's in 1969 and got his own set in June 1970. In
the November he won the Confined Class at the Alnwick Gathering. The following year he swept the board at
the Northumbrian Pipers Society annual competitions winning all three solo competitions; Novice, Intermediate
and Open classes. There followed 10 years of regular competition entries with over 40 first places in Open
Competitions in both Solo and Duets (with ex-wife Carole).
Silverware from a year in the early days of competing
Anthony, Carole and son Jamie moved further north in the mid seventies, to Mount Hooley Cottage, near
Whittingham. As neighbours of Alistair and Liz Anderson they had the privilege of playing with him and the
three grand masters of Northumbrian Music; Will Atkinson, Will Taylor and Joe Hutton, for over 15 years.
Regular music sessions in the local Bridge of Aln Hotel attracted musicians such as Robin Dunn and Neil
Smith and some of the younger generation including Chris Ormston and Kathryn Tickell.
During their time at Mount Hooley Anthony, Carole & Jamie were joined by their three wonderful daughters/sisters; Megan, Tamsin
and Decima. Once Deci had turned 5 they performed at concerts and made a television appearance as “The Robb Family Band”.
The pressures of becoming a headmaster in the 90s restricted Anthony's involvement in traditional music performance. But pipes and fiddle
teaching carried on until he moved abroad to become Head of Science at Oporto British School in Portugal. A wonderful year in Rome teaching
good old - fashioned chemistry concluded his foreign adventures and he is now back in the north east teaching traditional music.
A keen interest in the old tunes resulted in Carole and Anthony being invited to
join Colin Ross and Alistair Anderson to play on the album "Cut and Dry Dolly"
(Topic Records). Fledgling piper Jim Hall joined in on the opening track to give a
massed pipes sound with 5 sets playing in unison. This album was the first to
use pipes in concert G pitch and the title track was played by Colin Ross on
fiddle and Anthony on a plastic G chanter made by Colin. A photograph of this
chanter appeared in the gate-fold of the Billy Pigg album "Border Minstrel".
A second album "Cut and Dry #2" featuring music from the James Hill era and the Tom Clough
manuscripts was recorded at Mount Hooley and tracks from this along with tracks from the first album can
be heard on "Wind in the Reeds" Topic Records (TSCD529)
|“The Robb Family Band”
at Alnwick Playhouse