Coronavirus: Thousands of pipers prepare to salute key workers

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image captionPipers will play for key workers at 20:00

Thousands of pipers across the world are preparing to honour the key workers keeping society moving during the coronavirus crisis.

The second Clap for Carers tribute will take place at 20:00 on Thursday.

This time bagpipes will be added to the mass applause sounding across the country.

The first event took place a week ago and saw millions take to their windows and gardens to applaud the workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Family and the prime minister joined well-wishers to applaud.

This week, the The National Piping Centre is calling on pipers from Scotland and across the globe to join them in paying tribute to not only the hard-working NHS staff, but also other key workers who are helping keep the country fed, cared for and safe.

'Stirring emotions'

The centre's director of piping, Finlay MacDonald, has issued the appeal to the world's bagpipers.

He said: "We thought it would be a nice thing to do to call on pipers to play a mass rendition of Scotland The Brave tonight at 20:00 so that all these amazing key workers can hear us play a tune for them to show our appreciation.

"The pipes are known for stirring the emotions so it should be an amazing sound."

Pipers from Canada, the USA, Japan, Spain and Italy have promised to play a part in the global gesture.

image copyrightLouise Marshall
image captionProfessional piper Louise Marshall will be playing again

One piper taking part is Louise Marshall. Louise plays all over the world and a video of her playing the bagpipes on her Edinburgh street last Thursday went viral.

She told the BBC: "It's my thank you to the care workers and the key workers.

"I was just planning to clap last week, but when it started it felt like the right thing to do to grab the bagpipes.

"I'll be out to support them again tonight."

The call has been picked up by schools, by pipe bands across Scotland and even former Labour Downing Street aide Alastair Campbell.

He told The European: "I've been getting my bagpipes out every day and piped our next-door neighbour home from her work as a nurse on Thursday."

Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed St Andrew's House, the headquarters of the Scottish government, would be lit up in blue on Thursday evening to express gratitude for frontline staff.

But she said the single most important show of support was by staying at home.

Anyone taking part in the national round of applause and pipe up for key workers is being asked to play from a safe place, observing social-distancing advice.

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