The 8th International Festival of Town Pipers
The Eighth Festival of the International Guild of Town Pipers will take place in King's Lynn from the 18th to 20th of May 2018. It will be held in the streets and historic buildings of this ancient port as part of the Hanse Festival, which commemorates the town's history as a port belonging to the medieval Hanse League. Details of the programme are on the IGTP 2018 Festival page linked above. Attending will be the Waits of King's Lynn, York, Leeds, Doncaster, Lincoln, Worcester, Gloucester and Colchester, the Stadspijpers van 's-Hertogenbosch, Blondel, and a group from the Americas.

The York Mystery Plays 2018
The 2018 wagon-staged production of the York Mystery Plays will take place on the 9th and 16th of September 2018. There will also be an evening performance of some of the plays on the 12th. Once again waits and similar historically attired musicians are invited to join the event, to process the pageant wagons between performance stations around the city centre and play during set-up and take-down at each station. Already wishing to perform ate the Waits of Leeds, Doncaster, York, Baggeshotte, Colchester and Gloucester, also De Mowbray's Musick, the Ely Piper, and our friends the Taborers. Pleaase inform of your interest, and for which date or dates your group is available as detailed planning will start shortly.

Performance listings and news items
The Events page is available for listing public events by member bands for upto six months ahead. If the details of performances by your member band are not up to date, email details to Event listings are after all one of the benefits of membership. The Latest News section is also available if your member band has anything particularly newsworthy, so send such items to the same address.

Minstrels' Guild Charter of Beverley, 1555
The Guild of Minstrels of Beverley governed all waits and other qualified musicians living and working between the Trent and the Tweed, so covering the north of England east of the Pennines and a major part of the Midlands. Its members met annually to elect guild officers and transact other business. It regulated apprenticeships, and looked after members unable through age to continue earning a living. We are delighted to now have a transcription of the 1555 re-issued charter of the much older guild. Would the Charity Commission accept it if we were to propose it as our own constitution?

The earliest waits?
The quote "Assint etiam excubie vigiles cornibus suis strepitum et clangorem et sonitum facientes" from Alexander Neckam (1157-1217) has in the past been cited as the first reference to members of our profession of town waits. There was some confusion as to its source, wrongly cited as Neckam's "De naturis rerum" instead of his lesser-known "De nominibus utensilium". Our Patron, Professor Richard Rastall, has now not only correctly identified the source of the quote but also refined its meaning. Follow the link to this on the "Discussion Essays" page