Poster of Dagenham Girl Piper pipe major Peggy Iris
after 1940 – before 1949
Photographic poster of Peggy Iris in uniform - firt pipe major of dagenha Girl Pipers
The Dagenham Girl Pipers were founded in 1930 as the first female pipe band in the world.
The band’s founder was Joseph Graves, Congregationalist Minister at Osborne Hall, Dagenham. He chose 12 girls from his Sunday school, average age 11, and hired a former Pipe Major to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers to teach them piping, drumming, marching and Highland dancing.
By 1933, the band had become a full-time organization, with the girls as paid employees and Rev. Graves as manager. By 1936, they were fulfilling 400 engagements a year and at busy times had four complete bands on separate tours around the world. In 1937, they appeared in Berlin before Adolf Hitler, who told Mr Graves he wished Germany had a similar band.
The Pipers celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1980, with a concert at the Barking Assembly Hall. On New Year’s Day, 2000 they gathered on the steps of the Civic Centre in Dagenham, fulfilling a pledge they had made back in 1938.
Entry Number E1537 (2012-08-21)