The Birse Legend

Doug Murrays Hornpipe


Mike Donald presenting Doug Murray with his manuscript

Popular Deeside Ghillie, Doug Murray, from Birse, who celebrates his 84th birthday later this year, has been honoured by having a pipe tune composed for him. The tune, ‘Doug Murray’s Hornpipe’ was written by Mike Donald, an accomplished piper and composer of bagpipe music, who formerly served in the Scots Guards.

Doug was appointed Head Gamekeeper on Birse Estate, Aboyne, in 1976 and has spent the last 37 years working for Dunecht Estates. He is currently the Seasonal Ghillie at Birse, having previously held a similar role at Lower Crathes and West Durris, two excellent Beats on the river Dee.

Mike says, “ Doug and I share a combined love of traditional music and salmon fishing and we have enjoyed many a tune in the fishing hut at Birse and I thought it appropriate to write a tune for this much respected Ghillie.”


Many visiting anglers to Birse have been well entertained by Doug, a skilled musician of the harmonica; Doug keeps 7 harmonicas in his fishing hut. Not without humour, even to this day Doug is pulling the leg of some unwitting angler with his legendary tales and famous Dog Jaw gag…Long may he continue to do so !


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The FishDee blog is your website for snippets and news items coming from the riverbank from anglers, ghillies and local people who have useful news they wish to share. The supporting business infrastructure which supports angling will also be providing items of news that may be relevant to people who have an interest in the River Dee.

Posted on April 22, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Birse Legend.

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