Piping in bandsman Jim’s 100th birthday

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Well known Cookstown businessman and President of Tullylagan Pipe Band Jim Warnock has celebrated his 100th birthday in “piping style”.

Family and friends attended a barbecue at the weekend where members of the band came together play a few tunes in honour of their long serving president.

Jim was born on July 18 1919 at Cady, Sandholes where has lived all his life.

He was the eldest of five children of Joseph and Rachel Warnock. Jim had two brothers and two sisters, Molly McKane aged 92 and Esther Patterson aged 84, are still alive.

He married Elizabeth Warnock and they had one son, William, who unfortunately died in an accident, leaving a wife and four sons.

Jim left Sandholes Primary School at 14, and came home to work on the farm gathering potatoes or pulling flax.

Ploughing in those days was done by horse drawn plough. His father was a good plough man.

In 1934 on the recommendation of McGregor Greer of Tullylagan Manor his father went to Belfast to work with Harry Ferguson on the production of the first Ferguson Tractor. Soon he was demonstrating to other the skill of ploughing with a tractor instead of horses.

With an aging father and a young family Joseph came home to farm much to the disappointment of Harry Ferguson. The Warnock family were always involved with Tullylagan Pipe Band.

Joseph Warnock was one of the founder members. Jim was playing the bagpipes from he was 13.

When Joseph Warnock retired from farming he started making reeds for bagpipes. Jim’s brother Andy made bagpipes from scratch in the Pipers Cave beside the home farm. When Jim gave up farming he followed his father and began making reeds.

The business thrived and soon he was employing others to keep up with the demand for Warnock Reeds.

Today the reed making business continues with Jim’s grandson Frazer at the helm and his great grandsons.