The Repair Shop bagpipes

The Repair Shop: WWI bagpipes have BBC viewers in tears

His grandfather had them in the Royal Scots during the First World War

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The Repair Shop featured a set of bagpipes played in the First World War last night and viewers thought the episode reached ‘new levels of emotional’.

In Wednesday (October 7) evening’s repeat of the BBC series, Des and Angie Allen from Dorset brought in some bagpipes that were over 100 years old.

The Repair Shop bagpipes
On The Repair Shop, Des and Angie brought in an old set of bagpipes (Credit: BBC)

What happened with the bagpipes on The Repair Shop?

They had belonged to Des’ grandfather, who died a few years before he was born and had served with the Royal Scots in WWI.

The show’s narrator explained that pipers played a crucial role in shoring up morale during the brutal conflict. But of the 2,500 pipers in the war, nearly half were either killed or wounded.

Read more: The Repair Shop: Woman with ceramic bowl breaks down praising her late sister

Des said on the programme: “It’s heartbreaking, to be honest… the journey they’ve had. My father inherited them and he would not take them out the box. I’ve seen the pipes once, when I was about 13, 14.”

The Repair Shop bagpipes
The expert said Des’ grandfather will have used the bagpipes in WWI (Credit: BBC)

Angie explained that she gifted the pipes to Des on his 60th birthday, after convincing his cousin – who had inherited them – to part with the instrument.

At that, Des got emotional and The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades assured him they would do a good job.

Bagpipes on The Repair Shop got me. A new level of emosh that one!

Later in the programme, when Des and Angie returned, they were amazed at the restored bagpipes.

And what’s more, a professional piper came in and used them to play a solemn tune.

The Repair Shop bagpipes
A piper came into the Repair Shop to play the bagpipes (Credit: BBC)

Listening, Des fought back tears and squeezed Angie’s hand.

Des said afterwards: “I can’t express how happy I am, just so, so happy.”

The Repair Shop bagpipes
Des wiped away tears as he listened to the solemn tune (Credit: BBC)

How did The Repair Shop viewers react?

On Twitter, some viewers watching the documentary were just as emotional.

One said: “I’m not crying at #therepairshop. You’re crying at #therepairshop. #Eisteddfod crowns, turtles that ring when you press their heads and bagpipes played on the front line in WWI.”

Read more: The Repair Shop: Man breaks down hearing late dad’s guitar played

Another wrote, alongside a string of crying emojis: “The bagpipes, this week’s tear fest.”

A third put: “Bagpipes on #therepairshop got me. A new level of emosh that one!”

Someone else tweeted: “Watching #TheRepairShop and the #bagpipes piece. I think I have something in my eye…”

A fifth wrote: “#therepairshop you’ve done it again… tear in my eye… amazing history and moving story of those bagpipes. Fantastic repair, well done guys.”

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