HAILED as the spiritual home of 12-time world champion’s Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band, Govan has a long association with Scotland’s national instrument.

Back in 2014, the Scottish Schools Drums and Pipes Trust joined forces with the Govan Weavers’ Society to start a new project in the historic shipbuilding town.

Working with kids in Govan High School, the project aimed to create a new band from scratch to carry on the piping legacy and benefit one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of the city.

The success of the project and journey of a handful of kids has been documented by film maker Paul Cameron in The Wee Govan Pipers.

Cameron put a call out looking for kids aged between 10 and 11 to take on the bagpipes.

The call was answered by10-year-olds Damilola Fadun, Brenda Sheng, Thomas Rankine, David Rice and Scott McCormick who, within nine-months of first picking up the pipes, were playing at the world’s largest schools pipe band championships.

Along the way, the story transformed from primarily one of bagpiping to one of diversity and has been praised as an example of how multiculturalism injects new life into Scotland’s communities.

“I thought it was a great story about diversity and immigration which is relevant nowadays”, Paul explains.

“When when we originally put the call out to bring a pipe band together it was an ethnically diverse group that came forward.

“We got five kids, one from Nigeria, China, Poland and Scotland - all from Govan."

On hand to offer their expertise was Iain MacPherson and Iain Watson, ex-policemen and members of the Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band.

The end result brought veteran piper Iain Watson to tears.

He explains: “It’s been great to see the look on their faces. We get a buzz from it as well to see how far they’ve come.”

Recalling each pupil by name, Iain speaks highly of the once inexperienced schoolkids who will now continue the legacy he and his bandmates created.

Not only did involvement in the group bring social benefits for the group, but some even noticed health benefits.

For wee pipers Brenda and Scott, asthma had been an obstacle when first tackling the instrument but after their tuition, their health improved dramatically.

Paul explains: “Scott was quite unconfident in the beginning but his asthma picked up and being in the band helped him.

“Their progress has been phenomenal and in the end when they’re all together, it is quite an emotional thing to see that progress.

“It’s not easy and you can see that they work really well together. When Brenda left to move down South, there was a last time that they played together, it was quite a sad moment because they’ve been together for quite a long time.”

The documentary was a collaborative effort by the crew bringing together different ideas and influences and will be screened as part as the Glasgow Film Festival.

“One of the interesting things from my point of view is that there lots of different ideas and influences. There was quite a mish-mash of techniques”, Paul adds.

“There’s straight documentary filmmaking and then we gave cameras out to the families to film video diaries.”

The documentary was screened on BBC Alba over the New Year, with many Govan locals tuning in to see the progress of their younger generation.

Since filming has wrapped up, the not-so-wee pipers anymore have moved to secondary school but are still mastering Scotland's national instrument.

“The doors are open for them”, Iain says.

“I think bagpipe playing is good for the lungs, it’s all about discipline and time keeping, turning up smart and the enjoyment of playing in front of an audience but also there's a chance to travel.

“I’ve been all over the world because of the bagpipes and met some wonderful people. So the door are open for them to carry on even when they leave school.

“We’re hoping that because Govan has not got a band, the project will be a feeder for a move in the direction of getting one”.

The Wee Govan Pipers will be screened as part of the Glasgow Film Festival for free on February 19.