Mystery of the A14 bagpiper

EAGLE-eyed drivers have been attempting to solve the mystery of a kilted bag-pipe player who was spotted on the A14.

Hollie-Rae Merrick

EAGLE-eyed drivers have been attempting to solve the mystery of a kilted bag-pipe player who was spotted on the A14.

The mysterious player was spotted by a passerby on the A14, junction 49, near Haughley.

The A14 can be a monstrous road, however, this music lover seems to have found his perfect location for a spot of practice.

An observant listener then called the Steve Wright show on BBC Radio Two last week to tell him about the odd sighting.

Following the strange finding, observant residents in Suffolk have continued to come forward to add another piece to the puzzle.

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Mark Lusher, of Rushmere St Andrew, also believes that he spotted the mysterious music player on a different occasion.

While driving home from a meeting last month Mr Lusher saw a man wearing a white t-shirt standing in the middle of a field playing the bagpipes.

He said: “I saw a man at the edge of a field next to the A14 between Newmarket and Cambridge.

“He was playing the bagpipes and I was the only one in the car who saw him so my passengers thought I was mad!

“He initially caught my eye because he was wearing a white t-shirt and I just thought he must have been brave because of how cold it's been. By the time we'd gone past him it was too late for everyone else in the car to see him, so they thought I was seeing things.”

Rob Caird, of the Ipswich Piping Society, said that one of the club's members often sees a man in full kilt playing on a hill near Haughley.

Mr Caird added: “Another of our pipers thinks the mystery man plays with a band in Cambridge.”

In September, another piper was spotted at the A14 at Bottisham - but whether this is the same mystery musician is still unknown.

So the mystery continues!


Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag.

Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes of several varieties can be found in use throughout Europe, Northern Africa, the Persian Gulf, and the Caucasus.

A set of bagpipes minimally consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter, and usually a drone.

Most bagpipes also have additional drones (and sometimes chanters) in various combinations, held in place in stocks … connectors with which the various pipes are attached to the bag.

Dozens of types of bagpipes today are widely spread across Europe and the Middle East, as well as through much of the former British Empire.

The name bagpipe has almost become synonymous with its best-known form, the Great Highland Bagpipe, overshadowing the great number and variety of traditional forms of bagpipe.

Despite the decline of these other types of pipes over the last few centuries, in recent years many of these pipes have seen a resurgence or even revival as traditional musicians have sought them out; for example, the Irish piping tradition, which by the mid 20th century had declined to a handful of master players is today