Celtic Traveller

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About us

One William "Piper" Allen, of Bellingham , 
Northumberland, born in 1704 was a travelling tinker and basket maker. As 
his nick-name suggest, he played the bagpipes, was an expert fisherman and 
it is said, kept about a dozen terriers for Otter hunting. His most famous 
dog was called "Peacham", a dog whose Otter catching prowess was legendary 
and no doubt served his master well. William married a gypsy and their son, 
James who was born in 1734, took to the pipes and Terriers like his dad and 
eventually became the most famous of the two "Piper" Allen's. He based 
himself in the Coquet Water area of the Borders and piped himself from place 
to place and was no less famous for his dogs than for his music and songs. 
One well recorded incident, probably much embellished like so many old 
stories, was that the Duke of Northumberland offered "Piper" a small farm 
for just one of his dogs, but the story goes, in the best of Hollywood 
traditions, that the "Piper", being his own man, turned down his Lordships 
generous offer in order to retain his itinerant life style.