In 1960 a young Birmingham Police officer from Crieff, Perthshire named David Paterson piped his Chief Superintendent dressed as father christmas into a children's party, as a result of this in 1962 it became clear there were actually a number of ex-pat pipers and drummers from Scotland and Northern Ireland in the force sufficient that a band could be formed. In conjunction with drummer PC John Hughes formerly of Dundee, an ex Gordon Highlander, PC Patterson began to explore the possibility of forming a pipe band within the Force. Original enquiries established it would cost £1000 for the necessary number one uniforms and side drums, this was rejected by the then Chief Constable Sir Edward Dodd and the watch committee as too expensive. A re-think and appeal resulted in the involvement of the stores department and police night tunics re-cut and fitted with white cord piping satisfied as band tunics. The total bill was reduced to a more acceptable £500 for side drums and uniforms and with donated tenor
drums and a mace sponsored by a collection within the special constabulary the Birmingham City Police Pipe Band was born.
The first Pipe Major was Pc Bill Hamilton from Lanarkshire, formerly of the Cameronian's Light Infantry. Bill had played with Andrew Stoddart, of the New Lanark pipe band before joining the Police in 1950. Bill was renowned as an excellent steady player of March, Strathspeys and Reels and brought this discipline to the bands playing. Bill stood down in 1970 and was succeeded by PC Harry Watson Shepherd, originally from Montrose. Harry had spent his national service in the Cameron Highlanders under Pipe Major Evan MacRae with a certain John D Burgess of whom he had a number of tales. Harry combined his regular duties as beat officer for Birmingham's jewellery quarter with leadership of the band until his retirement in 1987 when he was succeeded as Pipe Major by the band's founding member David Patterson. David had acted as Pipe Sergeant since 1970 and had played a major part in the band's competitive success culminating in the all-England Pipe Band Championship at Richmond, London in 1977 when they were applauded off the field by the then world champions Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band who had only narrowly beaten the band in the open contest that day.
Davey Patterson by now a police inspector returned the band to the competitive arena as a result of the recruitment of a number of stronger players. The band had endured a substantial period away from competitive playing as a result of the loss of key players in the late 1970's and remains grateful to the coincidental arrival on the scene at that time of the late Charlie Campbell as tutor. Charlie Campbell a native of Dundee had served in the Black Watch but due to arthritis was unable himself to play any longer, he was however a diligent and dedicated teacher and maintained a substantial class which fed the main band and allowed it to continue when it may otherwise have failed. Two pupils of Charlie still play in the band, former Pipe Major David Rischmiller and the band manager David Bates.
Under the leadership of David Patterson the band established itself as a competitive force in Grade-3 in English competitions. In 1995 David handed over on his retirement from the Police to Donald Campbell. Donald had recently been recruited as Pipe Major of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and continued the bands drive to establish itself as a force in the completive arena but left the band in 1997 to peruse a career in the C.I.D. The band was then taken over for the first time by its first civilian Pipe Major Andrew Hall of Northern Ireland. Andrew had established his piping credentials with Monkstown Mosley Pipe Band of Belfast in Grade-2 and St Lawrence O'Toole Pipe Band of Dublin in Grade-1. Andrew combined his accountancy work at Birmingham University with the leadership of the band and continued the band's solid progress towards competitive success. In 1999 Andrew stood down as Pipe Major to pursue his career in London while continuing to play in the band, his post was taken by Detective Sergeant David Rischmiller, a former pupil of Charlie Campbell who had played with the band since joining as a learner in 1976 aged 12. With the continuing support of Andrew Hall and Pipe Sergeant John Fitt, David maintained the bands standing in grade-3 until Andrew Hall's return in 2001 which coincided with a substantial influx into the band of new talent, principally from South Africa. This period saw the band attain its greatest period of success culminating in Grade-3A champions at Cowal in 2003 and promotion to Grade-2.
At the end of 2005, P/M Andrew Hall stood down for work reasons. The band later lost several players who moved to different parts of the country. The band is currently led by P/M Mr. Martin Bryan, assisted by David Rischmiller (Police Inspector) both of whom are ambitious for the band to regain Grade 2 status following a recent injection of experienced players.