One of a group of pipers taught by Thomas Todd of Choppington, Richard Mowat was an early chairman of the Northumbrian Pipers' Society. A miner by trade, he won many of the late 19th century competitions and was also an expert reed maker. He died on the 8th July, 1936 and is buried at Earsdon.
The photograph is taken from the W.A. Cocks Collection. W.A. Cocks (pictured) not only collected and played pipes, but also made them. He helped to produce the first ever book of plans for making Northumbrian pipes and researched extensively into the history of the pipes in the region. His collection of pipes is now housed at Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, along with several volumes of photographs taken and collected by Cocks. The photographs, along with others held at Northumberland Record Office and elsewhere, act as a rare visual archive to the history of piping in the region. The photographs date back to as early as the mid 19th century, although most were taken between 1920-1950, and show piping greats such as Jack Armstrong, Tom Clough, Joe Hutton and many more in their hey-day.