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Cocks, William Alfred (1892–1971), clockmaker and bagpipe scholar, was born on 8 October 1892 at St Mary's Terrace, Ryton, co. Durham, the son of John Cocks, banker's clerk, and his wife, Elizabeth Cummings, née Dunlop. As a small boy he conceived what proved to be a lifelong interest in the pipes after being given a toy set as a present. He worked as a master watch- and clockmaker but in his leisure became an expert craftsman and skilled player of the bagpipes. Over the years he made many fine sets of Northumbrian small pipes, taking pride in doing everything himself, down to sewing the bags and bellows. From the time of the First World War onwards, he travelled the country in search of instruments made by others. The important collection which he gradually acquired is now held at the ...