A MAN who has been playing the bagpipes in the street to cheer up people living in isolation due to the coronavirus outbreak has said he will carry on if he is allowed to do so.

Harley Balmer-Howieson was filmed playing the pipes in Bishop Auckland at the weekend, in a bid to keep up people's morale. But when the rules on going out during the crisis were tightened, he stopped.

The HR administrator set up a Facebook group to help people in the area deal with the outbreak, and before the latest rules were introduced someone suggested singing traditional songs like Keep The Home Fires Burning and It's A Long Way To Tipperary.

The 27-year-old, who learned the bagpipes after joining a pipe band seven years ago, said: "I thought, I play those on the bagpipes, and I can go round the streets and cheer some people up."

He admitted not everyone likes the bagpipes, adding: "It is the Marmite of instruments, but it has been well-received by a lot of people."

The Northern Echo: Bagpiper Harley Balmer-HowiesonBagpiper Harley Balmer-Howieson

But after the latest advice was issued to stay at home, he has stopped going out for now.

He said: "I need to get some proper advice, I could class this as my exercise, but I don't want to be breaking the rules."