The British Pipe Band Championships
held in Pitlochry on the 24th June 2006.
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It was a fabulous day, the weather was kind, the sight of
126 pipe bands, consisting of over 3,000 pipes and drums all
British Pipe Band Championships was really a spectacle not
to be missed.
The public turned out in force to enjoy the
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We have taken lots of photos of the day to
try and give you a feel of the event.
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The Pitlochry Major Events Committee consisting of a
team of local volunteers headed by Pete Stevenson and Sandy
Wilson have given up many hours of their time for the last 12 months, planning this event with the
Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association's Ian Embelton. Two
days of actual preparation, laying out the competition
field, deciding where the stall holders would go, the 102 coaches
carrying the competitors and the 1,000+ cars bringing in the
public. Followed by duty throughout the day of the
competition manning the
gates collecting entry fees, selling programmes, stewarding,
marshalling etc. Finally the
clearing up. Many people have given up their time for no
personal gain in any form including payments and without
them the event could not be held. The Major Events Committee
would like to thank them all.
Pitlochry's Major Events Committee would like
to give special thanks to Perth and Kinross Council
for their support in helping to bring this event to
started at 9.25am with the Novice Juvenile heats
and continued right through the day with all the different
grade competitions culminating with the last
Grade 1 Pipe Band finishing its performance at 5pm.
For the spectator it was great to be able to
get close to the bands and see them preparing for their
competition. We could see bands all over the field making
preparations, fine tuning of bagpipes, drummers
drumming and pipe majors practising.
There were many stall holders around
the competition field, selling all things to do with bag
pipes, drums, kilts, rain coats, clothing, jewellery, food
from burgers and chips to strawberries and cream by Pitlochry in
Bloom. There was a large beer tent which was very popular
with the bands that had already competed and with the public.
The winners of Pitlochry in Bloom's gallon
of whisky was appropriately a pipe band from Orkney. So
they will have had plenty of sustenance for their trip back
Just after noon,
the Pipe Bands marched
down Pitlochry's main street. Many members of the public
had waited to see this spectacle, which was a bit of an
anticlimax as only five bands turned out for the town. Part
of the problem with organising this event is that many bands
are competing and those who have not yet competed need to
concentrate on their preparations. So the bands that are
able to participate are those that have already competed by
about 11am. As they have to leave the competition field with
their drums and make their way to the start of the parade at
the top of Atholl Road, some 15 minutes walk from the
The Drum Majors Competition is always
an unknown quantity as to when exactly it will be held,
which affects the bands parading down Pitlochry's main
street. So many of the bands were not led by their Drum
Major as they were competing or were yet to compete in
their event. The Drum Major competition itself was yet
another wonderful spectacle, seeing them prepare
and then see the competition itself with the drum majors
competing with each other in heats while bands took it in
turns to play the music for the drum major's competition.
Congratulations to the 2006 British Pipe
Band Champions, the
Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern
Ireland. For full results go to the
Royal Scottish Pipe Band Society's web pages.
The Grand Finale of the massed pipe bands, where
126 pipe bands
march on to the field one after the
other, was the climax of the competition. You really have to
be there to appreciate the awe inspiring spectacle of 126 pipe bands
to march on, one by one. It seemed to take for ever with queues
of bands awaiting their turn at the competition field
entrance. The Championship Chieftain, John Swinney MSP, the local
Highland Perthshire member of the Scottish Parliament took
the salute from the bands as they marched passed. Mr Swinney took his duties very seriously spending the day
intermingling with the public during the whole day and finally
making the presentation of the prizes to all the successful
Prior to the presentation of the prizes all
the bands, within excess of 3,000 pipes and drums played a tune for the
spectators. As I have already said this finale, the whole
event needs to be experienced to be believed. Truly awesome.
Well done to all the bands for making the event such a
The Pitlochry Major Events Group is hoping to
entice the event back to Pitlochry in future years. Everyone
agreed that the venue was superb, its location, with the
Highland Perthshire landscape all around was perfect. The parking facilities for bands
and visitors alike being adjacent to the competition field
which was just perfect and Pitlochry town centre being a short
5 to 10 minute walk away.
If your interested in seeing and learning about
the Pipe Band Events held across Scotland each year visit the
Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association's own web site.
We look forward to welcoming the British Pipe Band
Championships back to Pitlochry.
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