Bands to round off town’s big week

11th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships to be held here in Innerleithen on Saturday 16th June 2012
11th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships to be held here in Innerleithen on Saturday 16th June 2012

The pick of the finest pipe bands from across south-east and central Scotland, including the current Grade 4 world champions, will descend on Victoria Park, Innerleithen, this Saturday.

The occasion is the Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships, now in its 11th year and organised by St Ronan’s Piping Society.

More than 20 bands have confirmed they will take part in the event which begins with a parade, starting at 11am, when this year’s chieftain, Jim Docherty, is piped along High Street to Victoria Park to officially open the championships. The day will conclude at 5pm with a march of massed bands along High Street.

Society president Bruce Hamilton told us: “Despite a slight hiccup, when the wrong dates were published on the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association website, the response for this year’s contest has been absolutely amazing and I am delighted that 2011 Grade 4 world champions, Scottish Borders, will be competing.

Mr Hamilton said the choice of chieftain was “a fitting tribute” to Mr Docherty.

“Jim is a much-loved local man who has played a major part in the organisation of this contest since its inception,” he told us. “I am sure it will give him particular pleasure to watch his son Robert performing with our local band Tweedvale.”

The contest will be a highlight of a very busy week for Innerleithen.

Apart from today’s visit by the Olympic torch, thousands are expected to descend on the town for the four-day European Downhill Mountainbiking Championships which also starts today at the nearby 7Stanes course.

The pipe band contest begins at noon and features competition in the following categories: Novice Juvenile, Grade 4, Grade 3 and Grade 2; a Grade 4 March, Strathspey and Reel competition, and a senior and junior Drum Major contest.

Trophies and prize money worth in excess of £2,000 will later be presented by Mr Docherty.

For more information, contact Bruce Hamilton on 01896 833557 (07777 642819 mobile) or email piperhammy@yahoo.co.uk