Pipe band appeals for sponsors

THE Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships is appealing for sponsors after it was forced to reduce its prize money due to a lack of benefactors.

The 11th staging of the event takes place on Saturday, June 16, at Victoria Park, and while cash prizes of £200 will still be received by all grade winners, the award is £50 less than last year.

A spokesman for the St Ronan’s Piping Society, which runs the championships, said: “The event itself costs the society over £5,000 to run but brings hundreds of people into the town for the day. Our aim is in time to obtain enough sponsors to build this contest to reflect the others.”

The society’s cause has not been helped by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association wrongly advertising the date of the contest as June 23 – Beltane Saturday in nearby Peebles – instead of June 16 on their website.

The error has now been corrected, while RSPBA chairman Gordon Hamill has apologised.

St Ronan’s Piping Society president Bruce Hamilton said: “I hope that this mistake will not deter bands from attending this year’s championships and I hope that people pass the word around and that we continue to get a good turnout on the day.”

The spokesman for the society added: “The Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships is a much-awaited event for the town, the local community, and for the pipe bands and supporters from all over Scotland who come to the championships each year.

“It is hoped that the community and local businesses will again rally round and support the society in achieving their funding target for this year’s prestigious event and make it a championships to remember.”

The piping society’s coffee morning takes place on Saturday, February 25, in The Vale Club, when memberships can be renewed.

Anyone wishing to sponsor the Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships can email piperhammy@btinternet.com