Thirteen proves lucky for St Ronan’s as crowds enjoy annual pipe band contest

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There was alarge turnout for the 13th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships at the weekend.

More than 500 people gathered at St Ronan’s Primary School to witness some of the best pipe band displays heard in the South of Scotland, with more than 23 performances by bands from as far afield as Northumberland, all bidding to be crowned Innerleithen Champions 2014.

By the end of the day, George Heriot’s Juvenile Pipe Band took the trophy in the Grade 2 competition, with City Of Edinburgh Pipe Band taking the Lothian and Borders Champion of Champions prize in Grade 2.

In the Grade 3 competition, Stockbridge Pipe Band won the trophy and the Lothian and Borders Champion of Champions.

In the Grade 4 competition, Northumberland Scottish Pipes and Drums reigned supreme taking first place, with Hawick Pipe Band taking the overall Champion of Champions trophy for the season.

There was smiles a plenty as enthusiastic fans of pipes and drums picnicked in the warm sunshine, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of nearby Plora Craig bedecked in autumn colours and with views down the Tweed Valley towards Walkerburn.

After a long day, Bruce Hamilton, president of the organising committee of St Ronan’s Piping Society paid tribute to the local townspeople, sponsors and supporters of the society.

“Once again we have witnessed a fabulous day of piping and the support has been first class, all made better by that great autumn sunshine.

“Without this support and that of my committee, this great event just couldn’t happen.

“I feel that we have made the correct decision moving the championships to the grounds of St Ronan’s School, and the support given by the head teacher Keith Belleville and his staff has been excellent. 
It was extremely gratifying to see so many young people taking part and loving the experience. They are the future of our musical art and should be encouraged at every opportunity.”

Plans are already under way to organise the 14th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships.

If any reader would like to help please contact Allan Johnston, secretary, St Ronan’s Piping Society, on allanjohnston@btinternet.com