Best Pipe Bands head to Innerleithen for 21st Anniversary Contest

Drrum Major jumps for joy.Drrum Major jumps for joy.
Drrum Major jumps for joy.
​The best Pipe Bands from all over Scotland and the north of England will head to Innerleithen on Saturday, June 1, to compete in the annual Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships held in Victoria Park, Innerleithen.

Allan Johnston of St Ronan’s Piping Society the local charity which organises the event in association with The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, Lothian and Borders Branch, tells us more.

“This year is a very special year in the history of the Society it being the 21st Anniversary of the holding of our contest and it seems that the bands are coming out in force to support us with well over 30 performances on the day from no less than 15 of the best bands in the region”.

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Allan continues: “Our contest goes from strength to strength and again in our 21st year of holding is well supported by local businesses, individuals, and our loyal patrons. This allows us to support our local Pipe Band with instruments, uniform and equipment and our local Pipe Band Hall which is a valuable community asset.”

Jackie Couchman is honoured to be appointed ChieftainJackie Couchman is honoured to be appointed Chieftain
Jackie Couchman is honoured to be appointed Chieftain

As usual, on the day, there will snack bars available, the ever-popular Caldwells Ice Cream, a face painter for the kids and refreshments will be provided by Durty Brewing.”

Jackie Couchman who is widely recognised across the community from her roles as a community councillor, community first responder, Scottish country dancer and a member of various committees over the years has accepted the honour of being our Chieftain in this our 21st Anniversary year.

Jackie moved to Innerleithen with her husband and two children in 2005. Although now retired, she has embraced retirement and her wide-ranging hobbies over the years have included travel, belly dancing, walking, Scottish country dancing, motorcycling, tapestry, reading, movies, theatre, and music. Although born in Gateshead, of Geordie parents, Jackie has lived in Innerleithen longer than anywhere else and now considers it home.

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Music is very important in her life and Jackie has been a staunch supporter of St Ronan’s Silver Band since her son, Douglas, started playing for them as a primary school pupil. She is their representative during Games Week and when needed helps to count money collected at musical events on the street. Jackie said: “I am immensely proud of our wee town and greatly honoured to be chosen as Chieftain of the 21st Anniversary Contest, I am looking forward to a great day of music making and spectacle.”

The championships take place in Innerleithen on Saturday, June 1.The championships take place in Innerleithen on Saturday, June 1.
The championships take place in Innerleithen on Saturday, June 1.

Jackie will take over the Chain of Office from the 2023 Chieftain Stewart Wilson within Victoria Park about 10.45 am on Saturday, June 1. Jackie will take the salute from the massed bands at 4.30pm and at 5.15pm will be saluted by the participating massed bands as they parade from Leithen Road along the High Street and into Hall Street where they will fall out.

Entry to the event will be £3pp (£2 concession) Children under 16 free. Parking will be £3 per car.