Fine show at Peebles as neccessary refreshments are topped up twice

Pipe Majors at Peebles Highland Games
Pipe Majors at Peebles Highland Games

Peebles may not be in the Highlands, but the town can sure pull off a superb Games, as was proved on Saturday in the town’s Hay Lodge Park.

Somehow, organisers managed to fit in a hotly-contested competitions for pipe bands, heavy events and Highland dancing, along with malt whisky and Scottish gin tasting, haggis hurling, stalls with traditional Scottish foods, children’s fairground rides, bouncy castles and a pipe band street parade.

Peebles Highland Games

Peebles Highland Games

Bob Abbot, secretary of the event, said it was a good day.

He said: “I think it’s safe to say that it was quite a successful Games in spite of the gloomy weather forecast. In fact, the rain held off until the last 10 minutes or so, when we were presenting the prizes for the pipe bands.

“All events were excellent and a good yardstick for a successful show is that the beer tent does well.

“Well, we ran out of stock twice, so a committee member had to head into town to get more.”

Neil Elliot throwing the hammer at Peebles Highland Games

Neil Elliot throwing the hammer at Peebles Highland Games

One of the most anticipated categories in the Peebles Highland Show is the Heavies.

And while competition was fierce, there was one man who was not about to let anyone grab his title.

Daniel Carlin returned to Peebles on Saturday as the defending champion, having won the Accommodate Rural Shield for the first time in 2015.

Carlin was also the reigning holder of the Mark Hunter Trophy for the Weight for Height discipline.

Having had an excellent season on the heavy events circuit, Daniel was clearly quietly confident of having a successful day, and that’s exactly how it turned out.

Not only did he retain his championship trophy, but he did it in style, by winning every event in the process.

Having won the weight for height trophy by being the only competitor to clear the bar at a height of 13 feet, Carlin entered the final event guaranteed to win the championship, but going for maximum points.

The Peebles cabers always prove a stern challenge at the end of the day and so it was to prove with only Neil Elliott and Daniel achieving a full toss.

Both were excellent efforts, but Carlin’s was adjudged to be “two minutes past 12 o’clock” while Elliot was given “three minutes past”, thereby giving Daniel the victory by the closest of margins.

However, the six points awarded to Elliott for second place in the caber edged him half a point clear of Bruce Robb to claim second place overall.

Bruce was a respectable third, despite having forfeited much of his training this year to focus on building a house.

To top off a great day for Carlin, he also triumphed in the Haggis Hurl and Peebles Stane, winning him two bottles of whisky on top of his prize money.

As far as the Highland Dancing was concerned, it was a fantastic day all round, the second year that the competition has been organised with Scottish Official Highland Dance Association.

Organiser Kevin Marshall said: “The weather was kind to us, as were the organisers, and it all resulted in a fantastic day.

“It was great to see so many people enjoying watching the dancers and especially the two social events where dancers compete in pairs, the only competition to have these dances (a world exclusive!)

“This competition is also a fundraiser and we will be sending £400 to Meningitis Research in memory of Samantha Bernard, who sadly passed away last year at only 25 years old.

Pipe Band results

Pipe band competition results – Juvenile Drum Majors: 1, (Watson Dalgleish Shield) Gibb Fraser, Coalburn IOR; 2, (Alex Shield’s Cup) Beth Turner, College of Piping; 3, Rowan Murdoch, Denny and Dunipace Gleneagles; 4, Becky Cox, Troon Blackrock.

Adult Drum Majors: 1, (Veitches of Peebles Shield) Graham Wilson, City of Edinburgh; 2, (George Baxter Trophy) Richard Henderson, Lochmaben; 3, Andy Lyon, Royal Burgh of Stirling; 4, Campbell Waddell, Kirkcudbright & District.

Grade N/J: M&D (Venlaw Trophy) Preston Lodge High School; 1, (The Peebles Hydro Hotel Cup) George Watson’s College; 2, (Peebles Tourist Association Shield) Preston Lodge High School; 3, (Tweed Trophy) Torpichen and Bathgate. BDC (D/M Memorial Len Hancock Quaich) Preston Lodge High School.

Grade Four: M&D, (Crichton Trophy) Davidson’s Mains and District; 1, (Bishop Veitch Memorial Trophy) Bowhill & District; 2, (Henry Ballantyne Trophy) Denny and Dunipace Gleneagles; 3, (George Hall Memorial Shield) Davidson’s Mains and District; 4, (Whitestone Trophy) Stockbridge; BDC (George Blair Trophy) Bowhill & District; Borders Region (Jimmy Milne Trophy) Peebles Ex-Servicemen’s.

Grade Three: M&D, (George Purves Trophy) Prestonpans; 1, (James Inglis Salver) Prestonpans; 2, (Jimmy Gordon Memorial Trophy) Stockbridge; 3, (Peebles Ex-Servicemen’s Club Shield) Preston Lodge High School Juv; 4, (Crossburn Caravan Park Shield) Davidson’s Mains and District; Best Juv NIPL (Magdalene Sinclair Cup) George Watson’s College N/J; BDC, (Pensbrite Ltd Trophy) Stockbridge.

Grade Two: M&D, (Alex Finlayson Trophy) Preston Lodge High School Juv; 1, (5 Troop SAS Commando Quaich) Stockbridge; 2, (Holland & Sherry Cup) Prestonpans; 3, (Jim Hopkirk Trophy) Preston Lodge High School Juv; BDC, (Arthur B. Simmons Memorial Trophy) Prestonpans; B. Bass, (Jock Wilson Memorial Cup) Prestonpans.

Highland Dancing results

Babies – Josie Anderson; beginners – Ellie Kilfedder, novice – Bonnie Lawrie, intermediate – Lauren Marr, open – Stephanie Millar, adults – Fiona Matheson, pre open national – Lauren Marr, open national – Abbie Russell, 11 under cake walk – Ellie Kilfedder and Kelsey Reid, 12+ cakewalk – Lauren Marr/ Claire Higgins, adult cakewalk – Jennifer Whitehead and Michelle Nichols, 11 under Schottische – Millie Beath and Amy Russell, 12+ – Baylee Harrison and Abbie Russell, adults – Gemma Marshall and Katie Moore. Laura Smith School Trophy – Lauren Marr. Samantha Bernard Memorial trophy awarded to Dunedin Dance Academy most points, joint winners – Ellie Kilfedder and Abbie Russell. Best boy – Logan Robertson.

Heavies table

Competitor Peebles Stane Shot Putt 28lb Dist Hammer 56lb Height Caber Points Place

Daniel Carlin 7 7 7 7 7 7 35 1st

Neil Elliott 6 4 6 4 3 6 29 2nd

Bruce Robb 4 5 5 5 5.5 4 28.5 3rd

Wullie Falconer 2 6 4 2 3 5 22 4th

Chris Bennett 3 3 2 6 5.5 2 21.5 5th

Pete Hart 5 2 3 3 3 3 19 6th

Stuart Sutherland 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 7th