Innerleithen pipe band contest promising a spectacular return this weekend

Last year's massed bands.
Last year's massed bands.

The final fixture in the pipe band competition season looks set to attract hundreds of pipers and drummers to Innerleithen this Saturday.

Pipe Bands and drum majors from across the Lothian and Borders will parade and play for both spectators and judges at St Ronan’s Primary School grounds throughout the day.

Stockbridge Pipe Band at Innerleithen contest 2018.

Stockbridge Pipe Band at Innerleithen contest 2018.

Organised by St Ronan’s Piping Society, the annual event will also see the crowning of this year’s Lothian and Borders branch champion of champion bands, drum corps and drum majors by the officiating pipe band body the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Society secretary Allan Johnston said: “The contest will feature over 20 performances with bands from grades two, three, four, novice juvenile and a novice juvenile and grade four march, strathspey and reel competition.

“There will also be a drum majors dress and flourish competition, so there will be something for everyone.

“At the end of the day we will be handing out a fine array of trophies and prize money amounting to over £2,500 to the successful bands.

“In addition to the fine pipe band music there will be an array of stalls, a children’s fun fair, face painter, pony rides, snack bar and a licensed bar.”

Innerleithen’s own Tweedvale Pipe Band will be competing in grades three and two while Peebles Ex-Servicemen’s Pipe Band will contest the grade four competitions.

Local drum majors competing include Selirk’s Jimmy Gibb who represents Stow Scottish Borders and Richard Henderson who is registered with The Burgh of Langholm Pipe Band.

Chieftain of the games this year is Leithen Football Club chairman Stuart Robertson.

He said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed as Chieftain for the 18th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships.

“Part of my life has involved working around children and young people watching them develop as they progress through school.

“I feel that it is vitally important that contests like this continue to thrive and that pipe bands throughout Scotland actively promote piping and drumming amongst our country’s children and young people.

“They are the future of our musical art.”

Stuart will take over the chain of office from last year’s chieftain David Lindsay when the games begin at 10.45am on Saturday. He’ll officiate over the day before giving an address at massed bands at around 4.30pm.

The massed bands will salute the chieftain once again at 5pm when they march through the town taking in St Ronan’s Road, Queen Street, Horsburgh Street and High Street,

Entry to the Innerleithen competition is £3 for adults, £2 for concessions, children £1 and under fives go free. Parking at the grounds costs £2.