Northern Constabulary Pipe Band at Pitlochry Highland Games Scotland
Stornoway contingent who came over for the event - John-Murdo, Leanne and Sandy. Many thanks for your efforts and commitment.
The Band has participated in the Pipe Band Competition - and the associated Street Parade - at Pitlochry every year since 2004, and was the first Competition we ever took part in.
The omens for our trip to Pitlochry on 11th September 2010 were not good however, with the rain starting just as we left Inverness at 6.00 am, and by the time our coach had travelled 5 miles we were beset by torrential rain which kept on for most of the journey. As we nearer Pitlochry however the sky began to clear and the sun duly appeared. Other than one brief downpour mid-afternoon, it was a lovely day.
We love the Pitlochry trip, which is traditionally our last competition/outing of the season.The location is superb, the scenery glorious, the weather (mostly) great, and the welcome is sincere and appreciative.
Usually I walk down the High Street parallel to the Band (taking copious amounts of photographs of course) as it takes part in the prestigious Street Parade, but I have no photographs of the Parade this year as I volunteered(?) to be the Band sign-bearer and march in front of the Band the length of the route. Had I attempted to about turn and snap a photo, I am sure the Drum Major would have skewered me with his mace! the Parade is that important an event, and we have a history of prize-winning. We duly reached the Games Park without me being too much out of step!
After participating in the Pipe Band Competition, where we were placed 6th (not unexpected as we were missing some experienced players due to other commitments) the Band was asked to play for the Drum Majors competition. We take that as a compliment, and it affords an opportunity for our newer players to experience playing in public before a large audience without the nerves of competition-playing.
The finale was Massed Bands, and the highlight was an appearance by Dougie MacLean who brught the house down with his evocative perfomance of his most famous self-penned song "Caledonia". Nothing could top that, I thought, until the final announcement of the prize-giving - the Edradour Street March:- "Second Place - Northern Constabulary" - so my performance as sign-bearer could not have been all that bad after all!!
Now the Band has a short break, and then a busy winter of practice.