To mark the countdown to one of this year’s biggest spectacles, members of the West Lothian Highland Games and local pipers from Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia, Torphichen and Bathgate and West Lothian Schools Pipe Bands came together yesterday to officially launch the British Pipe Band Championships and unveil Bathgate’s very own singing sensation, Susan Boyle, as the event’s Chieftain.
Held at the Bathgate Partnership Centre, the launch officially marked the countdown to the Championships, which will take place in Bathgate's Meadow Park on 31 May 2014. West Lothian Highland Games secured the prestigious British Pipe Band Championships for West Lothian for a three year period, with the first Championship taking place last year. The event saw 138 bands competing and attracted over 7,000 visitors.
This year the Championships are set to be bigger and better and will run alongside this year’s West Lothian Highland Games, which sees a host of traditional activities including highland dancing, solo piping and heavy athletics competitions. Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band will also be hosting a festival of music in the evening alongside a Ceilidh run by the Organising Committee.
Matt Purdie, President of the West Lothian Highland Games, said: “We are really looking forward to hosting the British Band Piping Championships in West Lothian for the second year running and it is a great honour to welcome Susan Boyle on board as Cheftain for 2014. Last year was a great success and we hope to build on that this year and in 2015, especially as for the first time we’ll be holding the West Lothian Highland Games alongside the Championships which will provide fun for all the family.”
Councillor Tom Kerr, Provost of West Lothian Council, said: “It’s a real coup for West Lothian to host the British Pipe Band Championships and we are very excited about the event for 2014 and of course welcoming West Lothian’s very own Susan Boyle – it’s great to have her support for such a prominent event for the region. We are very much looking forward to welcoming bands and visitors from all over the world to West Lothian.”
Nick Williams, Chair of Visit West Lothian, said: “Last year’s Championships were a huge success and truly showcased West Lothian for the great destination it really is and we’re really proud to continue to host the event for 2014 and 2015. We look forward to welcoming families within West Lothian and from further afield to discover the extensive calendar of events and activities taking place throughout West Lothian."
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, added: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and as a staple of our cultural portfolio it is fitting that we will once again host the British Pipe Band Championships in West Lothian. With the inclusion of the Highland Games into the wider programme and the added excitement of Susan Boyle as Chieftain the event is set to be bigger and better than ever.”
To find out more about the British Pipe Band Championships/West Lothian Highland Games and to book tickets please go to www.bpbc-bathgate.com
Adult: At the gate = £10
Children: (5 - 16yrs) = £4.50
Under 5s = FREE
Family Ticket - (Up to 2 children) = £27 at the gate
Promotional offers will also be available online