Forres gave a piping welcome for around 120 Pipe Bands and 50 Drum Majors who competed in the European Pipe Band Championships, held in Forres on Saturday 25 June to a crowd of thousands who came to the park to enjoy the day.
Winners in grade 1 were St Laurence O’Toole from Eire; second Field Marshal Montgomery from Northern Ireland and third Inveraray and District.
Grade 2 winners were the Pipes and Drums of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Grade 4A was Lanark and District
Grade 4B was Johnstone
Grade 3A was the Lewis Pipe Band.
Grade 3B was local band 2622 (Highland) Squadron RAF.
Full results are on the RSBPA website –www.rspba.org.
Elgin Pipe Band won the Grade 4B Drumming.
Sixty Highland dancers also competed.
Organised by Forres Events Ltd, the event was a great family day out with over 100 trade stalls including a craft tent and Food and Drink Marquee and Food and Drink Village featured some of the finest produce of Moray and the surrounding area.
Dr Donnie Munro who thoroughly enjoyed his day as Chieftain said: “Visitors enjoyed themselves very much and I congratulate the founders for the legacy that they have left and offer my congratulations to the people of Forres for their support of the event – they deserve to have a real sense of pride in what they have achieved with this event.”
The World’s Tattie scone championship was won by Nichola Smith from Elgin with her Heart of Courage scone with fruits of Moray as her special ingredient. Second was Ali Jamieson from Forres with prawn cocktail and third was Julie Hill from Kinloss with her wee Scottish breakfast featuring haggis, black pudding, lorne sausage and bacon. Winner of the new David Urquhart trophy for the best original scone was Adrienne Milne (13) of Elgin Academy with cheese and chilli. The trophy is in memory of the late David Urquhart who was a Director of Forres Events Ltd, the company that runs Piping At Forres.
One of the two Tattie Scone judges, David Gow of Harry Gow bakers said: “It’s been a great day, a good standard of cooking and some very innovative ideas. I was particularly impressed by the scone produced by Adrienne Milne who won the junior category.”
Other competitors were Angus Robertson MP with his Red Hot Mexican scone with chilli and cheese; Richard Lochhead MSP with BLT scone with bacon and leeks; Douglas Ross MSP with In a Pickle with pickled onion, Ian Urquhart with ‘Family rules’ with smoked salmon and Major General Seymour Monro, Director of the Highland Military Tattoo with Tattoo Bombshell with chilli chorizo.
The Federation of Small Business best stall was awarded to Hellygog from Logie Steading near Forres who won a certificate and £150 cash prize.
Alan James, Chairman of Forres Events Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation who run the event around the championships said: “We have had a fantastic day here in Forres. I am amazed and delighted at the standard of the bands, drummers and Drum Majors, young and old who have come here to today in the north of Scotland to compete and entertain all the visitors to the Grant Park. All around, the Park has been busy with all the trade stands appearing to have had a good day and lots of smiling, happy faces. It’s been a spectacular event and I would like to thank all of those who have supported us over this extraordinary year, particularly our sponsors, stallholders and volunteers without whom we could not stage the event. I also wish to thank all the competitors, their supporters and all the visitors who came to Forres, and of course the people of Forres for supporting this event. This is my first year as Chairman after the terrible loss of Ian Widdowson earlier this year when we were still mourning the loss of our friend and colleague David Urquhart and I am sure that we have done them both proud.”
Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said: “Yet again we have a fantastic event here at Forres. It’s just a great atmosphere and the bands love coming here and they love being here.The event has grown year on year with bands increasing and this is testament to the organisers here and to the people of Forres and the wider community who provide such wonderful support to the event. In 16 years and 90 events I have not seen anything like the support we get from the community here.”
Angus Robertson MP said: “"Once again Piping at Forres has delivered an amazing spectacle as thousands of pipers and drummers descended on Forres for the European Pipe Band Championships.
"This has rapidly become a must see event in the north of Scotland's summer calendar, attracting visitors and locals alike in their droves to the town.
"It's great for Forres, great for culture and great for our local economy! A brilliant family event."
Richard Lochhead MSP said: “This event goes from strength to strength and is a major boost for the local economy. Forres was looking stunning in the sun and the thousands of visitors were clearly impressed by how well everything was organised and the hosting committee and sponsors deserve huge credit for such a successful event. Indeed, its success is a huge tribute to the late David Urquhart and Ian Widdowson both of whom were instrumental in securing the championships for Forres."
Rhona Corscadden, EventScotland Senior Event Manager, said: “Occasions like Piping at Forres, which is supported by EventScotland’s International Funding Programme, demonstrate the nation’s love for our unique culture and heritage, and I am delighted to be among the thousands in attendance in the stunning setting of Grant Park today.
“This event has been a terrific celebration of the pipes, with over 120 bands, including current and former world champions, creating a magnificent spectacle and superb day out for all the family, reinforcing Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events worldwide.”