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  • 03 July 2015

    David Wilkie and Scott Quin open street art pool in the centre of Glasgow ahead of the IPC Swimming World Championships

    Scottish swimming legend David Wilkie and Scottish para-swimming European silver medallist Scott Quin today opened a street art swimming pool in Glasgow’s city centre ahead of July’s IPC Swimming World Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    David Wilkie, MBE, won 1976 Olympic Gold in Montreal and is the only person to have held British, American, Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic swimming titles at the same time.

    Scott Quin currently trains at Edinburgh’s Warrender Club, where Wilkie also trained. Quin, who won his first international medal in the 100m breaststroke SB14 at the IPC Swimming European Championships in 2014, has been selected for the British team in Glasgow and aims to make his mark on the world stage from 13-19 July.

    Quin said: “To have a legend like David Wilkie here today to support us is a real inspiration and it’s great seeing so many people turn out. It’s encouraging going into the Worlds. We really need the home crowd to come along and support us this year.”

    Tickets are on general sale at, priced at £10/£15 for adults and free for under-16s (terms and conditions apply).

    The IPC Swimming World Championships is the biggest para-swimming event outside of the Paralympic Games and brings together over 580 swimmers from nearly 70 countries for what will be a week-long celebration of world-class sport.

    David Wilkie said: “The IPC Swimming World Championships are one of the major events in the swimming calendar and it’s great to see the people of Glasgow come out today to show their support for the event and for our para-swimmers ahead of this summer’s Championships.

    “The Commonwealth Games last year was massive for sport and para-swimming in Glasgow and we will all be looking forward to the famous ‘Tollcross Roar’ that drove so many of the home athletes to success. It will be an unforgettable experience.”

    The event forms part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded major events programme which targets championships that will support the nation’s athletes in their preparation and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The GBR Para-Swimming Team includes four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, Paralympic, World and Commonwealth champion Ollie Hynd and Glasgow swimming ace Andrew Mullen.

    In addition, some of the world’s best para-swimmers including 12-time Paralympic gold medallist Jessica Long (USA), Paralympic and World champion Marc Evers (NED) and seven-time Paralympic champion Andre Brasil (BRA) will also compete.

    Across the seven days of competition there will be 152 medals up for grabs with athletes competing in freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley, freestyle relay and medley relay across 14 different classes, with distances ranging from 50m-400m.

    Category: International Events

  • 02 July 2015

    Lulu set to support worthy cause at Wickerman

    One of the country’s best loved rock and soul voices, the legendary Lulu, is set to perform a special charity gig this July at Wickerman, Scotland’s hottest summer music festival.

     In addition to an evening appearance on the main Summerisle Stage on Friday 24th July, Lulu will also perform an intimate acoustic set that afternoon to raise funds for Maggie’s, the charity which provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.

     Festival revelers will have the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with Lulu at the performance and take part in a Q & A with the iconic singer afterwards. The charity gig will take place at 5pm on Friday in Pianoman Tent– a new Festival feature for 2015.  The limited gig spaces will be on a first come, first served basis and donations will be encouraged on the door to help fund the vital work that Maggie’s Centres carry out for cancer patients and their families throughout the UK.

     Lulu commented:

    “I’m looking forward to performing a few acoustic songs and answering questions from the audience in the Pianoman Tent at this year’s Wickerman.

     The songs will be performed in a different style to the ones that I will be performing later that evening on the main stage. Knowing that this intimate performance will be for a truly worthy cause is fantastic and I look forward to being a part of it.”

     Often described as an ‘oasis’ for people with cancer and their family and friends, Maggie’s Centres are staffed by a team of qualified professionals, including Cancer Support Specialists, Benefits Advisors, Nutritionists and Psychologists who can support in whichever way best suits. It will also house a designated chill out zone where people in need can enjoy some rest and recuperation, practice yoga and listen to poetry.

     The new Pianoman Tent will house a dedicated Maggie’s team offering a drop in service throughout the day to offer anyone affected by cancer practical, emotional and social support.

     After dusk the venue will be transformed into a lively piano bar which will showcase a selection of the finest pianists, all of whom will be donating their time to support the charity. Artists topping the bill will be one of Scotland’s busiest party duos, Bleeker, and Edinburgh’s Fingers piano bar legends Marc the Piano Guy and Paul Crompton.  The piano itself was also kindly donated by Glasgow’s McLarens Pianos.

     After her own personal journey battling breast cancer, the Pianoman Tent is something very close to the heart of Festival Director, Jenny Camm.

     Jenny Camm, Festival Director, commented:

    “Having the Pianoman Tent at the Festival for the first time this year will be incredibly special and we hope it will provide an informal environment for those affected by the disease to find support in the day time and then to let their hair down and have some fun as the sun sets. It’s a real privilege to have Lulu supporting the charity by playing this unique gig and it will certainly offer Wickerman fans something a little different to kick off their weekend with us.”

     In addition to the Pianoman Tent Wickerman will also raise funds for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity with a brand new on site retro BlushBooth campervan, where festival lovers can pay a donation for some specially branded Wickerman snaps of themselves.

    Wickerman is one of the UK’s best-loved independent music festivals and is now entering its 14th consecutive year. With nine stages featuring an eclectic and exciting mix of leading artists, alternative acts and up-and-coming talent, the two day summer party caters for all musical tastes.

    Category: International Events

  • 01 July 2015

    Spectacular day for Piping at Forres

    Forres gave a Piping welcome for each of the 105 Pipe Bands who competed in the European Pipe Band Championships, sponsored by Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky held in Forres on Saturday 27 June, and the large crowds who came to the park to enjoy the day.

    Winners in grade 1 were Field Marshal Montgomery, second Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia and third St Laurence O’Toole from the Republic of Ireland.

     Johnstone came first in grade 2, grade 3A was won by City of Discovery, grade 3B by Portlethen and District; 4A by Methil and District; 4B Lanark and District.   Novice Juvenile winners were Dollar Academy.

    The Adult Drum Major title was won by Alicia Dickson Hamilton from Matt Boyd Memorial,

    Zoe McDowell from Aughintober won the Juvenile grade and Abigail Wenlock from Cullybackey won the Junior grade, her first ever championship.

     Full results are on the RSBPA website –

    Organised by Forres Events Ltd, the event was a great family day out with over 120 trade stalls. The Craft and Retail Village included a Johnstons of Elgin sponsored Craft Marquee. The Walkers Shortbread sponsored Food and Drink Marquee and Food and Drink Village featured some of the finest produce of Moray and the surrounding area.

    The World’s Tattie scone championship was won by Cardiff born, Senior Aircraftman Sam May from Catering Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, with his ‘Taffies’ Tattie Scone with smoked bacon and smoked Dorset cheese as his ingredient, 2nd was Norma Breathet a farmer from just outside Nairn with the ‘Lorne pipe’ with Lorne sausage and carmelised chutney.   Third was Elgin High School Teacher Ross Tyrbis with ‘KFT Kentucky Fried Tattie’ scone with mixed herbs and spices. 

    Shirley Spear, the current Highlands and Islands Ambassador for Food and Drink and owner of the Three Chimneys in Skye and one of the Tattie Scone judges said:   “There has been a fantastic number of entries and an amazing assortment of flavours and tastes – some more unusual than others.”

    Ian Widdowson, chairman of Forres Events Ltd said:  “Absolutely delighted that the sun has shone, the park has dried up and lots of people here are having a wonderful day. The park has a busy feel about it and everywhere you look there a lot of smiley happy faces.”

    Chieftain Mark Laing said:  “This has been a wonderful day, everybody has enjoyed themselves and the atmosphere is fantastic.   I am sure that Sir Alexander would be very happy to see this feast of colour and traditional music and be pleased to see his gift to Forres being put to such good use.”

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said:  “This is now our third year in Forres and each year the event has been better than the last,  Forres Events have taken piping championships to a new level and we are delighted to have signed the contract for a further 3 years in this wonderful location.   I look forward to seeing you next year.” 

    The Federation of Small Business best stall was awarded to Alan Macritchie of Ullapool Box Creations who said of his win:  “Really delighted to have won, lots of good products around and lots of competition so well chuffed to win.”

    Pearl Hamilton, Branch Chair of Moray and Keith Federation of Small Businesses said:  “We were impressed with the way Alan dealt with customers, the sustainability of his product and his knowledge of where his product came from together with the fact that he uses a lathe.  A very impressive and worthy winner against some strong competition.”

    George McIntyre a Trustee of The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation who were supporting the Education Centre said: “The park is a lovely natural setting for one of the largest single day events in Moray and such a colourful event.   I think it gets better every year.  The education centre gives youngsters a taste of the pipes and I think it is tremendous to have all these people who are giving up their time to encourage youngsters to take up the pipes.” 

    Angus Robertson whose tattie scone was hot chilli scone with olives and chilli said:  "Piping at Forres has wowed the crowds once again, with thousands flocking to Forres to play and thousands more to spectate. The event has rapidly become a major fixture in both Moray and the piping world's calendar. The organisers and volunteers who make it tick have done a great job.

    "The sound of the pipes and drums on such a phenomenal scale is really incredible and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone there."

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “We were delighted to support the European Pipe Band Championships with additional funding for the second year running.  Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Championships has developed itself as a standout event in the north-east of Scotland.”

    “The sight and sound of pipers always present a fantastic appeal for all ages. The combination of the warm Moray welcome, the scenic historical backdrop of Forres and world class piping on offer ensured that locals and visitors travelling from far and wide experienced a memorable day of wide-ranging entertainment at this year’s Championships.”

    Category: National Events