FOR 25 years the Heart O'Down Pipe band Championships have been held in Donard Park, Newcastle against the beautiful backdrop of the majestic Mourne Mountains, and last Saturday it was a day when Ulster's best were on parade.
World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery, Ballycoan and Killen Pipe bands took pride of place at the Finale. World drumming champions Upper Crossgare, Ballydonaghy Caledonia, Mountfield and Gransha, with drum majors Alistair Patterson, Ryan Ferry and Jennifer Elvin also received the applause from their fellow bands people.
This competition is regarded as one of the best in the calendar of events of the Northern Ireland Branch, and much credit for its success must go to Mervyn Herron, contest secretary, and his able team of dedicated workers.
There was a large number of entries for this popular competition and the names on the winning trophies were:
|Grade 1)||Field Marshal Montgomery|
|Grade 4A||Altnaveigh Memorial|
|Grade 4B||Cleland Memorial|
|Novice Juvenile Drum Major||Jason Morrison|
`The Slieve Donard Trophy' was presented in memory of both Anne and Mervyn Herron's mothers and given for the best junior drum major at the Newcastle competition.
The Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA will be holding their final local competition of the 2002 year with the 51st Ulster Pipe band Championships.
These will be held in Prehen Playing Fields, Londonderry, on Saturday 24 August commencing at 11 am.
This year it will feature Highland dancing, Scottish Country dancing, Highland Heavy Sports and recitals by the Ulster Scots Folk Orchestra, as well as all our world pipe band and drum major champions.
There will also be a solo piping competition for 14 year olds and under, and 14 to 16 year olds, with entries taken on the day. Pipe Major Bobby Brannigan will be the guest adjudicator for this event.
The Ulster Championships are supported by Derry City Council, Foyle Tourism Association and the Ulster Scots Agency. The last of the five major championships will be the Cowal Highland Gathering held at Dunoon, Scotland on Saturday 31 August, and there will be a strong contingent of bands and drum majors from Ulster competing for the championship titles.
At this year's event there will be a special Street
competition where a £1,000 cash prize can be won.
This is for the most entertaining band marching up Argyll Street between Sam and 2pm. The Davie Towie Memorial trophy will also be presented to the best dressed band on parade.
The Drum Majors Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 September at 8pm sharp in the Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn.
The Newtownstewart Highland Games will be held on Saturday 7 September and will feature their 4th annual outdoor solo piping competition.
It will also feature for the first time a Piobaireachd and drumming event and at present this is the only outdoor solo event of its type in Northern Ireland.
Please contact Clive McFarland, 10 Hillview Villas, Ardstraw, Newtownstewart BT78 4JL telephone: 90669591 (home) or 90811030 (work) for further information.
|Grade 1||1st F.M. Montgomery (also best bass and best drums); 2nd Ravara.|
|Grade 2||1st Ballycoan (also best pipes and best drums); 2nd Bleary; 3rd Upper Crossgare (also best bass); 4th Ballinderry Bridge.|
|Grade 3A||1st Banbridge; 2nd Syerla; 3rd Killadeas (also best bass and best drums); 4th Ballydonaghy.|
|Grade 3B||1st Finvoy (also best bass); 2nd Cottown (also best drums); 3rd Hollymount; 4th Northern Caledonia.|
|Grade 4A||1st Altnaveigh (best pipes); 2nd Quinn memorial (best drums); 3rd Killen; 4th Annsborough. Best Bass Aughintober.|
|Grade 4B||1st Cleland Memorial (also best bass); 2nd Gransha (best drums); 3rd McNeillstown; 4th Monkstown.|
|Novice Juvenile||1st Jason Morrison; 2nd Simon Kerr; 3rd Karl Love; 4th Kirsty Harron; 5th Jemma McKinney.|
|Junior||1st Ryan Ferry; 2nd Laura McComb; 3rd Laura Lawson; 4th Donna Gillespie; 5th Elizabeth Sloan.|
|Juvenile||1st Wendy Ferry, 2nd Ian Scott; 3rd Jennifer Elvin; 4th Alicia Dickson; 5th Teresa McMechan.|
|Senior||1st Brian Wilson; 2nd Alistair Patterson; 3rd Paula Braiden; 4th Gloria Patterson; 5th Anthony Evans.|