Big thank you from

Bands continue to take top prizes  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

IT was a bright sunny day in Portrush last Saturday for the 38th North West Pipe Band Championships where a kaleidoscope of tartan colour was on parade.

Chieftain of the Day, Councillor Dessie Stewart, Mayor of Coleraine, welcomed the spectacle of the massed bands, which he said was eagerly awaited by visitors, residents and traders alike.

There were no surprises on the winning rostrum as all those taking first place were bands that had consistently been in the prizes all season.

Field Marshal Montgomery won Grade 1, Bleary & District Grade 2, Killadeas Grade 3A, Quinn Memorial Grade 313, Seven Towers Grade 4A and the Queen Elizabeth Grade 4B.

All these bands will now be heading to the ultimate competition in the pipe band calendar - the world championships, and we hope that many will return as victors.

The world pipe band championships will take place this Saturday 16 August at Glasgow Green Scotland.

226 bands have entered for this, the third major competition of the 2003 season. Bands are coming from Canada, Australia, Denmark, Japan, USA, Italy, New Zealand, and England as well as the North and South of Ireland.

The solo piping competition held on the Friday before the Northwest was won by Amos Gilmore with Ben Greeves taking the runners-up prize.

The final local competition this year is the Ulster Championships, which will take place on Saturday 23 August in Pollock Park, Lurgan, commencing at 12 noon. There is an entry of 60 bands and 45 drum majors for this event.

Then on 30 August the very popular Cowal Highland Gathering will be held in Dunoon, Scotland.

There will be a good many bands from Northern Ireland travelling over for the event. The Drum Majors Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 2 September at 8pm sharp i n the Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street Lisburn.

As important business will be discussed at this meeting all drum majors should plan to attend.

Secretary of the Drum Majors committee, Ronnie Davidson and his daughter Joanne, assistant secretary of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA, have both been honoured by an invitation from the Secretary of State to attend a garden party in Hillsborough Castle on 3 September.

All in the pipe band world have been saddened by the recent death of Charlie Dodds who died last week.

He was a very well known figure and a life long member of the Co. Down section of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA.

He will be deeply missed by all and the sympathy of Officers and fellow bandsmen and women goes out to his wife and family.

Grade 1. 1st Field Marshal Montgomery (also best drums and best bass). 2nd Ballycoan. 3rd Ravara (also M&D)
Grade 2. 1st .Bleary (also best piping, best drums, best bass and M&D). 2nd Cullybackey. 3rd Ballinderry Bridge. 4th Upper Crossgare.
Grade 3A. 1st .Killadeas (also best piping and best drums) 2nd Tullintrain. 3rd Syerla. 4th Finvoy. Best Bass Banbridge.
 Grade 3B. 1st Quinn Memorial. 2nd Black Raven (also best drums, best bass and M&D). 3rd Bready. 4th Altnaveigh Memorial
Grade 4A. 1st Seven Towers. 2nd Marlacoo. (also best piping) 3rd Mountfield. 4th Aughintober. Best Drums and Best Bass Castlerock.
Grade 4B. 1st Queen Elizabeth (also best d r u m s ) . 2 n d McNeillstown. 3rd Cleland (also best bass). 4th Antrim.
Senior Drum Majors. 1st Paula Braiden. 2nd Ian Young. 3rd Alistair Patterson. 4th Brian Wilson. 5th Kathy Megarry.
Juvenile. 1st Ian Scott. 2nd Jennifer Elvin. 3rd Paul Spence. 4th Wendy Ferry. 5th Danielle Sharvin.
Junior. 1st Elizabeth Sloan. 2nd Ryan Ferry. 3rd Laura McComb. 4th Karl Love. 5th Joanne Wilson.
Novice Juvenile. 1st Linzi Hamilton. 2nd Sharon Martin. 3rd Samantha Gordon. 4th Jonathan McKee. 5th Craig Clydesdale.

Ulster Star