Big thank you from

Bleary are crowned as the Best of British  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

BLEARY & District are the 2003 British Pipe band champions.

Competing at the championships in Pitlochry the band, under the leadership of Pipe Major Nigel Davidson and Leading Tip Ian Lawson, secured their best result so far this season by winning Grade 2.

The band scored two firsts in piping first in ensemble and second in drumming to become overall winners.

The Championships were held last Saturday and many of the bands travelling over from Ireland were in the prizes. Another band to win a major was the Quinn Memorial with Pipe Major Harold Bloomfield and Leading Tip Robert Lennox who won Grade 3B.

This bend has consistently been in first place this season, winning the Scottish championships in May this year as well as local competitions in Enniskillen Ahoghill and Cookstown.

In Grade 1 Strathclyde Police took first place followed by House of Edgar Shorts & Dykehead who also won the drumming title.

Field Marshal Montgomery with Pipe Major Richard Parkes, the reigning Scottish champions, were in third place.

Boghall & Bathgate were fifth, St. Laurence O'Toole were fifth and the Vale of Atholl completed the prize list by taking sixth place.

Woodgrange finished fourth in Grade 3A, Bready fifth in 3B and Mountfield won third and Annsborough sixth in Grade 4A.

This Saturday, 28 June, the Co. Down section of the RSPBA will host their annual pipe band contest in Banbridge Academy Grounds, commencing at 12 o'clock.

The event will include not only piping and drumming but also a full day of entertainment for all the family. There will be Highland dancing direct from the Edinburgh Tattoo, children's face painting, a display of falconry, craft exhibitions and stalls and young drummers from Rathfriland under the direction of Roy Ferguson.

There is a large entry of bands from both north and south of Ireland as well as one Canadian band. The City of Orillia & District Pipe Band from Toronto will be competing under the direction of Pipe Major Bill Stark in Grade'4. Their Drum Major Bruce Hall will also be competing in the Drum Majors competition.

The 58th All Ireland Pipe band and Drum Majors Championships will take place on Saturday 5 July in Donard Park, Newcastle Co. Down.

Due to the large entry of 65 bands and 56 drum majors, this competition will now commence at 11.45am.

In addition to the visiting bands from the South of Ireland the City of Orillia & District Pipe Band from Canada and the West Midlands Police are also competing at this event.

A Highland Dance competition will also be held and all entries should be sent to Mervyn Herron. He can be contacted by telephone on 406 24849. Entries will be accepted up to the day of the competition for this event.

As well as Scottish Traditional Highland Games there will be an exhibition of many birds from the Northern Ireland School of Falconry.

The Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School will be giving Pipers - and Drummers the opportunity to attain their Grade 1 practical certificate on the day.

An extra event has also been organised to celebrate this year's All Ireland championships.

Altnaveigh House, in association with the RSPBA, will present `Piping Hot' which is a celebration of Cultural Diversity. It will take place in the Annesley Hall, Newcastle on Friday 4 July at 8pm, and tickets are available from Branch Secretary Lorraine McVeigh 9752 1657.

The skirl of the pipes were heard on the Shankill Road last Saturday when North Belfast Pipe Band entertained the large crowd of shoppers and supporters at a Festival of Music organised by the Shankill Road Ulster-Scots Committee.
It has been many years since the folk on the Shankill have heard the sound of bagpipes. At one time there were over 20 pipe bands associated with the district but now there is only one- North Belfast Working Men's Club Pipe Band under the leadership of Pipe Major Jackie Moore and Leading Tip Bobby Rea.

A demonstration of Scottish dancing was performed by Dorothy Barham, here on you to one of the pipers with North Belfast band, which was received with great delight especially from the children.

Lambeg drums, fiddles and other items of music also entertained the crowd.

Ulster Star