Big thank you from

Fantastic day in prospect at North Down Band Championships 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE second half of the 2004 season kicks off again with the North Down Pipe Band Championships in Bangor Co. Down on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA in conjunction with North Down Borough Council have put together a fantastic days outing for all the family.

There will be racing organised by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in aid of the Malcolm Sargent cancer fund; beach volleyball, cartoon characters and lots more fun for everyone. The HMS Bangor will also be in port on that day and all are invited to come on board and see round the ship.

For the pipe band supporters there will be 50 bands and as many drum majors entered for the championships, along with solo piping for the under 16's and the under 14's. A parade afterwards is also planned, and this is always a
delight for the many holidaymakers crowding the centre of town.

Adjudicators on the day will be John Wilson Tony Sloan Colin Moffett and Denver Cardwell for piping and Billy Dunlop and Ciaran Mordaunt for drumming. Denver will also be the judge of the solo piping competitions.

July 31 will see the third of this year's five major championships taking place in Lisburn City at the Lagan Valley Leisureplex commencing at 10 am.

A total of 131 bands have entered for this event with over 40 from Ulster.

This is the highest number of bands from outside the province that the RSPBA has ever taken to Ireland.

One hour television programmes of the European Championships will be recorded by the BBC Northern Ireland and will be seen throughout the UK on satellite television.

On 7th August the North West Pipe band Championships will be staged at the popular venue of Portrush. This is always a highlight in the pipe band calendar when the bands parade the town.

A total of 59 bands and 40 drum majors are entered for this event.

Adjudicators are John Moles, Dixie Ingram, Gordon Laurie, David McConnell, Jim Baxter and Mark Wilson.

This year the organisers have sought to plan extra activities for everyone and on the Friday 6th August there will be under 12, 14 and 16 solo piping and drumming from 2 o'clock in Kerr Street beside Barry's amusements.

Entries for these solos should be sent to Mervyn Herron, 9 Ballydown Meadows, Castlewellen Road Banbridge. Telephone 028 40624849.

There will also be Highland dancing around 5 pm in Kerr Street, followed by a short parade from the Green to the Comfort Hotel of novice and junior drum majors led by Ballydonaghy Pipe Band. All in all entertainment to suit everyone.

At this year's Highland Games on July 14th at Glenarm Castle Antrim, the Star of Eden Pipe Band put on an entertaining show for the many visitors.

Led by Pipe Major Nigel Armstrong and Leading Drummer Jim McMaster, the band received a great welcome as they played their selection of popular tunes.

Bass drummer Hector Nelson is delighted that the band is back on the road and he hopes that some pipers and drummers will join them at their practise evenings. These will be held every Monday in Eden Orange Hall Carrickfergus and everyone will be made very welcome. The number to phone if you want more information is 028 93372818.

Ulster Star