THE British Pipe Band Championships were held last Saturday in Birmingham but only four bands from Northern Ireland travelled over for this event.
Unfortunately the expense of travelling so far deterred many of our bands from competing at this, the second of this year's five major championships.
In Grade 1 St. Laurence O'Toole claimed the top prize. This is the second major championship title this band has won this season and it looks as if, under the leadership of Pipe Major Terry Tully, they have found the winning form that has eluded them in the past.
The House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead claimed the runner up place and won the best drums corps award. In 3rd was Strathclyde Police, 4th Scottish and 5th Boghall & Bathgate. It must have been a disappointing day for Field Marshal Montgomery who ended up in sixth place, just ahead of Ballycoan who finished in 7th place just out of the top prize list.
The only other band from Northern Ireland to get their name on a winning trophy was Grade 3A Aughintober from Co. Tyrone who took a sixth placing in a grade of 15 bands. This grade was won by Mackenzie Caledonia followed by Beeston & District. In the drum majors' competition the top place went to Ryan Ferry from Aughintober Pipe band who took the British senior championship title.
Samantha Gordon from Banbridge won the juvenile title and Elizabeth Barr took runner up place in the junior grade just missing out on claiming the title.
The All Ireland Pipe Band Championships will take place on Saturday 5th July in Ennis Co. Clare with an entry of 50 bands. Twenty-seven bands from Northern Ireland will make the long journey to the South to compete.
The next competition will be on Saturday 26th July when the European Pipe Band Championships will come to Lisburn. 121 bands have entered for this the third of the five major championships of 2008.
Grade 4B. 1st. Stockbridge. 2nd.Dunoon Argyll. 3rd.Burntisland & District. (also best drums) 4th. Fraserburgh RBL. 5ht.Stamperland. 6th. Methil & District.
Grade 4A. 1st. Black Bottle Isle of Isley.2nd.University of Bedfordshire. 3rd.Royal Burgh of Stirling. 4th.Paris & District. (also best drums) 5th. Hawick. 6th. Badenoch & Strathspey.
Grade 3B. 1st. Pipes & Drums of Central Scotland Police. (also best drums) 2nd.Methil & District. 3rd.Ayr Pipe Band Society. 4th.Kirkcaldy. 5th. Troon Blackrock. 6th Peniculk & District.
Grade 3A. lst. Mackenzie Caledonia. 2nd.Beeston & District. (also best drums) 3rd.Clydebank. 4th. Cullen. 5th.Deeside Caledonia. 6th.Aughintober.
Grade 2. 1st. Torphichen & Bathgate. (also best drums) 2nd. Phoenix Honda Glasgow Skye. 3rd.Dumfries & Galloway. 4th. Mauchline & District. 5th.Buchan. 6th. Grampian Police.
Grade 1. 1st. St. Laurence. O'Toole. 2nd.Shotts & Dykehead. (also best drums) 3rd. Strathclyde Police. 4th. Scottish Power. 5th.Boghall & Bathgate. 6th. Field Marshal Montgomery.
Drum Majors. Senior. 1st. Ryan Ferry. 2nd.Brian Wilson. 3rd.Paula Braiden. 4th. Alicia Dickson. 5th. W. Jordon. 6th. G. Craig Juvenile. 1st. S. Gordon. 2nd. E.Sloan.3rd. L. Hamilton. 4th. A. Symon. 5th. C. Brown. 6th. C. Martin.
Junior. 1st. I. Burns. 2nd. E. Barr. 3rd .L. Abraham. 4th. L. Hanna. 5th. G. Northover. 6th. C. Williamson.