Big thank you from

Torrential rain at Ormeau stops playing for first time in history  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

RAINCOATS, umbrellas and wellies was the fashion of the day at the 2002 European Pipe band Championships held in Ormeau Park Belfast.

For the very first time in the history of the Royal Scottish Pipe band Association, torrential rain stopped play - but fortunately only for 20 minutes. Bands gallantly reformed and the championships continued.

The delegation from Belgium who had come over to observe the event in preparation for the European Championships which will be held in Alden Beisen Castle in September 2003 seemed to really enjoy the occasion in spite of the rain.

Their ex Minister of State praised the association for their courageous decision to hold the next European in Belgium and hoped that many of the bands people would be able to travel over for the event.

This year's championships were organised by Belfast City Council in conjunction with the RSPBA and a terrific job was done by all.

Almost 50% of all the trophies won went to Northern Irish bands. Taking top honours with a superb performance in the elite Grade 1 was Field Marshal Montgomery under the leadership of Pipe Major Richard Parkes and Leading Tip Andrew Scullion. They won a first and second placing in piping, 1 st in ensemble and 1 st in drumming and received the well deserved applause from the crowd.

St. Laurence O'Toole from Dublin took a well earned 6th placing in Grade 1, achieving a place in the top six for the first time in many years. Ballycoan who are the reigning Scottish Champions in Grade 2 added the European Championship crown to their amazing array of trophies won this season, which include the Co. Fermanagh, Co.Antrim, Mid Ulster and CO. Down victories They were awarded first placing by all four adjudicators in their grade and all credit must go to Pipe Major Alfie Rea and Leading Tip Barney Megoran on their continual success.

The Grade 4A champions at the European were Altnaveigh Memorial from outside Newry under the leadership of Pipe Major David Hanna and Leading Tip Richard Coffey. Both these men have a wealth of experience in the pipe band field and are doing a superb job with this young outfit. Gransha were the victors in 4B with Pipe Major Worthing Anderson and Leading drummer Sammy Smyth. This Co. Down has had a terrific season so far and this European Championship title must be the crowning glory for them.

Ryan Ferry (Aughintober) won the Junior Drum Major European Championship, Jennifer Elvin (Letterkenny) the Juvenile grade, and Ian Young (Ravara) the senior title

Grade 1. 1st. Field Marshal Montgomery.' (also best drums) 2nd.Shotts & Dykehead. 3rd.Strathclyde Police. 4th.Scottish Power. 5th.Boghall & Bathgate.6th.St.Laurence O'Toole.
Grade 2. 1st. Ballycoan (also best drums). 2nd. Ballinderry Bridge. 3rd. Boghall & Bathgate. 4th.Clan Gregor Society. 5th.Dumfries & Galloway. 6th.Upper Crossgare.
Grade 3A. 1st. MacNaughton Vale of Atholl. (also best best drums) 2nd.Syerla. 3rd-Royal Burgh of Stirling. 4th.Lomond & Clyde. 5th.Coalburn. 6th.Woodgrange.
Grade 3B. 1st. Inverkeithing & District. 2nd.Finvoy. 3rd.Hollymount. 4th.Cottown. 5th.Dunoon Argyll. 6th. Northern Caledonia. Best Drums. West Midlands Police.
Grade 4a. 1st. Altnaveigh Memorial. 2nd.Annsborough. 3rd. Ballybriest. 4th.Quinn Memorial. 5th.Gortaclare. 6th.Aughintober. (also best Jordan. drums. drums).
Grade 4B. 1st. Gransha (also best drums) 2nd. Royal Burgh of Stirling. 3rd.Apprentice Boys of Derry.4th.Corpus Christi. 5th. Cleland Memorial. 6th.Girvan & District.
Senior Drum Drum Majors. 1st Ian Young. 2nd.John Noble. 3rd Alistair Patterson. 4th.Brian Wilson. 5th.William Jordan
Juvenile. 1st .Jennifer Elvin. 2nd.Wendy Ferry. 3rd.lan Scott. 4th.Danielle Sharvin. 5th.Teresa McMechan 
Junior. 1st. Ryan Ferry. 2nd.Elizabeth Sloan, 3rd.Laura Jane Lawson. 4th.Donna Gillespie. 5th.Emma Chambers.

 The first of this year's competitions organised by theNorthern Ireland Branch was held last Saturday at the Demesne in the beautiful village of Moira. The Lagan Valley Pipe band and drum majors championship event was in conjunction with Lisburn City, and The Mayor Councillor Mrs Betty Campbell was Chieftain of the Day.

It was yet another, victory for Pipe Major Alfie Rea and Ballycoan Pipe Band when they secured 1st place with a convincing win in Grade 2. Bleary took runner up place and the trophies for best bass and best.

There were new winners in Grade 3A when Syerla won 1 st place in piping and drumming. This was an excellent achievement for this band who were only promoted to Grade 3A this season.

Gortaclare and Gransha were the victors in Grade 4A and 4B with Annsborough and Gransha taking the drumming titles in their grades.

The adjudicators for the Lagan Valley Championships were Denver Cardwell and Ian Roddick for piping and Colin Brown and Gordon Craig for drumming.

The All Ireland Pipe band Championships will take place in Kilkenny on 6th July.Then after the two weeks break for the July holidays, the second half of the season opens with the North Down Championships in Bangor on Saturday 20th July.

There will be a special solo-piping event for boys and girls aged 14 and under at this competition with entries taken on the day, and Pipe Major Harry: Stevenson from Belfast will be the adjudicator.

The third of the five majors will be on Saturday 27th July when the British Championships will take place in Ayr Scotland.

Results of the Lagan Valley Championships. 
Grade 2. 1st. Ballycoan. 2nd.Bleary (also best bass and best drums). 3rd. Ballinderry Bridge. 4th.Upper .
Grade 3A. 1st. Syerla (also best bass and best drums). 2nd.Woodgrange. 3rd.Ballydonaghy. 4th.Banbridge.
Grade 3B. 1st. Northern Caledonia (also best bass and best drums)
Grade 4a. 1st. Gortaclare. 2nd.Altnaveigh. 3rd.Colmcille(also best bass). 4th.AnnsborougIn(also best drums)
Grade 4b. 1st.Gransha. (also best bass and best drums) 2nd.Monkstown Mossley. 3rd.ABD Antrim. 4th.Manorcunningham.
Senior Drum Majors. 1st.lan Young. 2nd.Kathy Megarry. 3rd.Paula Braiden. 4th.Brian Wilson. 5th.Alistair Patterson.
Juvenile. 1st.Rachel Corr. 2nd.Danielle Sharvin. 3rd.Victria Singer. 4th.lan Scott. 5th.Alicia Dickson. Junior. 1st.Donna Gillespie. 2nd.Ryan ferry. 3rd.laura J.Lawson.4th.Laura McComb.5th.Emma Chambers.
Novice Juvenile. 1st. on Morrison. 2nd.Simon Kerr. 3rd.Karl Love. 4th.Samantha Gordon. 5th.Linzie Hamilton.


Ulster Star