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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

BLS H ighland G ames and G athering For over 200 years now there have been Games on the shores of Loch Earn. Saturday 23 July 2011 dawned fine and sunny, as bright and clear as we have ever had. From 7.00am our trade stands were filing into Games Field and our patrons, competitors and spectators began arriving early in anticipation of a good day’s spectacle. To add to that anticipation we began with flypasts from Neil’s seaplanes and our friends at Mountain Rescue on exercise with their Sea King helicopter. Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games celebrates the Gathering of the Clans MacGregor, MacLaren and Stewart of Ardvorlich and include our neighbouring Clan MacNab. This year our President Angus Cameron invited Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor to attend as Chieftain and, accompanied by Lady MacGregor, they led the March, played into the field by Badenoch and Strathspey Pipe Band. Our car parking plans held up well as the crowd swelled to record proportions and neighbouring fields were soon filled. Side shows and trade stands were busy despite the economic conditions. Competitor entries were higher this year in every category. Conveners had worked hard to publicise the events. with the traditional Beginning Heavyweight events, competitors took part in Open competition and in Perthshire

Highland Games categories. SHGA events took on an international flavour with Rusty Price from California narrowly edging out Mike Pockoski of North Carolina with Craig Sinclair from Drumoak, Kincardineshire in third place. In the Perthshire Heavy Category Lorne Colthart of Blair Atholl and Stuart Anderson of Killin were nip and tuck. Stuart tied in caber while Lorne prevailed in shot and hammer. Perthshire League events are sponsored by PSPC. In track and field Gregor Innes of Glasgow and Prasad Prasad from Callander were again outstanding. Prasad continues to dominate the hill race in times around 27minutes and his wife won this year’s ladies race. Here special mention of Lochearnhead Hotelier Amanda Kerr, who finished third in the Ladies Race, running on behalf of her nominated charity Diabetes UK. In the Piping events John Mulhearn won the Senior March, Andrea Boyd the Strathspey/Reel and Jamie Forrester, Piobaireachd. Andrea won the overall prize. Struan Moffatt won Junior March, Strathspey and Reel, Timothy Ness the Piobaireachd. There was an extensive Highland Dancing programme all day. The committee had arranged to hire an awning to protect the dance platform and maintain an unobstructed view of the dancers and that

Highland Games as seen from Neil Gregory’s seaplane

worked well. Rachel McLagan Blairgowrie won in the 17+ class, Siobhan Young from Kilbirnie in 13-17yrs and Bethan Forrest from Forfar in under 13yrs class. Piob Mhor of Scotland sponsor the Perthshire dancers and The Piob Mhor award for Best Dressed was awarded to Lyndsey Douglas. Preparations for any event of this kind can be hard work. We rely on long hours and commitment from our volunteers. Several new recruits helped the old guard this time and we are very pleased by the responsible attitude shown, which gives us confidence for the future. If you want to assist in any way you will be made most welcome. On the day itself a special mention for Fiona and Davy Elston and their gate team for marshalling our spectators so good humouredly, also to Mike Holliday and his beer tent team who were running out of everything by close of day. Mike’s ceilidh from 4.00pm featured Pure Malt, a band specialising in rousing anthems lustily sung by the musically challenged. Our Clan Chieftains reported that their many guests enjoyed the spectacle and tradition in such a lovely setting. Thanks from us to all the spectators who contributed so much to the fun. We had visitors from all corners, notably parties from Spain and Belgium who joined in the local events and to the crowd at the High Jump who cheered on the competitors in great good humour. (Continued on page 2)

The Villagers September 2011  

The Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead Highland Games review, police report, wildlife, Villagers, local businesses, holiday accommodat...

The Villagers September 2011  

The Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead Highland Games review, police report, wildlife, Villagers, local businesses, holiday accommodat...