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Published 29 July 2019

More than 12,000 people braved the rain for the 2019 Scottish Pipe Band Championships as it celebrated 20 years in West Dunbartonshire.

Pipers and drummers from more than 120 bands descended on Levengrove Park, Dumbarton for the event.

There were celebrations for Inverary and District who took the Grade 1 winners title, led by pipe major Stuart Liddell.

Depute Provost Karen Conaghan, who was presiding at the event, said: “I was honoured to be part of the Scottish Pipe Band Championships this year, and as always, so thoroughly impressed with the talents on display.

“The traditional music always stirs a huge amount of Scottish pride and it’s clear that this part of our culture is loved the world over, due to the number of visitors from all over the world in attendance.

“This event has it all – the sound of the pipes, a brilliant atmosphere and some beautiful Scottish scenery in our fantastic Levengrove Park.

“While the weather may not have been on our side, it didn’t stop the dedicated musicians putting on a thrilling show, and it didn’t stop the crowds turning out to see them.

“Hearty congratulations must go to all the competition winners, and indeed everybody who took part, as well as the organisers.

“It’s an honour for Dumbarton to host such an event and we are already looking forward to next year.”

Bailie Denis Agnew, Convener of Cultural Services, said: “The Pipe Band Championship is an important event in West Dunbartonshire Council’s cultural programme and as Convener, I intend to ensure that this partnership continues in future.”

Spectators come from far and wide to hear the impressive music.

Campbell Cochrane, 70, grew up in Bellsmyre before moving to Toronto almost 50 years ago.

He brought daughter Kaila, 34, and 18-month-old granddaughter Isabelle across to Scotland for a family wedding but was delighted when it coincided with the championships.

Campbell said: “It has been so good to be back and lovely to hear the sound of the pipes. My nephew was competing with his band so it was really special to be here.”

Kaila added: “It has been such a cool day, the kids have loved it, we’ve all had so much fun.”

Campbell’s niece Lyndsay Mills, 39, also joined them all the way from Washington DC with one-year-old daughter Freya.

She said: “It’s been such a great experience.”

The event has grown to be one of the biggest free pipe band competitions in the world and it brings significant economic benefit to the area each year.

As well as the unmistakable sound of the pipes and drums ringing out around the park, visitors also enjoyed highland dancing competitions and a fun fair.

There was also a range of free activities on offer at the West Dunbartonshire Leisure ‘Sports Zone.’

Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “Another great year at the Scottish Championships, with such talented bands competing. As always the standards were extremely high, and the judges had a tough time choosing winners.

“Bands come here from all over the world and no wonder - what better way to test themselves than against the best Scotland has to offer.

“We look forward to bringing the event back even bigger and better next year.”

Other winners included:

Adult Drum Major: James Kennedy

Juvenile Drum Major: Kara Gilmour

Junior Drum Major: Louis Anderson

Grade 2 Final: Closkelt

Grade 3A Final: St Joseph’s - Eire

Grade 3B Final: Dunbar Royal British Legion

Grade Juvenile: Dollar Academy

Grade 4A Final:  Culleybackey

Grade 4B Final: Camelon and District

Novice Juvenile A: Dollar Academy

Grade Novice Juvenile B: Renfrewshire schools