Forres sent out a clear ‘Haste Ye Back’ to Pipers from throughout Europe at the close of the European Championships in the town on Saturday.
There were 115 bands and 34 Drum Majors competing – and every single one of them thrilled at the Grant Park venue which attracted an estimated 15,000 spectators, giving a massive thumbs up to the decision to bring the championships to Moray.
Top prize of the day went to Northern Ireland, with the Lisburn-based Field Marshall Montgomery taking the Grade 1 prize ahead of Inveraray & District who finished just four points behind.
Amongst the top grade prize winners were the Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia, Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band and the Scottish Power Band, with another prize going to the Republic of Ireland’s Laurence O’Toole.
In the Drum Major event Brian Wilson MBE from Lomond and Clyde won in the adult grade, with Jason Price from Marlacoo taking the juvenile prize and Zoe McDowell the junior grade.
There was local success for the Elgin & District Pipe Band who finished top of the grade 4B competition.
Everyone was declared a winner on the day however, not least the town of Forres itself with everyone keenly anticipating a return of the championships to Moray in 2014 and 2015.
There was even a hint that the hosting of the event in Forres could go beyond the three-year deal it already has, with the vice-chairman of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, John Hughes, saying: “It has been absolutely wonderful.
“The team here have all been very helpful and supportive and competitors have remarked on how well set out the arena is. We are here for the next two years – and we will see after that!”
The other European Championship results were:
Grade 2 Band – Buchan Peterson
Grade 2 Drumming – Buchan Peterson
Grade 3A Band – City of Edinburgh Pipes and Drums
Grade 3A Drumming – Royal Burgh of Stirling
Grade 3B Band – Stockbridge
Grade 3B Drumming – Stockbridge
Grade Juvenile Band – George Watson’s College
Grade Juvenile Drumming – George Watson’s College
Grade 4A Band – Newtongrange
Grade 4A Drumming – Newtongrange
Grade 4B Band – Elgin and District
Grade 4B Drumming – Towie and District
Grade Novice Band – George Watson’s College
Grade Novice Drumming – George Watons’s College