‘Thanks, Inveraray – we couldn’t have done it without you’

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Celebration was in the air on a gorgeous Inveraray evening.

A crowd numbering around 400 – made up of proud locals mixed with the odd slightly bemused tourist – joined together to mark the success of Inveraray and District Pipe Band.

Laid on by Inveraray Community Council, a reception was held on September 7 on the green as the air cooled at the end of a beautiful sunny Saturday.

And, to mark the occasion, the band was presented with a celebratory quaich from Argyll and Bute Council, handed over by veteran councillor Donnie MacMillan.

On August 17 on Glasgow Green, and for the second time in three years, Inveraray and District Pipe Band won the Grade 1 world title. With the world championship they also secured the Champion of Champions accolade for the fourth year in a row.

The band’s success has been remarkable since being formed with Inveraray  youngsters just 15 years ago by current leaders Pipe Major Stuart Liddell and lead drummer Steven McWhirter. The band rose rapidly through the ranks, winning the world title, and many others besides, at every grade in which it competed.

Inveraray is now established as the Grade 1 band to beat and players are attracted from around the world – but regardless of its international make-up, Inveraray still lies at its heart.

That fact was clearly in evidence as the reception was crowned by a magical performance by the world champions, enjoyed by all and captured for posterity on the many mobile phones raised to the heavens.

Speaking as he presented the quaich, Councillor MacMillan congratulated the band on its success, achieved in a relatively short period of time thanks to the dedication of all concerned.

Argyll and Bute MP Brenan O’Hara said the band’s success has been ‘absolutely remarkable’ and quipped that Inveraray’s success had turned him into a ‘born-again piper’, so inspired has he been.

Pipe Major Stuart Liddell, Inveraray born and bred and from a line of superb pipers, said: ‘I want to thank all band members for their hard work over the past several years, and of course their families who have put up with so much and made sacrifices for it to happen – particularly those with young families. It is greatly appreciated.’

He added: ‘Thanks to the town of Inveraray and everyone else who has supported us. We couldn’t have done it without you.’

And it was on to a selection of brilliant tunes to entertain the adoring fans clustered around the green.

Speaking after the event, Inveraray Community Council convenor Linda Divers said: ‘Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support to Inveraray and District Pipe Band, and to Councillor Donnie MacMillan for coming along tonight.

‘The community council would like to thank all helpers as well as the British Legion and the band for the use of their tents. The Inveraray Inn provided a fantastic buffet and thanks to Karen for her assistance.

She added: ‘I think we could all hear on Saturday why Inveraray and District are world champions!’