Bute Highland Games a roaring success despite bad weather

As is tradition, Rothesay & District Pipe Band brought up the rear at the march of the pipe bands to mark the end of the games. All pictures courtesy of Bute Photographic Society.
As is tradition, Rothesay & District Pipe Band brought up the rear at the march of the pipe bands to mark the end of the games. All pictures courtesy of Bute Photographic Society.

Torrential rain at regular intervals wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of spectators, athletes, dancers or musicians at the 70th Bute Highland Games last weekend.

Rothesay Arena’s gates opened at 10am on Saturday, with organisers putting in plenty of hours in the days leading up to the weekend to ensure everything was in place.

Tommy the Clown, who raised money for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland throughout the day.

Tommy the Clown, who raised money for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland throughout the day.

The first heavy and athletics events started at approximately 11am, and the official opening ceremony took place at noon.

Bute Highland Games chairman David Anderson presented this year’s chieftain, Major General Mark Strudwick, with the ceremonial Commander Ian Hamilton Cromach, assisted by Rothesay & District Pipe Band.

From then on the games were in full flow, with highland dancers coming from Australia, the USA and Canada to compete with Argyll and Bute’s own throughout the day, and pipe bands showcasing their talents in seven different grades.

Musical accompaniment for the highland dancing was provided by local pipers Andrew McCowan and Daniel McDermott, who was recently crowned a world champion along with his bandmates in the Inveraray and District Pipe Band at the Wwrld championships in Glasgow.

Kids were able to take part in the athletics too.

Kids were able to take part in the athletics too.

Meanwhile Icelandic wrestlers and German shotputters competed alongside the Scots in backhold wrestling and a variety of traditional heavy events.

The centrepiece of the day for the runners was the annual 10 kilometre road race, starting at the stadium with the halfway point at the far side of Port Bannatyne.

The rain had threatened sporadically throughout the day, and just as the runners set off en masse the heavens opened emphatically.

The afternoon concluded, as is tradition, with a march of all the pipe bands who took part through Rothesay.

Games chairman Major General Mark Strudwick enjoys the atmosphere of the day.

Games chairman Major General Mark Strudwick enjoys the atmosphere of the day.

The streets were full as the bands played their way down to the promenade, via Montague Street and Deanhood Place, with Rothesay & District bringing up the rear to rapturous applause.

Main results will be carried in next week’s Buteman.

(Pictures courtesy of Bute Photographic Society)