Rothesay Pipe Band enjoyed its best British Championships for years last weekend, finishing fourth in the fiercely contested competition.
The band travelled to Paisley on Saturday for the British Pipe Band Championships and took fourth place in grade 4a. The feat was particularly impressive as Rothesay, up against 14 other bands, were just promoted to this grade.
Band secretary Jane Gillies told the Buteman he was delighted to see hard work pay off.
She said: “I think in previous years we have done well in this contest but not for a while.
“We are in a new grade having been upgraded last year, so it’s a harder competition. It’s like going up the leagues really.
“Saturday was our first competition in the new grade. So we were not quite sure what to expect, but we did really well. We were pleased to take fourth. It’s a learning curve.
“There are always things to work on which we will improve for the next time.
“We have a lot of younger ones coming though so it was good to have them involved.
“It was nice they got a prize. It’s good when it all comes together.
“Everyone has been working hard over the winter. It’s a culmination of hard work and dedication.”
The band’s 25 members, cheered on by a busload of supporters, had problems getting to the event. Jane said: “We had a bit of drama in the morning. We had to get the first ferry at 7am due to the works at the pier and our bus broke down on the motorway.
“Being later at the venue than we would have liked it was a bit stressful. Although it perhaps helped some of the youngsters who didn’t have time to get nervous.
“And it was raining, but it didn’t dampen the spirits at all. It’s just more challenging. The pipes are temperamental at the best of times and are affected by dampness. So that just added another challenge.”
The British Championships was the first major contest of the new pipe bandseason. The band heads to the Helensburgh Highland Games and the European Championships in June.
Jane added: “This start gives us high hopes. We were pleased with the performance and there is always wee things we can work on.
“It’s definitely a positive start to the season. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”