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Boghall and Bathgate Begin Brightly at British


Saturday 31st May saw the longest wait for an opening championship for many years, with the first of this year’s major championships almost making it into June. Having not competed as a full band since the last major at Cowal in August 2013, the Grade 1 band were itching to get out onto the local Bathgate turf and demonstrate just how much hard work they had put in over the winter.

Having put together an entirely new medley over the winter, the band were looking forward to potentially debuting their new set which contains a great mix of new and traditional tunes and starts with the excellent Ross Ainslie composition, “Unite the Clans”. With barely a cloud in the sky and temperatures topping 18 degrees this was a great day for a contest and following a smooth setup, the band took to the line at 15:40.

The band were delighted to draw their number 1 set and delivered a fine performance of their new medley to a great reception from the local crowd. Having finished a close 2nd behind Field Marshal Montgomery at the British last year, the band were hoping to go one better and take the title on home soil, but sadly after another incredible standard of contest the band finished a mere 2 points behind Field Marshal – the band’s fifth second place in a row.


Robert Wallace of the College of Piping reviewed the whole grade as a spectator and had the following to say about the band’s performance: “Boghall: Wonderful drone sound; outstanding dynamics from drum corps; good fingers in strathspey; brilliant accompaniment from drum section; tasteful harmonies in slow air; effortless breaks; right up there with this performance – every year the amazing Ross Walker and Gordon Brown produce the goods.”

The Grade 1 band will now focus all their efforts on going one better at the newly titled UK Championships in Belfast in two weeks time. The Juvenile band were also massively excited about competing at a major in their new grade for the first time since their promotion at the end of last season. Having made great progress over the winter and having started their season so promisingly at Dunbar two weeks before, they were looking forward to going head to head with the entire Juvenile grade.

Despite an excellent performance which was another step up from their performance at Dunbar, the band had to be reasonably content to finish in 3rd place behind George Watson’s College and Dollar Academy. This result marks incredible progress for the band (beating five other Juvenile bands in the process) especially when we consider this band under it’s current leadership only competed in their first major in Novice 12 months ago. Well done to all involved.


Both bands will now return to the practice hall as they look to improve on a strong start to the season in Stormont in two weeks. We will also be supporting our local gala day next Saturday with the Bathgate Gala Day and look forward to our annual ceilidh in memory of our late side drummer, Neil Cranston, on Saturday night – hope to see some of you there!

Thanks to plasticpiper and Neil Fraser for posting the videos of the band.

Posted by Andrew Ray on 06/02 at 05:47 PM in Homepage

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