4,000 pipers descend on Paisley for British Championships

Inveraray Pipe Band were announced as Grade1 British Champions
. Picture: Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
Inveraray Pipe Band were announced as Grade1 British Champions . Picture: Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
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AROUND 4,000 of the world’s top pipers and drummers descended on Paisley today to contest some of bagpiping’s most prestigious titles during the British Pipe Band Championships.

More than 140 bands from as far afield as Canada, Denmark and Ireland formed an incredible spectacle of sight and sound in town’s St James Playing Fields.

Paisley hosted the British Pipe Band Championships 2017 featuring more than 140 bands and 4,000 of the worlds best pipers and drummers. Picture: Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

Paisley hosted the British Pipe Band Championships 2017 featuring more than 140 bands and 4,000 of the worlds best pipers and drummers. Picture: Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

A crowd of thousands gathered to see bands compete across various grades, watched by judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Inveraray and District pipe band bagged today’s top honour as Grade 1 British Champions.

The championships are the first in piping’s annual calendar of ‘majors’ and were taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

This was the second of a three-year run in Paisley for the event.

Erin Charker, Niamh Burns, and Olivia Burns shelter from Rain showers
. Picture: Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

Erin Charker, Niamh Burns, and Olivia Burns shelter from Rain showers . Picture: Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

The free family event also featured a Highland dancing competition and children’s entertainment zone, which included the team from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary scheme.

There was also a bar and outdoor food village boasting quality cuisine from across Scotland.

The final marchpast was watched over by event chieftain Corinne Hutton – founder of the Finding Your feet charity, and the first quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis.

She was joined for the prize-giving by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, in one of her first official engagements since being voted into her new role this week.

Provost Cameron said: “I was delighted to be part of this event, which saw the people of Paisley give a warm welcome to our thousands of visitors.

“Today’s success shows the town’s ability to host big crowds and events of national importance – which bodes well for the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.”

Ian Embelton of the RSPBA added: “Once again, Paisley made a great host for the first major championships of the season.

“We were pleased with the turnout from bands and spectators, who enjoyed some first-class piping throughout the day.”