BAGPIPE aficionados at today’s World Pipe Band Championship may appreciate a finely executed birl or admire a deft closed fingering technique but, for most people attending the event on Glasgow Green, it’s the sheer scale of the competition that is most striking.
Some 40,000 spectators are expected to watch an astonishing 8,000 pipers and drummers compete to be crowned the World Pipe Band Champions 2012.
The Worlds have been held in Glasgow for almost 70 years and, until 1987, the Grade One title was always won by a Scottish band. That domination has been sorely challenged since. The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Canada has taken first or second place 15 times over the last 30 years and it will be a surprise if they’re not in the mix as the event comes to a climax tomorrow afternoon. Northern Ireland’s Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, last year’s winners, also look tasty.
Highland dancing, Highland games, craft fairs and the ever popular beer tent complete the attractions. The After World Shindig, held in the Fruitmarket this evening, features a ceilidh courtesy of the Lorne MacDougall Band and the Vatersay Boys. Expect much steam to be released.
The same could be said of this evening’s murder mystery organised by the Caledonian Railway. Their Murder on the Brechin Express event is a sort of whodunit for train buffs. Some poor unfortunate is reported as having been bumped off and passengers pull Poirot impersonations and pinpoint the villain while the train chugs to Bridge of Dun and back. There is a buffet and bar but would-be sleuths must provide their own Poirot-style ’taches.
An escape from Edinburgh’s festivals madness is to be had in the Midlothian Walking Festival – a programme of free guided walks around the county. The Pentland Hills are among the peaks being tackled today, while Lord Ancrum’s Wood and the monks of Newbattle Abbey come under scrutiny tomorrow.
• www.pipinglive.co.uk; www.caledonianrailway.com; www.midlothian.gov.uk
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
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