The Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition, scheduled to be recorded at the National Piping Centre on November 27 has been cancelled due to travel difficulties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the moment travel is discouraged between areas of Scotland which have a differing prevalence of the virus. Glasgow is currently in Tier 3 of infection. Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, with low infection rates, is in Tier 1.
This meant that the organising committee of the Lewis & Harris Piping Society, based in Stornoway, could not travel to the city to run the event. This problem also affected two of the invited pipers, Stuart Liddell and Niall Stewart.
Alistair Maclennan, Secretary of the Society, said: ‘We are all bitterly disappointed but there was nothing else we could do in the circumstances.
‘We have to abide by the Government’s rulings and of course the safety of everyone is uppermost in our thinking.
‘We may think about running the contest in spring next year but even that looks unlikely at the moment. Perhaps we will have to wait until later in 2021.’
The Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition is supported by Point and Sandwick Trust who had pledged £5,000 for this year’s competition
It was initially due to be held in Stornoway on April 3 but the Lewis and Harris Piping Society organising committee reluctantly agreed it would be impossible in the circumstances to hold the usual live event with an audience in the town.
It was then switched to the National Piping Centre and the November 27 date. The plan was to record the performances live in front of the judges. The footage would then be edited into a full programme, including the results, which would be broadcast in December.
Thereafter the competition would have been available via the Lewis & Harris Piping Society website. The eight pipers invited to take part this year were William McCallum, Gordon McCready, Sarah Muir, Connor Sinclair, Iain Speirs, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and Niall Stewart.
Alistair added: ‘I think everyone would agree that we have done everything we could have to put the contest on this year but our best efforts have been thwarted by circumstances outwith our control.’