Lochaber Gathering/ Mallaig Games/ Aboyne Games

Winners at last year’s Lochaber Gathering: P/M Ben Duncan, Calum Watson and Ross Miller

Ken Cameron, Chairman of Lochaber Gathering: This year we are re-introducing Junior (18 & Under) classes and the entry form for that is available here.

Entries are restricted to 20 and allocated on a first come first served basis. Closing date is 12th August or when entries are full; further entries at the discretion of the committee. The Gathering takes place on Aug 26.

Last year Senior entries had to close after just five hours. Unfortunately, we have to cap numbers due to the limitations of the venue (The Highland Cinema, Cameron Square, Fort William PH33 6AJ). Please be prompt in applying.

The two classes are P/A and B/C. There will be competitions for Piobaireachd, MSR and an Open 6/8 March/Hornpipe & Jig. Senior entry form here.

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Mallaig & Morar

Allan MacKenzie of the organising committee: I wonder if you would be so kind as to announce the return of the Mallaig and Morar Highland Games, complete with the usual slate of contests. All entries on-field only.

Aboyne Games

Publicist Debbie Rennie: At the 1952 Aboyne Highland Games two young dancers unveiled the ‘Aboyne dress’ before an expectant crowd of 20,000. It would go on to become standard attire for female Highland dancers around the world.

At 2.30pm on the 6th of August this year, dancers wearing the prescribed attire will perform a Highland Reel to mark the 70th anniversary of the dress. Chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, Alistair Grant, explains:

‘We’re delighted to be celebrating seventy years of the world famous Aboyne dress at this year’s Games. There are two versions of the attire, but it generally consists of a dark bodice or waistcoat, decorative blouse, and full tartan skirt often with a sash or apron and was designed to be completely different from male dancer’s kilts. It’s said to have been a controversial decision at the time as some of the female dancers preferred kilts, but it seems the decision of the 1952 committee was final, and to this day, the wearing of the Aboyne by female dancers is strongly preferred at the Games.

Young dancers sporting Aboyne Dress at the 2019 Gathering. Picture: Moyra Gray

‘Preparations for this year’s event are well underway, and thanks to huge support from the local community, we’ll be offering over 95 events on the field, 80 plus trade stands, as well as the usual pipers, dancers, fiddlers, light event athletes, massed pipe bands and hill races. We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the green in Aboyne this summer.’

The Earl of Aboyne will attend as Deputy Chieftain in place of his father Granville Huntly, Games Chieftain. Tickets on the day for £13 or in advance here.

Founded in 1867, Aboyne Highland Games is a traditional games held annually on the first Saturday in August. It attracts crowds of up to 10,000 people each year and makes an important contribution to the local Deeside economy. Further information can be found at www.aboynegames.com. See display ad for piping entries.

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