Gilnahirk Pipe Band

Formed 1919

Heart o' Down Championships, Newcastle 2012

Gilnahirk took to the grass for the first time in the 2012 season on Saturday past at Newcastle.

With the weather having been atrocious for the past few days, members had been urged to pack not only their capes, but also snorkelling gear and waders. As it turned out, the conditions were nowhere near as bad as had been predicted and there was only the faintest hint of Ulster mizzle in the air as the Band assembled to warm up.

Numbers were slightly down and we had anticipated a small band hitting the line but matters were made worse when veteran piper, Sam Kerr, was struck down with a bug on Friday night, depriving the Band of a reliable player and "sound man".

Despite the misfortunes, practice went pretty well outside the ring and Gilnahirk strode to the line at Noon - drawn behind Whitewater in a Grade of 14 competitors.

The performance perhaps reflected some of the jitters of the first competition of the year but the Band acquitted itself well and drew compliments from a number of friendly spectators - if only they had been judging!!

The rest of the day was plagued with frequent showers, some quite heavy - although the Contest had concluded by the time the worst of the weather hit Newcastle.

Congratulations are due to Leanne, James and Colin, all of whom made their competitive Gilnahirk débuts and performed with considerable aplomb.

There was another significant début on the day - our new logo, displayed with pride on the Bass Drum head. We will be posting an article later in the season, telling the story behind the design of the new image - every element is significant in the history and origins of the Band - look out for that.

In the meantime, we hope you all like it!

Our next outing should be in Bangor on the 21st July - and then the Europeans at Stormont. You can keep up to date with how the practices are going (along with other Band related nonsense) on Facebook.