Gilnahirk Pipe Band

Formed 1919

North Down Championships 2013, Bangor

Much closer to home than the last couple of contests, Bangor was the venue for the first contest in the second half of the season, after the Twelfth break.

The Band was there bright and early to get ready for what was actually a more civilised playing time than we have been used to of late - for a change the lower grade bands had been permitted a lie-in and we were due to hit the grass after lunchtime!

Although the forecast had been mixed, the rain held off for a large part of the day and the Band played in pleasant sunshine. The membership of the pipe corps had been boosted over the last few weeks and Pipe Major Newell was able to field a contingent of nine. The bigger sound certainly seemed to go down well with the crowd and it was a great fillip to the Band to have the increased numbers.

The addition of players to the Band perhaps led to a few technical issues with the performance, but all in all it was a solid showing for a Band which continues to improve with every outing.

Sadly, the weather let us down at the end of the day and the Band got quite a soaking whilst walking on to the Finale, but it was still great to get a rousing welcome from the North Down crowd.

Faithful members, George and Jessie had brought their camper van (and Bonnie the Dog) to Bangor, so the Band was also treated to a fantastic spread they had laid on with help from Betty. We even attracted a few guests to sample the treats on display - that's one way to bring new players on board!

The crowd on the say had been enhanced by the presence of competitors from the World Police & Fire Games - the Aurora swimming pool was being used as a venue. We are grateful to John Stoffer of the Dutch swimming team who took the photo we have used at the top of this post.

Next up will be the Ulster Championships - which are again close to home in Newtownards - onwards and upwards!