Gilnahirk Pipe Band

Formed 1919

North Down Pipe Band Championships 2011

Gilnahirk took to the grass on Saturday 23 July 2011 for the first time in more years than we care to remember.

The weather was kind and the Band was drawn to play at 12.13pm in the main arena. After a slightly rushed warm-up, Gilnahirk strode to the line as Mervyn Herron from the RSPBANI welcomed one of the few remaining Belfast-based bands back to competition with some kind words over the tannoy. The performance itself was perhaps a little nervous, but the general reaction from the crowd afterwards was positive. Even some of the harshest critics were professing themselves reasonably impressed with the showing. Sadly, the judges didn't share that view - but that did nothing to dampen the Band's enthusiasm for the return to competition.

Quite a few players were experiencing the thrill of the competition arena for the first time - other "auld hands" were wondering why they wanted to put themselves through all this trauma again!

Special mention should be made of two players this time round. Firstly, David, our bass drummer - he joined the Band around this time last year and only recently "converted" to bass from snare drum. His performance was steady and drew good comments on both the drumming and ensemble sheets. Well done!

Secondly - Margaret - the Birthday Girl - during the finale, a special announcement was made of Margaret's birthday. We are all very pleased that she agreed to spend it in the sunshine of Bangor with Gilnahirk Pipe Band. Sadly, there was no birthday cake brought along, and we intend to save the "bumps" for Monday night practice!

Everyone in the Band was really gratified to receive such kind comments from spectators and other bands about our return to the grass. The good wishes and warm welcomes were very much appreciated. We have even been sent a few photos from friends and supporters which we will add to the photo gallery over the next few days. Our Facebook page has been getting more and more "likes" and it is proving a great way to send out news about the Band and to keep in touch with friends. Why not drop in there some time?

Our next appearance will be at Stormont next Saturday (30 July) for the European Pipe Band Championships. It should be another fun day and with all the "big" bands coming over from Scotland, there should be plenty of entertainment for everyone. Come along and say hello!