Thousands descend on Paisley for pipe band event

By Douglas Barrie, Press Association Scotland

More than 4,000 pipers and drummers gathered for one of the world’s largest piping events.

The British Pipe Band Championships were held at St James Playing Fields in Paisley on Saturday, with St Laurence O’Toole being crowned winners.

More than 120 bands from as far as the US, Belgium and Denmark travelled to Scotland for the event, with local school bands also taking part.

Thousands soaked up the sound and spectacle of the world’s best pipe bands in Paisley (Mark F Gibson/Gibson Digital/PA)

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “The British Championships are the first of our five major championships taking place throughout the summer and we saw a top-class display of piping and drumming from the world’s best.

“Once again, the people of Renfrewshire came out in numbers to support the event – Paisley is a great location and host venue, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the town over the next two years.”

Brian Whittingham, the Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire, was named chieftain of the event.

Chieftain Brian Whittingham with Charlie Brown, drum major from New York City Empire Band, and Provost Lorraine Cameron (Mark F Gibson/Gibson Digital/PA)

He said: “This will be the first time I’ve attended the championships and it’s an honour to be have been asked to be chieftain.

“I’m sure the sight and sound of so many world-class pipe bands will make for a tremendous experience.

“It’s fantastic we’re able to welcome thousands of visitors to Renfrewshire for such a prestigious event and I know they’ll enjoy the welcome they receive.”