Highland fling goes ahead in sunshine and showers

Braveheart Harry Tomkins, of Glendon  Scout and Guide Brass Band, at Corby's Highland Gathering

Braveheart Harry Tomkins, of Glendon Scout and Guide Brass Band, at Corby's Highland Gathering

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The skirl of the pipes rang out in Corby as the town’s Highland fling went ahead in sunshine and showers on Sunday.

The wet weather hit the number of visitors at the event but several hundred people braved the dark skies and rain to enjoy a day of family fun and traditional Scottish events.

The All England Highland Dancing Championship was held indoors at the Rockingham Forest Best Western Hotel, in the town, because of the wet weather but the piping and drumming competitions went ahead as usual at Charter Fields, in the Old Village.

Corby’s Grampian Association, the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards, Wolverhampton, Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force and RAF Waddington 4B and 3B bands took part.

The competition, held under the auspices of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, was especially moving after the recent death of Bill Rutherford, a founder of the gathering and organiser of the piping and drumming events.

Neil Tarbotton, who played the pipes at Mr Rutherford’s funeral on Wednesday, July 4, said: “The association has been very supportive in helping to organise the pipe band competition following Bill’s illness and death. We are remembering him today.”

At the hotel 130 Highland dancers from all over the country took part in a day of competitions, watched by relatives and spectators.

Chieftain of the gathering, Des Barber of Corby Radio, said; “The show went on despite the weather, and that was the main thing.

“It’s been a terrific week for me. I ran with the Olympic Torch on Monday and now I’m chieftain of the gathering. It’s been fantastic.”

As well as the Highland events there was live music, stalls, refreshments and a fun fair.

Tom Houston, of Kettering, was at the gathering with his five-year-old grandson Anthony Fitzpatrick, who was on holiday with his family in Northamptonshire from Glasgow.

Mr Houston said: “It’s a shame about the weather but people are still enjoying themselves.”

Rose McClintock, of Pound Close, Great Oakley, who was at the event with her friend Margaret McQuiston, of Patrick Road, Corby, said: “We never miss the Highland gathering. We’re wrapped up against the weather and we’re really enjoying the day.”

More pictures from this year’s Highland Gathering