THE Highlands came to Helensburgh in spectacular style on Saturday as entrants and visitors from all over the world came to town for the 12th Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games.

Around three thousand people - from such far-flung locations as North America, Syria and China - descended on Helensburgh Cricket and Rugby Football Club’s grounds at Ardencaple to enjoy a traditional afternoon of Highland dancing, piping, track and field athletics and of course the centrepiece of every Games - the ‘heavies’.

And after a week of decidedly dreich west-of-Scotland weather which left the organisers crossing their fingers and looking nervously towards the skies, the big day itself passed without any rain - helping to ensure another successful day in the history of an event which was revived 11 years ago but whose roots in the town date back to the late 19th century.

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The Games’ treasurer, Angela Moreland, told the Advertiser afterwards: “We feared the worst after the rain of the week before, but thankfully the break in the weather happened at exactly the right time, and we had about 3,000 people through the gates.

“There seemed to be a lot more overseas visitors this year than in the past - we sold tickets online this year and that seems to have attracted a different demographic, including a group of international students from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as people from China, Syria and North America.

“We’ve developed our competitions over the years and this year we had a piobaireachd contest in the solo piping competition for the first time.

“The Games is all about a focus on tradition, on the community, and on promoting Helensburgh. As a committee we’re always thinking about what we can do to make the event as attractive as we can to families and visitors - it’s about having a day that’s suitable and enjoyable for everybody, and we’re already thinking about ways in which we can make it even more memorable next year.

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“The feedback we’ve had, on the day and since, has been great. One lady told us she’d been to Helensburgh’s Games two years ago, tried somewhere else last year, but came back to Helensburgh this time because it was so much better organised - she said it was ‘amazing’.”

(All pictures by Lovemore Photography for the Helensburgh Advertiser)