PIPE bands from as far afield as Australia did battle in Helensburgh as the sun smiled on the town’s Bicentenary Pipe Band Championships.

For the first time in the history of the event, Helensburgh played host to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Glasgow and West of Scotland area championship - ensuring there was an extra treat both for the crowd and for the day’s chieftain, Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara, to enjoy.

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For the first time, too, the Highland dancing competition which has always been a key part of the day’s events was held at the same venue as the pipe band contest - the East King Street public park - and the decision to hold both events in the same place and at the same time clearly paid off as a bumper crowd rolled up on a sunny afternoon to enjoy the spectacular sight of traditional Highland music and dance.

Mr O’Hara said: “It was an honour and a privilege to be asked to be Chieftain at the Bicentenary Pipe Band Championships.

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“I thoroughly enjoyed the day from beginning to the end and you can see why it is one of the highlights in Helensburgh’s calendar of annual events.

“My congratulations to the organisers and thanks to all the bands and dancers who took part for making a wonderful day very memorable.”