One of Helensburgh’s premier events takes place this weekend at the Rugby Club playing fields at Ardencaple - the Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games.

How lucky we are to have a small dedicated committee organising this event and an open green space in the town capable of hosting it. There will be a free shuttle bus running from the Pier car park to the event, which runs from 10am to 5pm.

The Highland Games as we know them reconvened in 2008 after a hiatus of more than 50 years. Their history is a bit intermittent, with the Games running from 1898 to 1905 and then in 1924, when there seems to be another gap until 1949, and 1952 when the games were held at Camis Eskan.

Helensburgh Advertiser:

In the 1890s, the games were held in the fields in front of Ardencaple Castle and at Larchfield Park (I think this is the upper eastern playing field at Ardencaple playing fields).

Everything you expect to find at a Highland Games will be there - cabers, sword dances, flings, hill races and hammers including the Scottish Championship 22lb Shot Putt and, of course, the pipers.

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

On the second Saturday in June, Rhu and Shandon Gala, always a fun and affordable family day, makes a welcome return after being missing in action for three years due to Covid.

The Gala returns, under the chairmanship of Louise Cairns, to Ardenconnel Playing Field this year starting at 12 noon with all the stalls, tea tent and bar grouped around a central arena.

There will be family races, dancers, Beat the Goalie, bouncy castles, Tug O’ War and prizes for those taking part. With a BBQ, pizza, ice cream and cakes to keep starvation at bay there will be a range of stalls selling crafts, plants, toys and a raffle.

The popular Fun Family Dog Show, sponsored by Helensburgh Pet Shop, will be back, and of course there will be the pipers.

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band will be playing in Colquhoun Square in Helensburgh for the last three Thursday evenings in the month - June 15, 22, and 29.

The band will be playing from 7.30pm until 8.15pm and shelter is available at Helensburgh Parish Church if it rains.

This is a great opportunity, if you have visitors, for them to enjoy a uniquely Scottish experience, and we hope that this event will help attract visitors to the town and give a wee boost to our hospitality businesses.

So, the pipers are busy and June is looking just as full as May was in terms of events and activities.

For everything from talent shows to comedy nights and garden openings - please look up the Destination Helensburgh What’s On page and see our weekend briefing on Facebook for full Helensburgh and Lomond listings.

At the visitor information centre on Sinclair Street we are seeing an increase in regional, national and international visitors. We have guests from Belgium, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, America, France, Spain and Singapore in the area this week.

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

We were of course delighted when the cruise ship, Silver Endeavour, called in recently, and we look forward to three more Silversea cruises coming to Helensburgh in 2024.

Visitors on a recent Lochs and Glens coach trip praised the retail offering in the town and described Helensburgh’s The Toy Shop as "the best they had ever visited, better than Hamleys and Harrods".

We certainly receive a lot of positive feedback on the area from visitors, most often how friendly and helpful the people are.

Helensburgh and Lomond really is a stunningly beautiful place to live, surrounded by nature but easily connected to the big wide world by plane, train and automobile.

What makes it really special are the people who live here, welcoming and helping strangers and organising, sponsoring, volunteering and supporting games, galas, concerts, festivals and everything else besides, including our very busy pipers.