The organisers of the World Pipe Band Championships for 2011 are to be congratulated. They made a lot of people very happy on Saturday 13 August when around 8000 pipers and drummers in 230 bands entered into fierce competition. The spectacle was enjoyed by an estimated 30,000 onlookers. Despite monsoon rains for days beforehand, the Glasgow Green was well prepared to take the crowds without too much mud underfoot.
Said one international visitor: ‘This has been an amazing day. I have never seen pipe bands before. It has been very exciting.’
Graded into different levels of ability, the band Grade 1 winners were Field Marshal Montgomery from Lisburn, Northern Ireland, making them top band in the world and leaving them feeling on top of the world.
Said Lisburn Mayor, Councillor Brian Heading: ‘I am delighted that this world famous band has once again brought this supreme title back to Lisburn. With 21 Ulster and 19 All Ireland Championships and now 7 World Champion titles, they are officially the most successful pipe band in history.
‘Quite simply, they are in a league of their own. To perform and compete at this level takes countless hours of practice. Their success is richly deserved.’
The Band’s Drum Major, Alicia Dickson also won the adult Drum Major event.
Interviewed by Jackie Bird for the BBC live coverage that went world-wide, the band’s Pipe Major, Richard Parkes MBE said: ‘We had a strong band on the day and I couldn’t have asked for more. We really wanted to win and everyone has worked hard all winter.’
Second place went to Simon Fraser University of Canada and Scottish Power was third. Fourth place in Grade 1 went to Inveraray & District. Fifth place went to St Laurence O’Toole from Eire and sixth place went to Boghall & Bathgate.
Glasgow Lord Provost, Councillor Bob Winter, was Chieftain of the Games, for possibly his last time as there are council elections next May. He said: ‘Nothing brings Glasgow Green to life like the World Pipe Band Championships. We all appreciate the dedication, mastery and team work required to play to the highest standards to be in the Worlds. The city is very proud to continue to be host at least till 2012.’
The event brings an estimated £10 million into the local economy.
Apart from the pipe bands and the associated competitions for pipe majors and for drummers and pipers, there were Highland Games which attract heavy weight athletes ‘putting the shot’ and ‘tossing the caber”. Highland dancing competitions fielded competitors from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as Scotland.
The day ended with all the pipe bands in a march past to salute the Chieftain and his VIP guests.
Planning for next year’s competition is already under way by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council, EventsScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
A social media marketing campaign has had a good result for Buchanan Galleries and the Glasgow based design agency, Good Creative. The Galleries were named as one of the most effective brands in the UK and the design company received a bronze award in the Design Business Association’s annual awards for that work. By using Twitter, Good got the Galleries’ message across to the young, mobile, urban shopper.
Good also won gold in the internal communications category for safety work for client Scottish Power and more gold for a new brand identity created for Argyll based Fyne Ales. This clutch of accolades puts Good at third in the Association’s league table. It is the only Association member to win three consecutive gold awards.
“ With 70% of our business now coming from outside of Scotland, it makes sense to be closer to our customers,” said Keith Forbes, who is now looking for a working base in London. He set up Good Creative eight years ago with co-director Chris Lumsden.
Sam Stewart, Buchanan Galleries’ marketing manager, said: “Embracing the effective use of social media has changed perceptions for the better. More than that, it’s created efficiencies with my overall marketing budget which allow me to maximise my spend elsewhere.”
Stow College has teamed up with Scottish Power to offer teenagers the opportunity to gain valuable vocational experience through a new pre-apprenticeship scheme.
The College, at Cowcaddens, is the first and only institution in Glasgow to run the programme, which began in August 2010. It is designed to give students from 16 to 19, the opportunity to gain an Intermediate 2 qualification in Electrical Installation Fundamentals while focussing on the student’s personal development.
Almost 50 young people were interviewed for the 16 places on the course. They were all keen to develop their interest in Electrical Engineering with a view to securing a job in the industry.
Students spent four days a week at college and time on-site with Scottish Power engineers. The college now plans to tie the course in with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Alan Roseweir, Head of the Engineering Technology Department at Stow, said: ‘This programme is a model of collaboration. Not only do the students get the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of an SQA programme, but also they get a taste of real employer engagement. They also develop their life skills and citizenship.
‘There’s no immediate guarantee of employment, but this course will make the students more marketable as employers are looking for strong citizens and employability skills.
‘The students will be treated as formal employees. This allows us to offer them the best vocational experience we can.’
Paul Cormack, Vocational Co-ordinator at Scottish Power added: ‘This programme is playing a key part in Scottish Power’s strategy to have a pipeline of skilled people to plug skill shortages in the power industry.’