With the pipe band and solo piping season upon us, we have two entry forms for bands and solo pipers to download.

The first is for the pipe band competitions at Cowal Highland Gathering, which this year takes place on August 31; the other is for Thornton Games (July 6). Download the Cowal entry form by clicking on the image, right.

Piping convenor, Jimmy Banks tells us that Thornton has seen a gradual rise in pipers entering in recent years. This is encouraging news for the Fife village, but it will also give encouragement to many of Scotland’s smaller games, some of which have seen a reduction of pipers entering the solo piping competitions.

Download the Thornton solo piping entry form, right. Thornton is usually supported by the Fife pipe bands that enter the pipe band competitions so let’s hope the solo pipers continue to head to Fife in good numbers.

Meanwhile, Cowal is marking its 125 anniversary this year. The history of Cowal is currently being serialised in the pages of the Piping Times in Jeannie Campbell’s well researched articles. One interesting item from the series is the hitherto unnoticed anomaly to the Argyll Shield, the trophy awarded to the winning Grade 1 band.

As stated in this month’s PT, at some point the small shields on the left and right hand sides were swapped – see photo, below. The photo on the left was taken in 1906 whereas the one on the right is much later. Do any readers have a theory as to why the small shields were swapped over?

two photos of the Argyll Shield