Virtual marathon for Eilidh’s Trust / Tribute from the Pike / New pipe banner fundraiser

Eilidh Trust supports at last year’s Barrathon.

Runners and walkers across Scotland will be taking to the streets this weekend in a virtual event in support of the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust.

Participants have a choice of virtual 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon challenge.

Many runners and walkers from across Scotland and the north west of England have already signed up to participate via the #TeamEilidh event page on running app Strava where their mileage will be logged. Schoolchildren on Barra and Vatersay will also take part as the island schools will use the event as part of their regular Physical Education (PE) periods.

Suzanne White, founder of Eilidh’s Trust said: “We had enthusiastic teams ready and raring to go for events such as the Isle of Barra Barrathon, the Great Manchester Run and the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. However, the pandemic meant all these events were postponed until 2021. Despite that, we were keen to do something this year so that all the training and amazing preparation doesn’t go to waste. We want to keep #TeamEilidh motivated and energised in 2020.

Trust supporters at last year’s Edinburgh Marathon. L-R: Angus MacPhail of Skipinnish, Claire MacNeil (Duncan Nicholson’s first cousin) and Duncan Nicholson of Glasgow Police Pipe Band.

“If you’re out running or walking this weekend, do it for #TeamEilidh and support our work in continuing Eilidh’s musical ambitions by investing in the music education of other young musicians in her name. Feel free to pester as many of your family, friends and colleagues to join in.”

As Eilidh’s Trust is a music-based charity, participants are also being encouraged (although not essential) to be creative and get musical whether it be musicians combining their talent with their run or walk, or paying homage to their favourite musician, song or album.

This is a free-to-enter event. However, donations to the Trust can be made via Eilidh’s Trust’s JustGiving page

Eilidh MacLeod.

The Trust was established in memory of Eilidh MacLeod from the Isle of Barra who was killed along with 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017.

The Trust supports music education for young people reflecting Eilidh’s own musical ability and enjoyment as a piper with the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band.

The Trust will also manage and maintain a permanent memorial to Eilidh and a garden of remembrance and reflection on Barra.

Robert Proctor from Yorkshire, England has produced a lovely video of his recent ascent of England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike, to play his VJ Day 75 tribute.

Robert, along with Cpl Robert Cunningham of the Royal Marines who won the Grade 3 CLASP end-of-season competition, climbed the mountain at sunrise to mark the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day. Around 30 hikers, led by Lakeland Mountain Guides, went with the pair.

Robert told Bagpipe.News: “We left the base at 02:30am and reached the top around two-and-a-half hours later. The morning could not have been more perfect, with an inversion setling in the valleys, little-to-no wind and a cracking sunrise.” At 6:00am, Robert and Cpl Cunningham played When the Battle’s Over and would have joined a global movement of pipers playing at the same time.

• Watch the video here:

Pipers are being asked to contribute towards a new pipe banner for the Royal Highland Fusiliers – 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

With a cost of around £45,000 for the Colours and £700 for the pipe banner it is an expensive undertaking. The banner is made of silk with gold and silver lace stitching and is made in Edinburgh.

The regiment is the only battalion in the British Army to carry three Colours on parade. This banner, The Assaye Colour, is the third Colour and is in dire need of replacing. However, it’s cost is not covered by Crown funds.

Joe Davies has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the new banner. He said: “The current banner hasn’t been replaced since some time before 1959 and is also in dire need of replacing.”

Piper Joe and a bugler colleague are also planning a fundraising ascent of Ben Nevis on September 15. At the summit they will play The 74th’s Slow March and the Last Post in memory of those who fought at the Battle of Assaye.

* The Battle of Assaye was a major battle fought between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company on September 23, 1803 near Assaye in western India. An outnumbered Indian and British force under the command of Major General Arthur Wellesley (who later became the Duke of Wellington) defeated a combined Maratha army. The battle was the Duke of Wellington’s first major victory and the one he later described as his finest accomplishment on the battlefield, even more so than his more famous victories in the Peninsular War and his defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.

Contmeporary painting of the Battle of Assaye.