Today – February 1 – in Aberdeenshire, Scotland there will be celebrations on ‘beats’ of a different kind to those of the musical variety.
The traditional opening of the salmon fishing season on the 87 mile-long River Dee, one of the most important salmon rivers in Scotland – and, in fact, the world – kicks off this morning.
Usually, on many beats, much piping is enjoyed, copious drams are quaffed, some casts are made – and some fish are caught (and returned). We understand that many beats are, understandably, having reduced celebrations this year. Nevertheless, here at the National Piping Centre, where a few members of staff are ‘brothers of the angle,’ we wish them all ‘tight lines’ for 2021.
Fly fishing and piping have much in common and we may return to this subject at a later date. In the meantime, we are grateful once again to the indefatigable Iain Bell of the Scottish Borders for providing this Donald Drone cartoon to mark the occasion (click to enlarge):
As expected, the ‘Uist & Barra’ – usually the first major solo piping competition of the year – will not go ahead this year. Organisers say they are looking forward to holding the poplular invitational event in 2022.
The competition is a flagship event for the Glasgow Uist & Barra Association (Comunn Uibhist agus Bharraigh Ghlaschu) and for many years now has settled on the National Piping Centre Otago Street, the former College of Piping, as the venue.
Angus D. MacColl of Benderloch, Scotland, was the overall winner at last year’s competition.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand, where life has returned largely to normal, the 157th Turakina Highland Games, took place amid pleasant summer weather conditions on Saturday at the North Island town near Palmerston North.
Grade 1 – 1. Manawatu Scottish.
Grade 2 – 1. Wellington Red Hackle
Grade 3 Medley – 1. Manawatu Scottish No. 2; 2. Hawkes Bay Caledonian.
Grade 3 MSR – 1. Manawatu Scottish No. 2; 2. Hawkes Bay Caledonian.
Medley – 1. Scots College; 2. City of Rotorua; 3. Wellington Red Hackle (G4); 4. City of Wellington; 5. Marton & District; 6. Wairarapa Fern & Thistle.
MSR – 1. Scots College; 2. City of Rotorua; 3. Wellington Red Hackle (G4); 4. City of Wellington; 5. Marton & District; 6. Wairarapa Fern & Thistle.
Youth – 1. Lewis Turrell Memorial Juvenile; 2. Manawatu Scottish Youth; 3. Scots College.
Ceòl Mòr – 1. Stuart Easton; 2. Dr. Brendon Eade; 3. Scott Armstrong; 4. William Rowe.
March – 1. Stuart Easton; 2. William Rowe; 3. George Mason; 4. Dr. Brendon Eade.
Strathspey & Reel – 1. Stuart Easton; 2. Scott Armstrong; 3. William Rowe; 4. Dr. Brendon Eade.
Hornpipe & Jig – 1. William Rowe; 2. Stuart Easton; 3. Lewis MacDonald; 4. Martin McPhee.
The judges were: Ben McLaughlin, Colin Caddick, Alasdair MacKenzie and Callum Gilchrist (piping); Bain MacGregor and Graham Bilsland (ensemble) with Glen Rodgers and Adam Alexander (drumming)