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RECORD BREAKING ROYAL NATIONAL MOD TAKES OVER LOCHABER

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Last night saw the return of Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) to Lochaber for the first time in ten years.  This year’s event, which is organised annually by An Comunn Gàidhealach, is expected to bring a record number of participants, representing areas that haven’t been witnessed at the Mòd in generations.

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The eight day festival opened in a dazzling display last night, with the renowned torchlight procession making its way down Fort William’s High Street, led by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and President of An Comunn Gàidhealach Allan Campbell, before the opening ceremony saw Kate Forbes MSP officially open the Mòd. The ceremony saw an engaging inaugural speech from An Comunn Gàidhealach’s new president, and an evening of live music, including a performance from Gaelic folk group Na h-Òganaich, and former Gold Medallists Robert Robertson and Ross Wilson.

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Allan Campbell’s presidential address emphasised the value of Gaelic culture in Scotland, and its importance to our country’s heritage. He encouraged all of Scotland to take pride in this culture, and spoke of the impact that the recent expansion of Gaelic education has had, resulting in a record number of participants taking part this year. The Mòd has a legacy which lasts far beyond its week-long programme of competitions and events, he said, inspiring Gaels of all ages throughout the country, and he urged for the Royal National Mòd to be recognised as one of Scotland’s national cultural treasures.

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Earlier in the day, the prestigious Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to Janet MacDonald of Tobermory. The award, presented by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, was in honour of her dedication to Gaelic language and culture.

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Janet has worked for the Gaelic cause all her life – dedicating her life to teaching. Since retiring from full time teaching, she works for Sabhal Mor Ostaig (Skye’s Gaelic College), tutoring students of An  Cùrsa Inntrigidh, and other college courses. She won the Gold Medal in Inverness in 1984, but before that she competed in many Local and National Mods, and was a member of the “Sound of Mull” group, which was very well known in the 70s and 80s. She still sings with the Mull Choir and Atomic Piseag. Janet is also heavily involved with the running of the Mull local mod, Fèis Mhuile, the Mull & Iona Gaelic Partnership, and any other initiatives which support the language.

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The Mòd will see over 200 competitions and events in highland dancing, sport, literature, drama, Gaelic music and song, with Gaelic speakers of all levels competing. As well as the competitions, this year’s Fringe showcases the best of Gaelic arts and sport with events for all ages, including the international Colmcille Shinty final between Scotland and Ireland, Mòd football, ceilidhs, drama and several stunning musical performances. During the children’s Mòd on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th, young Gaels will have the chance to enjoy their own ceilidh, and hear Oor Wullie in Gaelic.

 

 

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk

GAELIC AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR JANET MACDONALD ANNOUNCED

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John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “Janet MacDonald has dedicated her life to the Gaelic cause and we are delighted to see her awarded the prestigious Gaelic Ambassador of the year award by the Scottish Government. Her contribution to the Gaelic cause through education, performance and in helping the organisation  of local and national Mòds has made her a real influence for Scottish Gaels of all ages – her impact has been profound. It’s been a fantastic first day and we look forward to the rest of the 2017 Royal National Mòd in Lochaber’.

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Gaelic Ambassador of the Year, Janet MacDonald, said: “I’m very grateful to receive this award today. When I was asked to accept the prize, I was gobsmacked. It’s fantastic to be in such great company, and to be recognised for something which is a true passion of mine is amazing.”

 

Background

Previous winners of the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award are:

2016 Alex O’Henley

2015 Professor Boyd Robertson

2014 Kirsteen MacDonald

2013 John Norman Macleod

2012 Ruairidh Maclean

2011 Donald Martin

2010 Allan Campbell

2009 Anne Lorne Gillies

2008 Julie Fowlis

 

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk

RECORD BREAKING ROYAL NATIONAL MOD TAKES OVER LOCHABER

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DUNOON OBSERVER REMEMBERS IAN WILSON

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dunoon music stalwart Ian Wilson.
Here is Ian at the Cowal Gathering Ceilidh Tent in August with members of local band Heron Valley.
RIP Ian…

IAN IN OBSERVER

 

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS ANNOUNCED

Ian’s Funeral will take place:

Friday 13th October, 1.00pm  at Greenock Crematorium-
1 South Street, Greenock, PA16 8UG.

This will be followed by a purvey at The Tontine Hotel -
6 Ardgowan Square, Greenock, PA16 8NG

Instead of flowers, the family kindly request that anyone wishing to do so, donate to the retiring collection which will be split between The Royal Institute for the Blind and Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

 

WEST COAST CEILIDH PRESENTER IAN WISON PASSES AWAY –HE LOVED TO DANCE

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of fellow volunteer, fellow presenter and friend Ian Wilson. Ian had been broadcasting his DCR West Coast Ceilidh programme for the last seven years with listeners from all over the world whom he held in the highest of regard and felt that each one was a personal friend. He strove to bring the newest and the best of West Coast Scottish and Irish music Irish to his listeners and hundreds of tunes were played with Ian’s personal endorsement of “Bright and Lively”

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WHO SAID “NOTHING HAPPENS IN DUNOON” CALLING ALL BUDDING THESPIANS –”DON’T BE SHY”

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Need a bit more drama in your life??? Here’s your chance to get involved! 
We’re holding two reading nights for the comedy “The Flint Street Nativity” by Tim Firth (who also wrote “Calendar Girls”) to be performed at Burgh Hall on 14-16 December. 
First reading night is Sunday 1st Oct at 6.30pm at Swallow cafe. 2nd reading night is Monday 2nd Oct at 7.30pm at Senior Citizens Hall, 7 Alfred St. 
Even if you’re not sure you want to be on stage come along & find out more about it.
Contact us if you are interested but cannot make either of these dates.
#getabitmoredramainyourlife ????????

IF YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY TAKING PART IN THE PERFORMANCE-THE NEXT BEST THING ———

BE PART OF THE AUDIENCE

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THE KELLY TURNER FUNDRAISER

 FUNDRAISING for Kelly Turner’s lifesaving surgery & immunotherapy in the USA as NHS can’t provide this.

Kelly Turner Fundraising – 1 Million Pounds to Save Kelly Turner’s Life

 

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Kelly Turner fund

 

WHATEVER ROCKS YOUR BOAT with ROCKTRISH –FRIDAY 7.00PM

Trish Will be talking to Catherine J Campbell and Michelle Mcaloon live in the studio to talk about The Kelly Turner Live Music Fundraising Event at the Classic Grand on October 20th which they amongst others have worked so hard to organise.

Kelly was given two years to live in 2015  and is desperate to have treatment for a very rare type of Cancer

Check out https://www.facebook.com/getkellytotheUS/

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kelly-turner2000

kelly tickets

Taking part in the event so far are Fools on The Frontline…...Cousin Halifax……Michael Forsyth…..…Masphotonic.…….Sarah Caltieri…..….BJSUS.…….Tighnamara.…….Thomas Grierson. Also on the bill are our raffles with some Fabulous prizes!! And also on the bill...hosts of the evening Ronnie McGhie & Katie G aka Katherine Kat Von Flee will be auctioning me off to the highest ..our live auction wherbidder!! Already giggles are being giggled whenever this is spoken about. Come along & join us on the night for great music…..great banter…..great prizes……& to unite to help save the precoius life of Kelly Patricia Turner aka #minirockchick. Buy YOUR tickets from anyone involved with the event or through the link below to Tickets Scotland. Thank you so much for the brilliant support that’s coming in !! CJ????

https://tickets-scotland.com/venues.html…

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PART COMMUNITY COLLABORATION EVENT AT THE ROYAL MARINE HOTEL 30TH SEPTEMBER

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Tuesday 26th September 5.00PM on the LLLVLBS Susan Locke talks about the 3 PART COMMUNITY COLLABORATION EVENT AT THE ROYAL MARINE HOTEL 30TH SEPTEMBER. Listeners may recall local playwrite Susan Locke telling us about her desire to have a murder mystery in three acts which she has wrote being performed in Dunoon in a collaboration with The Local Burgh Hall Players, the Cowal Community Orchestra and The Henfield Theatre Company from West Sussex. Of course Susan is a member of all three groups and feels that combining the talents of the three would lead to a spectacular evenings entertainment and if that was not enough she announced the play would be presented as part of “A Murder Mystery 3 Course Dinner” with dinners working out the clues to guess the Murderer,Motive , Means and Opportunity over Dinner!
It has now been announced that “The Duke of Horton’s Birthday Party” by Susan Locke a Murder Mystery Dinner in three Acts will take place in Dunoon’s Royal Marine Hotel on Saturday 30th September .
Susan will drag herself and fellow thespians away from final rehearsals to visit the DCR97.4FM John Street broadcasting studios on Tuesday 26TH September after 5.00pm

WORLD-RENOWNED ACOUSTIC GUITARIST ARI EISINGER TO PLAY IN DUNOON

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ONE of the greatest fingerstyle guitarists in the world, ARI EISINGER, from Philadelphia, USA, will be ending his British Isles tour in Dunoon in October – and two of the town’s residents are also on the bill.

Ari will be appearing at the Burgh Hall on Wednesday, October 11 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 and are available now from thelittleboxoffice.com/dunoonburghhall

Ari is a world-renowned acclaimed performer of 1920s and 1930s country blues and ragtime guitar and is known for his authentic approach. His incredible solo acoustic guitar style has been described as “sounding like four people playing at once”.*

Even though he is known to music fans and guitarists across the globe it is extremely rare for Ari  to give concerts across the Atlantic – in fact this concert in Dunoon will be part of his first full-length tour of the British Isles. He will be performing a total of nine dates in England, Scotland and the Isle of Man, from September 30 to October 11.

The special guests for the tour are Blue John and Dr Phil. Dr Phil (Dr Phil Ratcliffe) lives in Dunoon, while Blue John (John Gregory) is from the Isle of Man. For this show only another Dunoon resident – The Mechanic (Guy Pate) – will be joining them on mandolin, guitar and vocals.

Ari said: “I am delighted to be ending the tour in Dunoon, Scotland – the hometown of Dr Phil! I have heard a lot about the refurbished Burgh Hall and the audience will hear me perform music originally written and performed by the great blues and ragtime guitarists of the 1920s and 1930s.”

Ari has previously toured the United States, sharing the bill with some of the great names in the history of fingerpicking guitar – Taj MahalDave Van Ronk (an inspiration for the hit Coen Brothers film Inside Lllewyn Davis) and the legendary Doc Watson. He has also performed on stage with blues hero John Jackson.  Ari is known for his two superb solo albums You Don’t Understand and That Will Never Happen No More and for a hugely popular series of tuition DVDs for Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop on the playing of blues legends Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. He has also been an expert tutor at music camps on both sides of the Atlantic including Blues Week in the UK.

Dr Phil (vocals/guitar/bass) is a name well known to country blues fans worldwide as he is the author of the acclaimed biography Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues. Dr Phil is also the producer, writer and presenter of the DCR97.4fm radio programme DR PHIL’S SOUND’S OF THE SOUTH and of course a very well known songster and musician in his own right – specialising in the music of the Deep South. Dr Phil has opened for Georgia blues musician Kent Duchaine and blues and roots music duo Joe Filisko and Eric Noden from Chicago.

Blue John (John Gregory(vocals/guitar) runs a music promotion business Blue John Media which has organised the tour.

John has previously opened shows for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Martin Taylor, Nine Below Zero, Michael Messer, Marcus Bonfanti and many more, as well as selling out his own headline country blues guitar concerts. He is also an established guitar tutor.

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You can hear Dr Phil talking about the concert Monday 25th September

8.00pm –9.00pm -THE LATE LATE LATE VERY LATE BREAKFAST SHOW ANOTHER IN THE CELEBRATED SERIES  ”INTRODUCING——–ARI EISINGER with SOUND OF THE SOUTH’S DR PHIL RATCLIFFE TALKING TO VICTOR IN ANTICIPATION OF THE FORTHCOMING CONCERT 

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REWIND KIRN GALA 2017—-WITH —AN INTRODUCTION TO MALLEUS

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REWIND KIRN GALA 2017  -ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM  THE STARS OF THIS YEAR’S KIRN GALA ENTERTAINMENT –COWAL BATON TWIRLERS-THE CHRISTINA CAIRNS SCHOOL OF HIGHLAND DANCING -THE DUNOON ARGYLL PIPE BAND -SOAP-LIAM SOMERVILLE -MALLEUS, THE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA  &  AND AS THEY GET READY TO DO IT AGAIN THE FOLK WHO MADE IT HAPPEN –STARTING WITH 25thSEPTEMBER 5.00PM WITH AN INTRODUCTION TO MALLEUS -CHAT & LIVE MUSIC

WATCH OUT FOR MORE  DATES -MORE STARS FROM  KIRN GALA 2017

—————————————-INTRODUCING SOAP-28th SEPTEMBER———————–

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AT THE START OF A NEW MONTH — AND THAT’S NOW —IT’S LYNNE CARTER DTAstrol

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On Sunday 3/9/17 Mercury will be at 28 degrees of Leo where it will station and change direction. This degree is where the Solar Eclipse took place on 21/8/17. For any planet to this is significant. Mercury is the planet of communication, travel, computers and modes of transport. This is a time to watch and see how it affects you.

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The ancient art of Astrology enables you to find your unique characteristics emanating from your birth chart, the planets, signs and houses. Where they fall in will relate to you, your feelings, gifts, talents, difficulties and your destiny. All this comes with the added information from Medieval Astrology … the reason why you were born.

 

IT WAS A WEEK AGO TODAY—JUST BEFORE THE BANDS BEGAN TO PLAY ……….THE BLAIRMORE TWINS OPENED KIRN GALA

Blairmore Twins -Victor-Simon-Lawther

 

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IT’S GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER–2018 KIRN GALA –WITH YOUR SUPPORT

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Kirn Quiz NightSo many people have told us how much they enjoyed this year’s Kirn Gala and how willing they are to support us in making sure the 2018 Kirn Gala is just as good the committee thought they had better waste no time.

The organised Quiz Night is not just a gathering of like-minded people raising funds for the Gala but an opportunity to get to know each other and for the committee to be able to express their thanks personally to the supporters.

What better way to do this than a friendly get together to see who is the brainiest team in Dunoon in the Cowal Golf Club

If you haven’t organised your team yet be quick You could be on your way to being the Kirn Gala Official Quiz Team Champions and take your place on next years stage at Kirn Gala and have flowers presented by Lawther Murchison

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LOOKING FORWARD TO GATHERING & ROYAL NATIONAL MOD 2018

LOOKING BACK TO OUR FIRST GATHERING IN 2010

World Championship Winners  2010

2017 was the 9th Cowal highland Gathering outside broadcast for DCR97.4fm the first we broadcast was in 2009.

Outstanding memories from that time were the fact that - Daniel Carr from Ontario was the World Highland Champion with Scotland’s own David Wilton from Forfar runner up and the very shy Marielle Lesperance –from New Brunswick Third

In the Juniors Morgan Bamford - New Zealand was first and you may have seen Morgan this weekend as she was welcomed back as a former World Highland Dancing Champion  to make the presentation to Saturday night’s trophy winners.

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Also award to Morgan was the Cowal Highland Gathering  ultimate accolade – an Honorary Life Patronage.

2010 Gathering results

Cowal Championship 2010 – Grade 1

1st – The Argyll Challenge Shield - Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia

2nd – Sutherland Challenge Shield - Field Marshall Montgomery

3rd – MacNeal Challenge Trophy - St Laurence  O’Toole

4th – Carson Sinclair Cup - Scottish Power

5th – Macfarlane Challenge Shield - Inveraray and District

6th – A&W Lojko Trophy - Strathclyde Police

Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia

Grade 1 Champion of Champions 2010

Drum- Alex Duthart Drumming Trophy - Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia

Band - The Guinness Trophy - Field Marshall Montgomery

World Highland Dancing Championship

Adult

1st - Daniel Carr - Ontario

2nd - David Wilton - Forfar

3rd - Marielle Lesperance - New Brunswick

Junior

1st - Morgan Bamford - New Zealand

2nd - Olivia Freeman-Shaw - St Catherines, Ontario

3rd - Robyn Hart-Winks - Kirriemuie

Juvenile

1st - Anthea Bundy - Grangemouth

2nd - Ellis Hayes - Newton Stewart

3rd - Maegan Sweeney - Toronto, Ontario

 

 

Another outstanding memory was the 2010 Chieftain Mr Sylvester McCoy who at that time was very well known for playing “DR WHO” and what a gentleman he was putting a smile on the faces of thousands of people including, at times, when a straight face may have been more appropriate

Gathering-Chief Slyvester McCoy

Here is some of what we were saying at the time way back in 2010

—————after a nice easy start of our first outside broadcast things definitely hotted up on Friday, with more results coming in from the dancers with both the Scottish Open Championships of the Highland Dancing and the Qualifiers for the World Championships being competed for today.

The piping competitions kicked off with the Solo Piping and the athletics also got under way with the Primary School Athletics and the Mens Heavy Athletics.

This also brought more people into the studio for a wee chat with the presenters including Billy Forsyth MBE who is M.C. for the dancing competitions who has held the World Champion Title himself and another past champion Christine Lacey from Alexandria.

From the piping world we where joined by Stuart Liddle Pipe Major of Inveraray Pipe Band who was judging today; Alasdair Henderson from Dunoon who won 2 of the solo piping competitions and was one of the first people we recorded way back at the 2006 MOD.In the Trophy Room Alisdair told us some of the previous trophies he had won and explained how much he liked having them in his house, especially the old trophies which had all the names of previous famous pipers engraved on them. Jori who we had chatted to earlier was in luck as he is taking at least two trophies home with him this year – Best Dressed Piper and the Pibroch Trophy. We also managed to talk to some dancers, some children who had come all the way from Bothwell to compete in the School Athletics, members of Cowal Games Committee and some of the stallholders……………

Argyll Championship Winners 2010

A ROUSING FINALE TO END 2017 COWAL HIGHLAND GATHERING

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A Rousing finale was reported to end the 2017 Cowal Highland Gathering and was acclaimed that as a family day out 2017 was one of the best

Thousands of people from across the world gathered in Dunoon for the finale day of the celebrated Cowal Highland Gathering. Competitors and spectators alike joined forces to ensure the event’s spectacular Saturday was a day to remember for everyone involved.

For those who couldn’t make it Dunoon Community Radio had set up their usual outside broadcasting studio just behind the very popular Cowal Highland Gathering 2017 Photo Wall and over the two days broadcast dozens of interviews with visitors and competitors alike from all over the world there was even famous entertainers who were appearing at the Gathering and some who were just visiting and only too happy to say hello to the listeners and tell of the wonderful time they were having.

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From Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns to famous TV and Radio Personalities to a surprise visit from Amber the Red Squirrel and Bruce the Beaver DCR97.4FM presenters with their up to the minute results DCR97.4FM presented  a flavour of the event to the thousands of listeners worldwide who were tuned in on the internet.

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It was a delight among the studio guest to welcome back Craig Anderson, Scottish Salmon Companies’ chief executive officer, with 60 sites across the west coast of Scotland and Hebrides, 21 of which are in Argyll & Bute employing 160 local staff, SSC has been recognised for its commitment to areas such as habitat management, water quality and social responsibility of the communities in which it operates.                           Earlier this month Scottish Salmon Company was awarded Friend of the Sea (FOS) certification.This prestigious endorsement came from the independent sustainability certification body which is widely recognised across international markets with stringent controls over environmental, economic and social responsibility.

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Just hours after returning from a business trip to Tokyo where SSC salmon is served in restaurants 48 hours after being taken from Scottish locks the Chief Executive told how much the SSC enjoyed the relationship it has with the Cowal Highland Gathering and how proud they are to Sponsor the Heavy Events, he was delighted to see so many people supporting the Games and especially pleased to see so many family groups and invited everyone to visit  the Scottish Salmon Company Food Demonstrations to sample Scotland’s finest sea loch fresh salmon “Raised In Scotland”

From the hundreds of dancers and pipers to the heavy athletes, runners, ceilidh tent performers, stunt cyclists and many other entertainers on show, every participant contributed to what was a fantastic day’s entertainment.

The standard of competition was breathtaking, with many of the world’s top competitors giving their all in a bid go home with the silverware.

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Overseeing the action was the Gathering’s Chieftain, former Sky chairman and Cowal resident Nick Ferguson CBE.

One of the highlights of the Gathering’s final day – and one of the most fiercely contested – was, as always, the Cowal Pipe Band Championship.

inveraray & District Pipe Band

This year, newly crowned world champions Inveraray and District Pipe once again managed to hold off the challenge of Johnstone Pipe Band to be crowned winners of the Grade 1 Cowal Pipe Band Championships 2017.

Among the Cowal champions in other sections and grades were:

Novice Juvenile B – Oban High School Pipe Band
Novice juvenile A – Oban High School Pipe Band
Juvenile – George Watson’s College Pipe Band
Grade 4 – Rothesay and District Pipe Band
Grade 4 MSR – Lochryan Pipe Band
Grade 3 – Kintyre Schools Pipe Band
Grade 3 MSR – Wallacetown and District Pipe Band
Grade 2 – Glasgow Skye Association
Grade 2 MSR – Glasgow Skye Association

The champion adult drum major was Liam Renton of Inveraray and District Pipe Band.

Today also saw the Argyllshire Highland Dancing competitions, with top honours going to the same trio who carried off the silverware last year. Helensburgh dancer Eilidh Gammons won in the Under 13 category, with her sister Catriona picking up the top prize in the Under 16s. The winner of the 16 years and over section was Rhiannon Charles, also from Helensburgh.

At 12.30pm at the Burgh Hall in Dunoon town centre, brave runners lined up for what must be one of the toughest 5K runs in the country – the Cowal Hill Race.

This year it was won by local man Michael Tweedley, who held off the challenge of Paul Monaghan from Greenock’s Glenpark Harriers.

The winner of the women’s race was Dunoon Hill Runner Lucie Noakes, with fellow local Emma Stewart second.

Then came the biggest Highland Dancing competition in the world – the World Championship finals – with dancers from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the USA pitting their skills against the best the UK has to offer.

In the end, it was Scotland’s Ellie Dalrymple from Tranent who emerged victorious in the World Juvenile (Under 16) finals, followed by Elise Cheyne from Ontario with Cyan Macleod, who had come all the way from Victoria in Australia, coming in third. The trophy for best Scottish Juvenile Dancer went to Ellie and best Overseas Juvenile Dancer to Elise.

In the World Junior (Under 18) championship, last year’s Juvenile winner Erin Blair from California just held off the challenge of Scotland’s Michelle Gordon from Huntly (2nd), with Sophie Dunn from Ontario coming third.

The best Scottish Junior Dancer was Michelle, with Erin picking up best Overseas Junior Dancer.

The biggest cheer of the day came when the results of the Adult World Championships were announced.

Last year, Ontario’s Marielle Lesperance pipped Rebecca Thow – originally from Aberdeen but now living in Alberta – to the title.

This year the pair were again inseparable, with both winning two of the four disciplines and coming second in the other two.

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However, when the individual dance points were counted, it was Rebecca who came out top. Marielle had to settle for second, with Scotland’s Candice Walker third.

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Rebecca is also taking home the Mary McHarg Quaich for best Overseas Adult Dancer. The cup for best Scottish Adult Dancer went to Candice.

Throughout the afternoon, four of the world’s hottest traditional music bands entertained the crowds in the now-famous Ceilidh Tent.

Always one of the event’s most popular draws, the line up this year featured Eriskay Lilt, Heron Valley, HO-RO and Manran and the tent was packed with an enthusiastic audience the whole afternoon.

 

While the bands were playing in the marquee behind the stadium, the heavy athletes and wrestlers battled it out for top honours in the stadium itself.

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In the International Heavy Athletics Team competition, Germany eventually carried off the trophy with Iceland coming runners up.

In the overall individual heavy athletics, Germany’s Daniel Dorow triumphed in the men’s competition, with Scotland’s Daniel Carlin second and last year’s winner Heisi Geirmundsson from Iceland third.

In the women’s event, Lucy Marshall from England again beat off the challenge of Germany’s Sylvana Bomholt, with Iceland’s Thora Thorasteindotter third.

Scotland’s Neil Elliott and Germany’s Sylvana Bomholt were crowned men’s and women’s caber toss champions respectively.

The wrestling this year featured 30 wrestlers from three countries – Scotland, Iceland and Germany.

The Female Open section was won by Scotland’s Katie McCulloch from Hamilton, with Iceland’s Margaret Runadottir runner up.

In the men’s Open competition, Iceland’s Gudmundur Stefan Gunnarsson held off the challenge of his compatriot Gunnar Logasson to take the title.

The weight category winners were – for the third year in a row – Hamilton’s Sam McCrory in the 9 and a half stone category. His clubmate Ryan Ferrey won both the 11 and a half stone and 13 and a half stone categories, and Hamilton had a clean sweep when Greg Neilson took the 15 and a half stone title.

This year, there was a bigger and better selection of entertainment for all ages than ever before.

One of the most popular draws once again proved to be the Clan mountain bike stunt team, which returned to Cowal once again to perform their gravity-defying shows to packed audiences.

Another show-stopper was the Ridgeside Falconry display team, which was making it’s first visit to Cowal .

A highlight for the younger visitors was once again ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’. Veteran entertainer Artie Tresize – who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle – uses a tartan trunk full of souvenirs and trinkets as props for his traditional but interactive Scottish storytelling sessions.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said the event would go down as one of the most memorable in recent times.

He stressed that its success was in no small part due to the ongoing efforts and support of the people of Dunoon and the wider Cowal community, as well as the event’s sponsors.

“On behalf of the Gathering’s organisers, I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard and contributed so much over the last few months and years to ensure Cowal Highland Gathering continues to go from strength to strength. I hope they’re pleased with the results of their efforts,” Ronnie said.

“I’d also like to thank the thousands of people who have come out to support the Gathering over the last three days. We’ve welcomed spectators not just from Argyll and Bute and Scotland more generally but from right around the globe, and the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Of course we wouldn’t have a Gathering at all without the wonderful competitors, who excelled themselves this year. Those of us lucky enough to have been here witnessed levels of performance never seen before.

“We all know how popular the traditional Highland Games events such as the piping, dancing and heavy athletics are, and of course they remain the main draw. However, we’re delighted with the feedback we’ve had over the last couple of years on some of our newer attractions, and we’ll continue to look for ways to keep Cowal at the top of the list of Fun Family Days Out in Scotland in the future.

“A big thank you again to everyone involved, and I hope we’ll see you back again next year”.

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, sponsor of this year’s Gathering, said: “This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering will definitely be one to remember. It was a great event that we are proud to support. We are committed to playing an active role in the communities where we live and the Gathering, with its unique atmosphere and world-class competitors, resonates with our values of pride, passion and provenance.

“I would like to congratulate the winners and competitors for their hard work and entertaining the crowd. Community spirit was definitely clear to see around Dunoon this weekend. The pride, passion and dedication Ronnie, the Gathering committee and all the volunteers have is amazing to see and they deserve huge congratulations for their hard work.”

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “Congratulations to Ronnie and his team for putting on another fantastic event. From the world’s best highland dancers, pipers and athletes to Clan mountain bike stunt team and the traditional music bands in the Ceilidh Tent, Dunoon has truly been the perfect stage.

“The Cowal Highland Gathering is a key cultural event for the region and Scotland, and we are delighted to have once again supported such a successful event.”

Dunoon residents and visitors are already starting to line the streets for the Gathering’s show-stopping finale this evening – the massing of the bands and their march down Argyll Street.

The final act of this year’s event, as usual, will be the spectacular Western Ferries firework display at Dunoon’s Coal Pier which starts at 9.00pm.

For more information about the Gathering, please visit its website at www.cowalgathering.com or contact the event office by emailing info@cowalgathering.com or phoning 01369 703206.

KIRN GALA

BLAIRMORE TWINS CLIONA & NUALA TO OPEN “NEW LOOK” KIRN GALA

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From Ben Lomond to Glencoe’s Buachaille Etive Mor, to Skye’s Am Basteir, which translates, grimly, as the Executioner, Scotland’s Munros are one of the Scotlands great attractions and Munro-bagging as it is known, the sport of ascending all 282 Munros – remains hugely popular attracting many thousands to Scotland each year

It was the 24th August 2008 that 6years old Blairmore twins Cliona and Nuala McCheyne came into the DCR studio with thier parents to tell of their intention to climb Ben Lomond which would be their 50thMunro (for the uninitiated a Munro is a mountain over 3000 feet). If that what not enough they set out to raise lots of money for the Schiehallion Ward at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow which cares for children with cancer.

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This feat was even more remarkable when you realise that the twins where only 6 years old at the time and had started climbing Munro’s 2 years previous ,

Four years later in 2012 Cliona and Nuala, became the youngest ever to complete all 282 Munros . In the company of their parents, the Twins from Blairmore Dunoon had ticked them off one by one in the space of just six years.

Since then the twins have never stopped running and competing and their achievements are well documented, it is well fitting that the Kirn Gala committee give credit to the Twins and honour the youngsters for their outstanding achievements and good example representing the youth of Dunoon by asking them to open this “New Look” 22ND Kirn Gala

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DCR97.4fm asked Mum Diane to sum up what has developed with her daughters since 24th August 2008

“Cliona and Nuala have always been very active. They started climbing Scotland’s 3000′ mountains at the age of four; completing the last of the 282 peaks at the age of ten they are the youngest girls to have.

Their love of running started while competing for Strone primary school at the Cowal Police Sports and this lead them to join Inverclyde Athletic Club in 2012.

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A few months later Nuala became Scottish Primary Schools Cross Country Champion which preluded much district, national and international success over the following years. Cliona is also a talented runner with a wealth of experience winning medals at district and national level. Her favourite events are In cross country and hill running”

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GAELIC CHOIR FOR DUNOON MOD 2018?

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ALL THINGS MOD” WITH MARY & JENNIFER –Tonight the girls talk Volunteering for the Mod 2018 and how you can help, they will also be talking Gaelic Choirs and discussing  the new hope for A DUNOON GAELIC CHOIR

JEN &GILL
A week ago Gill Toosey a recent newcomer to Dunoon came into the DCR97.4fm John Street studio to discuss her Novel “In Mysterious ways”. Off air conversations with presenter Victor regards to her music interest led to Gill sharing with the listeners her idea of looking at reviving the  Dunoon Gaelic Choir which has been welcomed by the local Mod Committee.

Gill told listeners of a prayer from the Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael and how she is composing music for some of the beautiful poems and prayers including a prayer featured in her book “In Mysterious Ways” called “Gods Aid”

Gill also hopes to take an active part in DCR and will start her on –the-job- training by joining the DCR Broadcasting Team next week in our busiest week of the year promoting on Wednesday the Kirn Gala,

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The following day Thursday we broadcast live from the Dunoon Presents “Sunset Ceremony” this year featuring a favourite in Dunoon and a great opportunity if you didn’t manager to get to her recent Dunoon sell out concert  the lovely Maggie Reilly with Stuart MacKillop and band,

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Also taking to the stage will be the exciting and very popular Ayr Soprano Songstress and X Factor contestant Nicola Cassells,

Nicola is taking a de-tour from her UK singing commitments to join us here in Dunoon.

Nicola Cassells

Nicola

The Cowal Community Orchestra will be making their second visit to the “Sunset Ceremony”.

We will also be joined by Traditional Scottish Entertainer Tom Irvine and much more!

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After the Sunset Parade it’s covering the Gig at Mac Clure’s Bar where The Beer Stalkers are playing featuring DCR97.4fm presenter Mark Boland, that should give Gill an insight to what we do, met the rest of the team , done a little broadcasting and she should be ready for The Cowal Highland Gathering………and she will get to meet Derek ———-Tune in and listen out for our newest volunteer and Derek

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“THE DUNOON PROJECT” RECEIVES ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT

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Over three hundred folk went along on Tuesday to the Burgh Hall to see information explaining this new exciting initiative known as The Dunoon Project. In the early evening Nick Ferguson CBE presented the project to a packed Burgh Hall and answered over twenty questions on all aspects of the project

Listeners will remember at the beginning of the month Neil Alexander taking time out of his 100th programme to inform every one of this project and encouraging listeners to go along on the 15TH August to show the folk behind this new initiative that the community is interested and will support  new ideas and projects that will that will help our “wee” town.

The new project is to bring about a Cable Car and Zip wire for Dunoon.

To make this project happen the orgainising group have asked for community support and say it won’t cost a penny to the local community, they explain in………… .

This exciting project is designed to belong to the community. The community can get involved and help make this a reality.

Brendon Wallace, the founder and managing Partner of BC technologies, has been living in the area for the last fifteen years. As a keen mountain-biker, his hobby has taken him all over the UK and he has witnessed many exciting developments that have brought prosperity to rural areas. He recognised that Dunoon and the surrounding area was perfectly placed and had many attributes to make it an ideal location for similar developments.
The vision is to install a cable car system from Dunoon to the top of hills above the town. At the top will be a visitor heritage centre and café. This will provide access to the hills and its spectacular views over the Clyde to young and old alike. It will also allow many visitors either walking or on bikes to take advantage of the many stunning trails that for many are too high to reach. However, that’s not all. His vision also includes bringing exciting activities like a world class Zip Line and an Alpine Coaster so families can race down the hills or the less adventurous can stick with the Cable Car.
To this end, Brendon has pulled together a team of people from business and the local community with the passion and skills to see how to make this happen.

The below website gives more details and also allows you to show your support for the project or ask questions.

Come along on the 15th to the Burgh Hall during the day from 12 noon for more information or come along at 6pm where Nick Ferguson CBE will be presenting to the community this project.

www.thedunoonproject.org.uk

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