August 31, 1999

Bands prepare for Glasgow Green extravaganza

Over 210 pipe bands from every corner of the world are readying themselves for the year’s biggest pipe band event. On Saturday, August 14, the 1999 World Pipe Band Championships will again be held at Glasgow Green where Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia are strongly favoured to take the big prize.

Having won both RSPBA majors so far this year, Shotts could well bring another World’s title home to the small mining village in eastern Strathclyde Region. The band last won the event in 1997, but were edged out by Australia’s Victoria Police in 1998.

Through extraordinary and still somewhat mysterious circumstances, the reigning World Champions are unable to attend this year’s World’s to defend the title.

Also a hot contender for the big prize are Vancouver, Canada’s Simon Fraser University, which made a successful bold and strategic trip to compete at the British Championships at Ayr in May of this year. SFU, out of the World’s list last year, affirmed that the 1998 result was an anomaly by finishing 2nd at the British.

Many who were there believed that SFU deserved to be crowned British Champions.

Also in hot pursuit of the World’s are perennial contenders Field Marshal Montgomery from Belfast, Northern Ireland; the 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto, Canada; Glasgow’s Strathclyde Police and ScottishPower; and Ontario, Canada’s Peel Regional Police, a band that has been playing the 78th Frasers close all year in Ontario.

Not to be counted out of appearing in the Grade 1 list are Boghall & Bathgate, McNaughton’s Vale of Atholl, and darkhorse New Zealand Police.

Grade 2 will be equally hotly fought. City of Washington, fresh off its first North American Championship at Maxville, Ontario,will try to finally take the prize that’s eluded them for four straight years. Aberdeen’s Bucksburn & District and Upper Crossgare, which both have won a Grade 2 major each, are sure to be in the thick of it, as will Ontario’s Niagara Regional Police.

Grade 1 prediction: 1st Shotts & Dykehead, 2nd Simon Fraser University, 3rd 78th Fraser Highlanders, 4th Field Marshal Montgomery, 5th Strathclyde Police, 6th Peel Regional Police.


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