August 12, 2023

Inveraray and Boghall split North Berwick in the pouring rain and a planning shemozzle

North Berwick, Scotland – August 12, 2023 – Heavy rain at times drenched the North Berwick Highland Games, where nine bands contested Grade 1 in two events: a Medley closed only to Grade 1 bands and an MSR that was open to Grade 1 and Grade 2 bands.

Ultimately, Inveraray & District took the Medley, while Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia won the MSR, in what would be the final contest before the World Championships.

The overall prize went to Inveraray & District based on RSPBA rules for such an event that dictates that the aggregate award is “decided by combined performance totals” and not combined final rankings per event.

The MSR was a mixed bag of all four-parted tunes and some much longer, creating a playing field that might have felt uneven due to the RSPBA’s creating stand-alone MSR events at major competitions.

Johnstone elected not to compete in the Medley event because of a mix-up in times. With the band being drawn first, they didn’t have enough time to prepare for the event.

The RSPBA reportedly published a start time of 2:30 pm on its website, but the games program had 2:45 pm, and then both bands and stewards went with the website, but officials went with the program, screwing up bands’ timing for final tuning preparations in challenging weather that alternated between heavy rain and brief sunny spells with a constant strong wind.

Grade 1
1st Inveraray & District (Scotland) (1,2,1,2)
2nd Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (Scotland) (2,5,2,1)
3rd ScottishPower (3,3,3,3)
4th Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland) (4,1,4,4)
5th Manawatu Scottish (New Zealand) (5,4,5,7)
6th Canterbury Caledonian Society (New Zealand) (6,6,6,5)
7th St. Thomas Alumni (USA) (7,7,7,6)
Judges Tom Brown, Barry Donalson (piping); Duncan Millar (drumming); Bob Worrall (ensemble)

MSR (Open to Grade 1 and Grade 2 bands)
1st Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (1,1,3,1)
2nd Inveraray & District (2,2,1,2)
3rd ScottishPower (3,3,2,7)
4th Johnstone (Scotland) (5,5,5,6)
5th Canterbury Caledonian Society (8,7,4,3)
6th Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (4,4,6,8)
7th Manawatu Scottish (6,6,9,4)
8th St. Thomas Alumni (7,8,8,5)
9th North Stratton (Canada) (Gr2) (10,10,7,9)
10th Royal Burgh of Annan (Gr2) (9,9,10,10)
Judges: John Wilson, Peter Hunt (piping); Lee Innes (drumming); Nat Russell (ensemble)

1st Inveraray & District (13 combined ranking points from all four judges)
2nd Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (16)
3rd ScottishPower (27)

Grade 2
1st North Stratton (Canada) (2,2,2,1) (ens.pref.)
2nd Royal Burgh of Annan (Scotland) (1,1,1,4)
3rd Robert Malcolm Memorial (Canada) (Gr3A) (3,3,3,2)
4th Coalburn IOR (Scotland) (Gr3A) (4,4,4,6)
5th Stockbridge (Scotland) (Gr3A) (6,7,5,3)
6th City of Newcastle (England) (Gr3A) (5,5,8,7)
7th Denny & Dunipace Association (Scotland) (Gr3A) (7,6,6,8)
8th Dunbar Royal British Legion (Scotland) (Gr3A) (8,8,7,5)
Judges: John Wilson, Peter Hunt (piping); Lee Innes (drumming); Nat Russell (ensemble)

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