'Best Highland Gathering in 15 years' say organisers

First published in St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The sound of bagpipes rang out across Harpenden on Sunday when thousands of people visited one of the largest Highland Gatherings outside Scotland.

Around 5,000 people were enthralled by this year’s entertainment in Rothamsted Park, as organised by the Harpenden Lions Clubs.

Five pipe bands from Harpenden, Bedford, British Airways, Epping Forest and Milton Keynes opened and closed the show while visitors enjoyed a dog and duck Show, falconry display and John Evans’ ‘The Balance of Power’ act.

Approximately £13,000 was raisedfor Arthritis Care, Carers in Hertfordshire and Harpenden Lions Club Life Skills Programme.

Lions President Chris Stalvies said: "It was a wonderful day for so many reasons, I have been amazed at how well everything came together on the day and how hard everyone worked, but even more impressed by how well Lions and other volunteers worked together so effectively. Harpenden Town Mayor Councillor Mary Maynard and Deputy Town Mayor Councillor Brian Ellis were a delight to be with.

"The events programme was packed and full of entertainment and has raised significant sums for the beneficiary charities. Let's not forget the wonderful weather which brought in crowds of happy people."

Visitors also enjoyed a solo piping competition, a dance competition and main stage entertainment from Dance Studio, The Wight Hot Pipes, Hiel’ and Toe and The Gay Gordons.

Families that gathered around the main arena could also watch traditional sports, such as the Scottish hammer throw, putting the stone and the caber toss.

Bengie Walden, chairman of the Lions organising committee added: "The event was arguably the best Gathering we have produced over the 15 years that we have run it."

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