15th Harpenden Lions Highland Gathering is best yet, say organisers - with galleries of photos

Harpenden Highland Gathering 2014 Harpenden Highland Gathering 2014

Matt Adams
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
8:30 AM

Town takes to the Highlands for yearly celebration

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The sights and sounds of the Scottish Highlands were back in Harpenden on Sunday for the town’s annual Highland Gathering, organised as always by the local Lions Club.

The event, which takes place in Rothamsted Park and counts on the Herts Advertiser as media partner, attracted around 5,000 visitors, and raised a staggering £13,000 for the nominated charities of Arthritis Care, Carers in Hertfordshire, and Harpenden Lions Club Life Skills Programme.

Massed pipe bands closed and opened the day, which saw a variety of Highland Games demonstrations including the stone putt, 28lb weight throw, caber toss and hammer throwing.

Other arena acts included old favourites the dog and duck show and falconry display, and a debut for record-breaking head balancer John Evans.

In between the more conventional Highland dancing and pipe bands was an appearance by the Wight Hot Pipes, a Celtic rock band with a lead bagpiper which also proved a huge success.

Harpenden Lions Club 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 Mary Maynard and Deputy 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.”

Bengie Walden, chairman of the Harpenden Lions organising committee, added: “The event was arguably the best Gathering we have produced over the 15 years that we have run it. It was the result of dedicated hard work from so many people. We have a well established pattern of improvement each year and I am very grateful to the planning team and the executive team for the outstanding result.”

The next Highland Gathering is provisionally scheduled for Sunday July 12 2015.

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