Jim’s Games Day delight
Man on the mic Jim has ‘a wonderful day’
Well-known local man Jim McGregor has told of his pride at performing the role of Chieftain at Sunday’s hugely-successful Crieff Highland Gathering.
Thousands of captivated spectators descended on Market Park at the weekend and enjoyed a whole host of activities, performances and artistic events during what is one of the busiest days in the Strath capital calendar.
Reflecting on the jam-packed day, Jim said:“I felt honoured and privileged to have been invited to be Chieftain, an honour that I never imagined would be bestowed on me. It is a day that I will cherish forever.”
• See inside today’s Herald for five pages of coverage from Games Day.
The choice of local man Jim McGregor as Chieftain of the 2017 Crieff Highland Gathering proved a popular one with Strath folk.
Well known as the man on the mic on Games Day, the Morrisonian has a long-standing connection with the Market Park showpiece.
He began commentating in 1976 and was invited to join the board of directors in 1978, serving for 30 years – two as chairman, before retiring in 2008, although he still helps set up the park.
He told the Herald: “We had a wonderful day, blessed with lovely weather for the whole of the Games and surrounded by all my family and close friends.
“I felt honoured and privileged to have been invited to be Chieftain, an honour that I never imagined would be bestowed on me. It is a day that I will cherish forever.
“I felt great pride walking down through the town behind my old school pipe band. All of the pupils gave up the last day of their holiday to play in my honour. My thanks also to the members of Crieff High School Pipe Band who joined the Massed Bands at the end and played the salute to the Chieftain.”
And Jim praised the local community.
He added: “The people of Crieff have also been brilliant with their support and encouragement. We are very lucky to live in a wonderful town with wonderful people.
“Crieff Games will never seem the same again, but it’ll be back to the commentating next year which I very much enjoy.”
Summing up a very successful event, Ian Stewart, chairman of Crieff Highland Gathering, described this year’s Gathering as a “special, special day”.
He said: “I think it was an extremely successful day.
“Initial fears regards the weather forecast eased as the week went on and we were blessed with ideal conditions on the day.
“Athlete numbers were up on last year especially with the youths, which was particularly pleasing as they are the future of the Games.
“We also had a huge number of Highland dancers this year with the last count around 150.
“We had a fantastic Scottish Heavyweight Championship which was won again by Scott Rider who, besides winning the championship, went on to win the largest caber prize in the world for a perfect throw of the Crieff Challenge Caber.
“The Glenturret Music Tent continues to go from strength to strength and again was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended. We now have many people travelling the length and breadth of the country to attend CHG. I’ve heard there weren’t any available rooms in Crieff at any of the guest houses, hotels etc, which can only be a good thing for the town.
“We also managed to once again bring an act from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and we would like to thank Brigadier Melville Jameson CBE for all his assistance in making this happen.
He added: “Feedback from those who attended has been great. I think most people can see the changes we are making are for the better and, although we will always be a traditional Highland Games, we always want to have something for everyone.
“We do promote CHG as Scotland’s premier Highland Games. I think I can safely say we’ll hold on to that title for a few more years yet.”
• See pages six, seven and the sports section for more coverage from Games Day.
Proud 2017 Chieftain Jim McGregor