Wind farm char­ity dona­tion sends pipe band on its trav­els

The Oban Times - - News -

LEWIS Pipe Band was gifted £1,000 from a com­mu­nity wind farm char­ity al­low­ing them to at­tend the Scot­tish Cham­pi­onships last week­end.

The band headed for Dum­bar­ton last Satur­day and were relieved to have the equiv­a­lent cost of their coach hire cov­ered by Point and Sand­wick Trust (PTS).

Five pipe band cham­pi­onships are held in the UK every year but Lewis Pipe Band usu­ally only at­tend two be­cause of the ex­or­bi­tant costs of travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion for the band and their gear.

As well as the Euro­pean and Scot­tish Cham­pi­onships, the UK also hosts the Bri­tish, UK and World Cham­pi­onships.

Many bands at­tend all the com­pe­ti­tions but, with each trip to the main­land cost­ing Lewis Pipe Band around £ 5,000, they have to be se­lec­tive.

There are 12 pipers and 11 drum­mers in the band, rang­ing in age from their teens to 70s.

It costs between £10,000 and £12,000 a year to keep the band run­ning, between the costs of at­tend­ing com­pe­ti­tions and keep­ing the pipes and drums in good or­der.

Pipe band chair­man Sandy Gomez said: ‘ We fundraise hard over the win- ter to get to th­ese com­pe­ti­tions. Each com­pe­ti­tion costs £ 3,000 or £ 4,000 to get to and we’re only play­ing for four or five min­utes. It’s more ex­pen­sive for us, get­ting on and off the is­land. Most of the other bands are trav­el­ling on a day trip, leav­ing in the morn­ing and back at night, but we’ve got overnight costs. That’s what adds to the cost of our trips. It’s a lot of money. We’d love to do all five ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions but the cost is not some­thing we can raise on our own. We’re en­tirely re­liant on pub­lic do­na­tions – the col­lect­ing cans and do­na­tions from peo­ple like Point and Sand­wick.’

F31 Lewis pipe band 1no

Lewis Pipe Band af­ter they be­came Grade 3A Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons in For­res last year.

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