The fates aligned to provide perfect weather for the 39th Drumotchty Highland Games. And the sun shining proved a good omen for the organisers, who witnessed one of the busiest events in years.
Secretary Eleanor Fotheringham said: “We were really very lucky with the weather and it attracted one of the biggest crowds we’ve had for years.
“There must have been around 2500 people there; all the car parks were full. There was something going on in the main ring all day long. It was a fantastic day.”
Also having a ball were the trio of chieftains, Auchenblae ladies Jenny Thompson, Alice Morgan and Gina Easter.
The former tea ladies have spent every Games day for years serving up refreshments in a tent.
But this year, after hanging up their pinnies for the last time, the Games committee invited them to take centre stage.
Eleanor said: “The ladies did a great job, officially opening the Games at 2pm and then taking time to speak to the competitors and visitors.
“It was the first time in a very long time that they were able to enjoy the Games, instead of serving up the teas!”
The warm weather usually brings out another Scottish visitor but even it stayed away this year.
“We usually get bad weather or sunshine and midgies,” said Eleanor, “but the midgies didn’t turn up so it was a perfect day!”
Around 20 committee members ensure that the Games remain on track every year and with next year’s 40th celebration, they are hoping new blood will come on board.
Eleanor said: “We’ll be having a meeting at the end of July when we’d be delighted to welcome new committee members.
“It will be a big year for us next year so we’d love to have more people to lend a hand.”
As for this year’s success story, Eleanor, of course, wanted to thank a number of people.
She said: “The committee puts in a lot of hard work every year to pull off the event so I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their support.
“Special thanks go to Jim Brown, who has been on the committee from the start, and does a lot of work behind the scenes.
“And last, but by no means least, a big thanks to all our sponsors, competitors and people who turned out to support the event.”
This year, the Games lived up to its “friendliest” reputation, attracting visitors from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Texas and San Diego.
“We even had a stag party from France who turned up in their so-called kilts!” added Eleanor. “They thoroughly enjoyed themselves!”
Also having a fabulous day was a more home-grown talent, Grangemouth lad Kyle Randallf who set a new Games record in the 17-25 year old 16lb hammer event, with a throw of 141 feet.
The Games committee are now looking forward to another record-breaking event with the 40th anniversary staging of the Games in 2016 – so make sure it’s in your diary!
To lend a hand with that event, contact Eleanor Fotheringham on 01561 378529 or look out for details of the next meeting on www.spanglefish.com/drumtochty
We were on hand to capture all the action and our slideshow has been created for your viewing pleasure by Johnston Press Scotland communities hub deputy editor Julie Currie. Enjoy!