Highland gathering

THERE are few things that excite the heart and the mind as much as the hustle, bustle and atmosphere of the Highland Games - and particularly the glorious resonance of marching massed pipe bands.

And Sunday’s 33rd Montrose Highland Games in the modern series (the first Montrose Highland Games were held in 1859), feature not one but three pipe bands - Coupar Angus and District, Alyth and District, and Carnoustie and District.

They will march in the grand parade from the Ballhouse at 12.15pm to the games arena which will be as usual located at the East Links.

The games will have in great profusion the traditional competitions that people all over the world associate with such a stirring day.

Tug o’war for eight or five-person teams, putting the shot, throwing the weight over the bar, throwing the hammer and so on.

And there is always something special about heavy events. For example, the Montrose caber to be tossed is the one that until three years ago was used for the World Championship.

But there are still championships at Montrose. For example, the British 3,200 metre foot race championship will be held in the arena on Sunday.

There will be open running competitions at distances starting at 90 metres. There are high-jump, long-jump and triple-jump classes for youths and open.

Grass track cycle races are scheduled for 800, 1,600 and 3,200 metres.

That is just a tastle of what’s on offer at Montrose Highland Games, which start at 10 am at the East Links on Sunday, August 7, and will run until a bit after 5pm.