A Great Day Out
The 2013 Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair provided a great day out for all the family. The heavy rain of the previous day did not stop folk from near and far flocking through the gates: though “wellies” were undoubtedly the footwear of choice! As ever we were indebted to all the volunteers who, together with the estate team, worked tirelessly to deliver an action packed programme of traditional Highland entertainments complimented by activities suitable for people young and old and complimented by a huge range of local trade and craft stands.
We were delighted to welcome an example of this famous Royal Air Force aircraft to the Castle for the day. Once stationed at the nearby RAF Kinloss and now lovingly restored by Moravia, the sheer presence of such a colossal and majestic aircraft within the Castle grounds (how ever did she get there?) drew large crowds and the possibility of investigating the carefully restored interior and instruments proved very popular, especially amongst our younger visitors. And how did she get there? By low-loader, and having spent much of her working life patrolling the Arctic Seas during the ‘Cold War’, her arrival at the Castle was itself not without drama: the bulky fuselage of the plane only clearing the main gates with a few millimetres to spare!
The Gordon Setter Club of Scotland
The Club celebrated its 25th anniversary with a grand parade and a terrific dog show. The Scottish Terrier Racing Team returned by popular demand and many visitors enjoyed ‘racing’ their own dogs along the course. Meanwhile, over in the main arena, the hawks of Strathblane Falconry were providing great entertainment and the hounds and huntsmen of the Kincardineshire Foxhounds were giving a wonderful demonstration of hounds, humans and horses working together.
Yet again the Country Sports event proved hugely popular with our visitors. The Archery organised by Sporting Scotland drew big crowds. Close by were the Laser Clays run by Elgin Kart Raceway. In the grounds the Salmon Casting Competition, run by the Gordon Castle Ghillies, enjoyed over fifty entries. Whilst at a safe distance away, Sporting Scotland’s Clay Pigeon and Target Shooting were busy all day. Download the Clay Pigeon Competition results here.
Gordon Castle 10K Race
The Gordon Castle 10k Race was started by our custodian Angus Gordon Lennox and the winners, having survived a strenuous course, finished in splendid style and to great applause in front of the Castle itself. The race drew a large number of participants and the overall winner was James Paul Smith. You can download all the results here and a map of the route here.
Music and Song
This programme of traditional Highland music and song, generously sponsored by EventScotland, played a major part in the programme and was well attended throughout. Concert Corner in front of the Orangery provided a beautiful venue for our visitors to enjoy a wide range of music and song from the Elgin City Band, The Fochabers Fiddlers, Milnes Jazz Band and the Kinloss Military Wives Choir. For more information on these bands click below:
In addition to the music and song taking place at Concert Corner there was fantastic entertainment from a number of local massed bands. For more information on these bands click below:
- Elgin and District
- Dufftown and District
- Buckie and District
- RAF Lossiemouth Pipes and Drums
The Highland Dancing Competition
This year the competition was sponsored by Walkers Shortbread Ltd and took place under SOBHD Rules. There were over one hundred entries taking part in a full programme splendidly organised by Mrs Alison Milne and her team. The results can be downloaded here.
The Heavy Events were as popular as ever and his year Gordon Castle welcomed tug of war teams from Cawdor, Elgin, and the Great Glen. We are proud to announce that two ground records were broken: Bruce Robb with a throw of 15ft 10″ in the 56lb weight over bar and Sinclair Patience with a throw of 42ft 2.5″ in the 56lb weight for distance.
Download the Heavy Events results here.
Our younger visitors enjoyed a fun day out too. In the main arena there were traditional children’s races including the sack race and tattie and spoon race and all the young competitors received a special certificate of excellence. For those who like a sturdier challenge there was the HRFCA Children’s Assault Course and the very popular Novice and Junior programme of “Heavy Events” including Wellie Throwing and Shot Put. Whilst for those who just wanted to mess about there was plenty of funfair enjoyment to be had with Castle in the Sky.
You might like to know that many of our visitors took advantage of our new Family Ticket and/or purchased their tickets at a discounted rate on-line.
Food, Drink and Shopping
There were over eighty trade stands at the 2013 Games and visitors had a wonderful choice of both locally and nationally sourced foods, clothing, wines and spirits, hand made crafts and many plants and bits and pieces for the green fingered gardener. There were a large number of country and heritage associations and societies on site and plenty of children’s games and activities to keep the younger visitors occupied. A new range of tents lined the lawn and pathway between the two arenas giving everybody a chance to browse and buy whilst en-route between attractions.
A Big Thank you to our Sponsors.
Without the continuing support of our sponsors and advertisers, along with the invaluable help of volunteers and the local community, we would not have been able to develop the Games into the fantastic family day out it has become. Their combined support has allowed us to to promote the Games to a wider audience and establish the annual event as a major attraction within the tourism calendar. We trust also that the Games have provided our sponsors with another opportunity to develop their own target audiences.
We would especially like to thank the following for their support:
EventScotland (For the new Concert Corner)
Grampian Police Authority
Fochabers Scout Group
Milnes High School
Christies Garden Centre
Walkers Shortbread Limited
Gordon and MacPhail Limited
Peter Graham and Associates
R & R Urquhart LLP
Johnstons of Elgin
The Good Food Company
We are incredibly grateful to you all.
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