Markinch Highland Games, Fife, Scotland

Sunday dawned dreich and damp but it was Markinch Highland Games Day, the first games of the season I think and although it had been raining heavily for the previous few days – the games were going ahead.

Pipe Band

This was the first time I had been to the games and I was really there as I had volunteered to help out with cooking the bacon for rolls, but I got a chance to walk around and see what was going on from time to time.

Pipe Band, Markinch
There was a real mixture of age groups involved in the pipe bands and some of them were from local high schools. They had to find corners of the park to tune up and have a bit of a practice before marching to where the adjudicators were waiting to judge them. One of the adjudicators was from America originally and he was still learning the ropes, but he was one of those American-Scots who was more Scottish than the Scots.

Methil Pipe Band

Luckily the rain stayed away most of the time but waterproof capes were worn by some. I hate to think how long it would take to dry out a wet kilt.

Pipe Band , Markinch Highland Games

The photo below is of a man with a gadget which he seemed to be using to test out the pipes of the individual players. It’s a complete mystery to me!
Pipe Band, Markinch

Sadly the Highland dancers weren’t in the park this year, I think they were at the town hall so I didn’t manage to get any photos of them. The Highland Fling used to be my party trick!

In the photo below the man is attempting to throw a 54 pound weight over a very high pole above him. The competitors didn’t seem to be very heavily muscled, in fact they are regularly tested for the illegal use of performance enhancing drugs – as are all of the athletes. I think they just chose some at random but quite a few of them were tested – it’s all so serious.

Weight tossing

Weight tossing

I think this one made it over!
Weight tossing

Or maybe it didn’t. As you can see there was a cycle race going on at the same time, there were an awful lot of cycle races and various different running races as well as tthrowing the hammer, but I missed those.

Weight tossing

There were three competitors battling it out in this contest, and I’m not sure which one won.
Weight tossing

There are cabers on the grass in the background but I missed that too, I must have been too busy cooking bacon when that was going on. Anyway, it was a long and tiring day, just watching it all going on, I can’t imagine what it was like taking part in it.

3 thoughts on “Markinch Highland Games, Fife, Scotland

  1. It’s been years since I’ve been to a Highland Games, and that was in the U.S., New Hampshire to be precise. It looks like the Markinch games were a fun day. I’m glad the rain stopped in time.

  2. This post reminds me of an occasion years ago when we went with some friends to a Highland games in the mountains of North Carolina, a place called Grandfather Mountain. You probably know that that is an area in the US settled by the Scots in the colonial days, so it was fascinating watching the competitions, especially the border collie demonstration. It’s a beautiful area….one of my favorites, for sure.

    • Paula,
      I did know that a lot of Scots had settled around North Carolina, I think most of them were ‘cleared’ off their crofts by their lairds and had no choice in the matter. They must have felt so homesick. Markinch Summer Fayre will feature dogs of all varieties – could be interesting, or chaotic.

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