The Island Highland Gathering – from small beginnings!
The Island Highland Gathering was the brain child of local doctor and talented musician, Dr Kieron Cooney, also known as the ‘Piping Hot Doc’. We started with one band on a wet afternoon at Robin Hill in 2011 to raise money for local charities. Despite the rain we had a fabulous day in a wonderful location and people seemed to enjoy it. We began to introduce more bands and also involved lots of local bands and dancers. Dr Cooney’s own band Wight Hot Pipes have played some fabulous sets at the gathering from the very start and still close the show today.
The now internationally acclaimed band who play a unique style of Celtic to dance and rock music, they have played at the Isle of Wight Festival across Europe and even BB Kings, New York. We are lucky to have them supporting the Island Highland Gathering, raising money for two Island charities, Challenge & Adventure and Northwood House.
The 2018 Gathering is being held at in the beautiful grounds and buildings of Northwood House, Cowes. This is close to both Red Funnel ferry terminals, who we are lucky to have their support in bringing 6 bands and dancers over on the day.
The event has grown now and in 2018 we have 5 pipe bands from across the Country, the Island Medina Marching Band and the 42nd Black Watch of foot, re-enactment group, with cannon. We have Scottish and Irish dancers as well as a pipe and drum competition. The event is opened by the Lord Lieutenant. Maj General Martin White.
There will be Scottish food, whisky tasting, BBQ, Bar, Tea and Cakes and lots of Island craft stall, falconry flying and a display of Classic Cars.
One of the highlights of the day is the Highland games, kindly organised this year by the Strong Room, Newport. This involves tossing a few cabers and hurling some Haggis as well as a few other exciting challenges.
The Island Highland Gathering is organised by a small committee entirely to raise money for charity and to bring something different to the Island.