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 Island charities.
The 2021 Gathering is being held at a new venue, IOW Steam Railway, In the autumn of 2018 the entire 10 mile trip of the Wight Steam Railway was accredited museum status by Arts Council, England, meaning the entire Railway is a working museum. Within the railway shop itself there is a small artefacts gallery for visitors to enjoy.
.Red Funnel ferries kindly sponsor the event and transport all the pipers over from the mainland
The event has grown now and in 2021 we have 5 pipe bands from across the Country, the Island Medina Marching Band and the 42nd Black Watch of foot, re-enactment group. We have Scottish and Irish dancers as well as a pipe and drum competition. The event has been opened by the Chieftain. In 2019 we have 5 mainland Pipe and Drum Bands also the Islands own Medina Marching Band. We have Island Scottish Dancers, IOW Scottish Dancers. From the mainland we are lucky the have The White Rose Highland Dancers.
There will be Scottish food, whisky tasting, BBQ, Bar, Tea and Cakes and lots of Island craft stall, and a display of Classic Cars.
One of the highlights of the day has been the Highland games, this involves tossing a few cabers and hurling some Haggis as well as a few other exciting challenges.
There are no games this year but you will be able to have a go!
The Island Highland Gathering is organised by a small committee entirely to raise money for charity and to bring something different to the Island.