Tuesday 04 October 2018
An historic Strathdon venue was recently the setting for an event that celebrated the success of this year’s Lonach Highland Gathering and Games.
A crowd of around 120 people packed into the Lonach Hall for the annual Lonach Highland Ball. The black-tie event, organised by the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, acknowledged the achievements of competitors at the previous week’s Highland Games.
Following a drinks reception, guests from across the north-east enjoyed a delicious four-course meal prepared by Harry Fraser Catering, before dancing the night away to the Graeme Mitchell Scottish Dance Band.
Trophies were presented to competition winners by Lady Kerry Forbes, wife of Sir James Forbes, patron of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society. The Dent Memorial Cup for putting the light stone and the Glen Lewis Cup for throwing the light hammer were won by Ryan Stuart from Strathdon. On behalf of the Wallace men, Ryan also collected the Dr Reid Memorial Trophy after the men won the society relay race.
The Forbes men won tug o’ war contest and Darren Smith and Calum Youngson – representing the Forbes men – collected the J Forbes Memorial Trophy.
James Stuart from Kildrummy was presented with the McHardy Bowl having been judged at the gathering to be the best dressed Highlander who is a member of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society. The Sir John Forbes Memorial Trophy for the best dressed Highlander aged 25 years and under, and the Innes Family Trophy for the best dressed Highlander – both of which are competed for by Society and non-Society members – were won by Society member Paul Stuart from Insch. His uncle Ian Stuart collected the trophies on his behalf.
Emma Anderson from Strathdon won the Junior Lonach Trophy, awarded for the most points gained by a Lonach area dancer under eight years old, which her mother Louise Anderson picked up on her behalf. Emma was also joint winner of the Lonach Trophy with Jera Nicholson from Kildrummy.
Other winners, who were not present on the night, included Rowan Currie from Strathdon and Alan Murray from Gartly. Rowan won the McRobert Memorial Shield in recognition for winning the Lonach Society hill race. While Alan won the Beatrice Young Trophy for tossing the caber and the Isabella Finlay Forbes and AF Stuart trophies for most points in Lonach Society heavy events and Lonach Society events respectively.
Jennifer Stewart, secretary and chief executive of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, said: “Once again the Lonach Highland Ball did not disappoint. It was a fantastic evening in which to celebrate the success and achievements of competitors at the Lonach Gathering. The stunning food and great music more than matched the magnificent surroundings of the wood-panelled, barrel-vaulted Lonach Hall.
“It really is a stunning venue in which to host events and one that the local community is immensely proud of. Nights such as the annual Lonach Highland Ball bring the community together and the hall alive. The ball continues to be a popular evening, with a number of people travelling from afar to attend, such is the regard in which it is held.”
Next year, the Lonach Highland Ball will be held on Friday, 30 August, with the Lonach Highland Gathering and Games the week prior on Saturday, 24 August 2019.
Situated close to the Aberdeenshire village of Bellabeg, the Lonach Hall dates from 1845. The venue is suitable for a range of events, including conferences, exhibitions, meetings, concerts, wedding receptions and ceilidhs, and boasts a fully-equipped catering kitchen. There are three distinct event spaces within the building, these are the barrel-vaulted main hall that can accommodate dinners for up to 200 people, a smaller hall that can host conferences for up to 80 people and a boardroom that can sit 25 people. For more information on booking the Lonach Hall, visit www.lonach-hall.com. Follow the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.