On Saturday the 18th the Seaforth at Ullapool played host to what is believed to be the north west Highland’s first ever ‘Pirate Ceilidh’. A group of pirate pipers from Ullapool and Coigach started the evening raiding various bars and restaurants throughout the village before invading the Seaforth bar by Ullapool Harbour where they were joined by a local ceilidh band playing to a ragged crew of fearsome pirate revellers. And the odd slightly confused tourist.
The reason behind the renegade rumpus was to fund raise for two causes: Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band and British Divers Marine Life Rescue that have recently put together a whale and dolphin rescue team in the area.
“We looked at a number of possible ways to try raising additional and much needed funds for both the local pipe band and our BDMLR team based in the north west. After a lot of consideration and debate we came up with a number of sensible possibilities and options.” explained BDMLR area co-ordinator Noel Hawkins. “Fortunately we threw them away and decided to dress as pirates and have some fun instead! The response was great, we received prize donations from other wildlife groups and boat tour operators, drink suppliers and local individuals and businesses that support what both groups do in and hopefully for the area. The musicians must be commended too as they really did us proud and managed to play all their tunes perfectly. This was a relief as being dressed as they were we were all slightly concerned they might get stuck on the high Cs.”
As well as ceilidh dancing, there was also a free style highland dance off resulting in some enthusiastic interpretations of less traditional steps, moves and staggers, a raffle with prizes ranging from a treasure trove of drinks, the opportunity for a winner to name a new pipe band composition and whale and dolphin boat trips, dolphin adoptions and rescue training. The party was going so well that when local police arrived at the end of the evening they picked up the pipes and joined in.
The event raised a total of £1775.65 that will be divided between both causes helping the band to the costs of equipping the kids in the band and attend competitions at home and abroad and the local BDMLR team to purchase additional rescue kit to help assist in any marine mammal strandings in the north west highlands.
Many thanks to all who supported this event and the causes.
BDMLR Area Coordinator
Skye, West Ross-shire & Cromartyshire