On the 22nd August myself and Sarah travelled to Dunoon fully kitted out with all the tartan clothing, accessories and interiors you could think off, from a Baby Romper Suit to a full three piece suit, we even had an abundance of Truffles the highland Coo! This was all in preparation to represent ScotlandShop at the world famous Cowal Highland Gathering. Apart from the heavens opening up for the majority of our stay in Dunoon, the Games were a huge success.
Cowal Highland Gathering first took place in 1894 and has been held every year since, taking place during the last weekend in August, the only time there has ever been a break was during World War II. The event made its debut again in 1946 with crowds reaching 28,000, one of the biggest years Cowal has ever seen. The first time an overseas competitor entered was in 1901, when an American travelled to Dunoon to compete in the Heavy Athletics competition. There was not any major changes until 2003 when a third day was introduced, this was a day set aside solely for the Scottish Dancers to
Over the course of the three days we spoke to such a variation of people, locals, fellow Scots and tourists that had travelled from as far as Australia to attend the event and they all had such interesting stories to tell from their time at Cowal over the years. One woman, who had lived in Dunoon her whole life, was saying she had been attending the Gathering for 41 years. She used to bring her daughter to dance when she was a little girl and now her daughter has returned to Cowal as a judge for the dancing, a huge honour for anyone that has competed in Highland Dancing. Her grandchildren are also involved in both the dancing and the piping. We spoke to many families that had stories just like this one, stories about family heritage. It is very much a family based event, the tradition of which has been passed down through generations and will hopefully continue to do so as the years go on.