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Aboyne Highland Games

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Aboyne Highland Games 3rd August 2019

The Aboyne Highland Games always take place on the first Saturday in August and feature pipe bands, highland dancing, piping competitions, plus heavy and light events; with an attendent funfair and trade stands…

2017 was the 150th Aboyne Highland Games, and was opened by Her Majesty The Queen; who dedicated the new caber with whisky.

The Aboyne Highland Games are presided over by their patron The Marquis of Huntly and have a long standing reputation for fairness.

Back in the 1800’s local strong man Donald Dinnie was the equivalent to today’s sporting superstars due to his famous feats of strength at The Aboyne Games. The Dinnie stones at Potarch, and the Dinnie window in Aboyne are lasting reminders of Aboynes world famous athlete.

Craig Sinclair

Craig Sinclair. Scottish Highland Games Heavy dsider.co.uk online magazine, photo courses (Bill Bagshaw & Martin Williams/Bill Bagshaw, dsider.co.uk)

Bruce Robb

Swirling kilts as The Heavies put the stone at The Aboyne Highland Games,Royal Deeside,Scotland. dSider online magazine www.dsider.co.uk Photography by Bill Bagshaw photography courses (Bill Bagshaw & Martin Williams/Bill Bagshaw, dsider.co.uk)

A feature of the 2014 Aboyne Games was an attempt by strongman Mark Felix to equal Donald Dinnies amazing feat  of carrying The Dinnie Stones over Potarch Bridge

The Aboyne Highland Games committee have taken the lead over the years in establishing important aspects of Highland dancing.

Several clans have hospitality tents, and a major feature is the massed pipe bands who march around the arena on Aboyne village green.

Aboyne Highland Games also features a fiddle event in the Masonic Hall, which is located opposite the games park.

Highland dancing competitions include the hornpipe, sword dance, highland flings, jigs & reels.

Heavy events include tossing the caber, hammer throwing , stone putting  weight throwing, and a tug of war.

The Drum Major’ Challenge is a more recent; mace tossing and catching event, where the mace is tossed above a high banner.


A pipe band Drum Major from The Gordon Highlanders military pipe band at The Aboyne Highland Games. In a military pipe band the Drum Major would be a man of outstanding military character able to control men in battle. The Drum Major was the figurehead of the regiment. In battle he instructed the drummers to play certain beats which passed messages to the rest of the troops. The Drum Major's was a very important job; if he got it wrong the battle could be lost. He carried proud regimental honours on his sash and upon his silver headed mace. In more recent years a drum major in a non military band became more of an entertainer who threw and caught his mace. www.dsider.co.uk online magazine, photo courses Photography by Bill Bagshaw (Bill Bagshaw & Martin Williams/Bill Bagshaw, www.dsider.co.uk)

Click here for Aberdeenshire ancestry & clan research Click here for Highland Games HEAVIES

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dsider.co.uk online magazine, photo courses (Bill Bagshaw & Martin Williams/Bill Bagshaw, dsider.co.uk)