LOCHGELLY High School Pipe Band's "local heroes" are celebrating after becoming UK champions.

After a marathon journey, leaving Lochgelly at 11pm on Friday night to catch a 3.45am ferry to Northern Ireland, they still managed to find their best form.

Arriving at 7am on Saturday for the UK Pipe Band Championships in Lurgan, the band finished first in their category.

A spokesperson said: "No sooner had the band arrived than it was time to get ready.

"Kerbside breakfast and teeth brushing was followed by a full outfit change, with rain capes required along with the kilts and glengarries.

"Pipes and drums were carefully unloaded and by around 9am the band headed into the park.

"While private schools pitched their badge-emblazoned gazebos, our local heroes made do with the shelter of two towering trees to begin tuning up and warming their fingers as best they could in the unseasonably dreich conditions.

"At 10am it was time for the band to make their way to the arena and in the space of just under four minutes their performance was done.

"Pipe Major Keith Robertson led a quick debrief before it was back to the bus to get changed and shortly afterwards the coach was back on the road to ensure they were on time for the 3.30pm ferry.

"The group gathered in the lounge to hear the result live streamed and a great roar greeted the news that they had won first place in their category. The party arrived back in Fife just after 9pm on Saturday evening, weary but proud to have brought yet another title home."

You can show your support for the band on Saturday at Lochore Meadows when they take part in the fifth Benarty Pipe Band Competition. 

The country park will welcome entrants from as far afield as the USA and Australia and the event will include the Kingdom of Fife Juvenile Championship as well as the ever growing Highland Dancing Competition. 

The event is one of the big three, along with the gala and Rockore, put together by Benarty Events Group. The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association have also assisted and this year’s chieftain will be Michael O’Hare. 

The group’s chairman, Eddie Easson, said: “Michael has been a stalwart of all good causes in our area, as well as a member and supporter of many community groups in the Benarty area.”

The Lochgelly High School Pipe Band have already had a successul start to the 2019 competition season with first places at the Dundee City contest, the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, Markinch Highland Games and Strathmore Highland Games.

They topped that off with the win at the UK Championships in Northern Ireland and will hope to continue that success in Inverness on June 29 for the European championships.

On Saturday they’ll be joined in the country park by the Mesa Caledonia Pipe Band from Arizona, USA, and the Haileybury Pipe Band from Melbourne in Australia. There will also be bands and dancers from across the country competing and a big crowd is anticipated.

Eddie added: “These events are only possible because of the enormous assistance from the army of volunteers that help on the day.”

He also thanked the park staff and stated: “It’ll be a great day out for all the family so why not come along for a fantastic day in a beautiful setting?”

It’s free entry and on from 11am to 6pm with the contests starting at noon.