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Sun Shines on the Men of Lonach

From the Clan Forbes Society archives, here is an "Special Edition" of the Evening Express for Saturday, August 27, 1988. Since the Lonach Highland Gathering & Games were cancelled for 2020, we wanted to take a look back at the 1988 Gathering and the Lonach Highlanders.

RUGGED Highlanders who don't like water in their whisky kept a weather eye on the rain clouds

today as the Men of Lonach set out on their annual march.

Fortunately the sun shone on the kilted Lonach Marchers as they tramped for · six miles in full Highland regalia through the valley of Strathdon.

A few dram stops later no one gave a hoot about the weather anyway. The hospitality stops traditionally involve halts for refreshment at homes of local lairds and other senior members of the community.

A total of 159 men set out on the colourful trek from Bellabeg to be dispensed hospitality by local lairds. .

A record £2800 in prize money is up for grabs at today's Lonach Highland Gathering and Games.

And a new trophy is being competed for in the 17-25-year-old age group in the heavy events, donated by Mr Ron Winram of the Aberdeen Blind Company.

Proudest of the pike-carrying Highlanders

was a beaming Donald MacDonald, cofounder of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina.

Twice before he had marched in the Lonach as part of the "also ran" - the tweed jacketed members of the mixed clans who take up the rear.

But Donald was this week invited to join the Gordcns in the march.

Oldest cf today's marchers was 77-year-old retired farmer Jimmy Yeats, taking part in the Lonach for the 32nd year in succession.

Proud father Gordon Johnston (43), a joiner of Apple Cottage, Forbestown, on his 17th Lonach was joined on the march by his son James (l6), today's youngest Highlander.

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