THE piercing sound of bagpipes filled the Maclean air as the skies turned grey and drizzle started to fall.

It was a sure sign that the clans were gathering as this weekend's Maclean Highland Gathering draws close.

While Maclean piper Alistair Wallace hopes the rain will stay away over Friday and Saturday, he, and the many visitors who'll flock to the Valley for the event, will look forward to everything but the weather being authentically Scottish.

Alistair yesterday played the pipes for residents of Mareeba Nursing Home and he said the residents were suitably moved.

He was just gearing up for what will be a big event for him, his 14-year-old drummer daughter Bethany and countless other musicians.

Chief Peter Smith of the Lower Clarence Scottish Association said this weekend's event had attracted good numbers with 20 competitors in the bands section, 80 solo pipers and 50 solo drummers.

"It's going to be a great event," he said.



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