The build up to Lilias Day has been very visible to me this year as my house slowly filled with teddy bears and stuff in bottles before it was shipped off to Big Mick’s garage for storage. We were a well oiled machine the night before the big day as my lady drummer and I stuck raffle tickets to prizes and folded them all into a big bin. Everything was in motion and everything had been planned; stall rotas were filled and the new Event Shelter had arrived (to replace the one spatchcocked at Gourock) and had found its huge heavy way into my car.
We were ready but the weather forecast was grim and the portents grew grimmer as Houston Show cancelled on Friday and the wind began to get a bit Inverclydey. So after a night of eldritch blasts and rattles at the window Lilias Day dawned grey and utterly miserable. We are however made of sterner stuff and have never died a winter yet although I did think that someone was playing a hose against the outside of my bathroom window while I got washed, the idea of not going to the park and setting up never entered my mind, you just do it, don’t you?
Thankfully more objective heads had looked long and hard at the situation, took into account the thrashing trees, collapsing fences and bigness and fatness of the raindrops and decided that Lilias Day 2015 was cancelled. Shock, horror, first time in living memory (mine). Not waiting to be told twice I surfed out of the park and sped through the village shedding everything I could into various garages. The short drop off at Taigh nan Combe admittedly involved a cup of tea, an egg mayonnaise roll and a blether. Word was now spreading and alternate plans were being mooted but nobody told Chris as he had an attack of amnesia and forgot he owned a smartphone. Kilbarchan Pipe Band are not known for letting disaster dampen their spirits but if the day’s aff, the day’s aff!
And then the Pipey, that well know ringleader and instigator, began sending innocuous wee text messages and by 14:30 quite a few pipers and drummers were in the Glenleven and quite a few had instruments tucked under tables and propped in corners. The only thing flowing faster than the beer was the craic and it was decided to play a short set of tunes before we had to play them sitting down. A piper was requested by the Lilias organisers who had plans of their own and Melissa was volunteered. I bailed out about now as my Lilias party was about to kick off, and jolly good it was. The band invaded this party, tuned up and we got into formation. The Lilias committee had asked for a piper to help crown the School Queen but they got a band. Although we were a bit the worse for wear this was the best marching we have ever had captured on camera.
So although the historical pageant and treat filled stalls had been defeated by the weather, Kilbarchan rose to the challenge and stuck a massive two fingers up at the Dreich. Party on!
We hope the weather changes for our next outing to Ardrossan but I’ll be keeping my cape handy.