The Clan Hay’s Annual Gathering 2015 took place over four action packed days in the Hays’ Aberdeenshire heartland, in a programme that offered something to suit all tastes.
Thursday 30th July: Inter-Clan Croquet Tournament
Crathes Castle, Banchory, Kincardineshire AB31 5QJ
Crathes Castle is by far the most popular of the National Trust for Scotland’s properties in North East Scotland, comprising a fine example of a Scottish tower house, situated in stunning, world-famous gardens that extend to several acres. Hosted by James Burnett of Leys, Chief of the Burnetts and whose family seat this is, Clans Hay, Gordon, Burnett, Irvine and Strachan took part in an inter-clan croquet tournament.
Friday 31st July: Murder Mystery Dinner
Druminnor Castle, Rhynie, Aberdeenshire AB54 4LX
Druminnor Castle is a unique and fascinating example of a laird’s house, dating from the early 15th century, which was the original seat of the Chiefs of Clan Forbes. Still in the hands of the Forbes family, Alex Forbes of Druminnor welcomed Clan Hay to his home for a formal black tie dinner and ‘murder mystery’ event, with a Scottish flavour. This event is part of the Clan Hay Society’s “Tartan Ties” programme, created to bring Clan Hay members together with local communities, and equal numbers of clansmen and locals took part. This programme of events is generously supported by Visit Scotland, the Scottish Government’s agency charged with promoting Scotland as a tourist destination.
Saturday 1st August: Aboyne Highland Games
Aboyne, Aberdeenshire AB34 5HY
The Aboyne Highland Games is one of the principal events on the Highland Games circuit, attracting competitors from throughout Scotland and as far afield as North America and Australasia – a “must see” occasion for visitors to the area. Competitions are held between pipers, Highland dancers, pipe bands, in track and field events and, of course, in the traditional ‘heavy’ events for which the Highland Games is most famous, including tossing the caber, hammer throwing and much more.
The Clan Hay Society dispensed hospitality throughout the day from its tent in the Clan Village, where we took our place with many of the other principal families of North East Scotland, including Clans Leask, Burnett, Irvine, Leslie, Gordon, Forbes, Fraser and Farquharson. A warm welcome was extended to all Hays who are visiting the games.
Saturday 1st August: Ceilidh Dance and Supper
MacRobert Hall, The Square, Tarland, Aberdeenshire AB34 4YL
A traditional Scottish Ceilidh with food, music and dancing in the local hall of the charming village of Tarland, and another event in the ‘Tartan Ties’ programme. Live music was provided by Andy Linklater and Rob McCombie and guests dined on a hog roast. A very happy evening of food, drink, music and dancing, enabling Hays to get together with members of the local community, sponsored by Visit Scotland.
Sunday 2nd August: Lunch at the Clan Hay Centre
Delgatie Castle, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, AB53 5TD
Delgatie Castle has been in the hands of the Hays for most of the last 600 years, originally coming to a younger son of the Hays of Dronlaw by marriage to the Fraser heiress. It was lovingly restored over a period of nearly 50 years by the late Captain John Hay of Hayfield who allowed his home to be designated the official Clan Hay Centre.
Members of Clan Hay were welcomed for lunch in the castle’s Yester Room and for tours the castle and its extensive policies.
Keep an eye on this page for details of our 2016 programme, which will be finalised by the end of the year.