Film ID:
NEFA 21348



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This amateur record of the Braemar Gathering and Highland Games in 1929 was made by James Cameron, one of the founders of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA). The Princess Royal (Duchess of Fife), Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Elizabeth, Duchess of York, and the Duke of Gloucester are amongst the thousands of spectators who cheer on competitors in the sports such as tossing the caber, throwing the hammer and highland dancing and piping.

Title: Gathering of the Braemar Royal Highland Society Sept 1929

Credit: By James Cameron

Title: Clunie Water from the Bridge at Braemar

Setting the scene for the event, there’s a general view of the rapids of Clunie Water at Braemar with surrounding mountains.

Title: In the Village

The village of Braemar in Royal Deeside is busy with visitors, some of the women dressed in fashionable 1920s hats and coats.

A man in black-face, dressed like a Sikh Indian in turban, (but smoking a cigarette), plies his trade as a fortune teller with cards and crystal ball. His advertising board promotes “The Wonder of the East”. A woman in a cloche hat is selling bunches of heather. A black man is selling balloons.

Title: In Case of Need

Red Cross nurses and male officials are on hand at the event.

Title: The Games Open With a Bagpipe Playing Contest

A kilted competitor plays bagpipes on stage in a piping competition. The grandstands in the background are still fairly empty. The judges sit at a table beside the stage.

Title: Braemar Lassies

A Braemar clansman in kilt guides three young girls through marquees at the Gathering.

Title: Clansmen march to the field

Title: Balmoral Highlanders – smouldering Lochabers

A large audience are gathered around the sports ring for the parade of the kilted Balmoral Highlanders clansmen led by pipers.

Title: Duff Highlanders – carrying Pikes

Another neighbouring clan, the Duff Highlanders (from Mar Estate) take part in the parade, led by pipers and drummers, some carrying pikes. The wooded mountains loom over the arena, The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park.

Title: Putting 16ibs Ball. New record – 43’ – 7”

“Heavy” athletes at the Highland Games demonstrate their prowess in 'putting the stone', a shot put competition, also known as ‘tossing the stone’ celebrating a new record.

Title: Throwing 16lbs hammer

Two burly Highlanders in kilt and vest throw the hammer in competition. The ground is tamped down between attempts. One competitor loses his rhythm and starts his throw again.

Title: Viscount Dunedin – with his moto camera

Title: The Gordon Highlanders team give a gymnastic display

An enormous crow is in the grandstand for the Gordon Highlanders display. Drummers and pipers perform in the arena. Then young men in white shorts and vests perform synchronised gymnastic and exercise routines, including group exercises on the parallel bars and pommel horse.

Title: Putting the heavy stone

Young clansmen in kilts take part in tossing the stone, a Scottish shot put contest.

Title: A Worthy Winner

Portrait shot of the winning contestant taking his throw.

Title: Comparing Notes

The judges check each other’s scores.

Title: Highland Dancing

Two traditional Highland dancers perform together on stage, accompanied by the bagpipes. Another solo dancer in full tartans performs, the grandstands now packed with people in the background.

Title: Start for “The Quarter”

In the athletics, a men’s sprint race starts up for the quarter finals.

Title: The Marquis of Aberdeen receives the Royal Party

Prince Albert, The Duke of York, dressed in a kilt, and Elizabeth, the Duchess of York, alight from the royal car, followed by the Duke of Gloucester, and are received by George Gordon, 2nd Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, in full ceremonial regalia. The royal party walk off camera to the Royal Box.

Title: Interested Spectators

General view of the huge crowd.

Title: The Duke of York in the Royal Pavilion Witnesses the March Past of the Clansmen

Clansmen carrying vicious looking Lochaber axes march past the regally decorated Royal Box, followed by pipers and drummers, and clansmen with pikes.

Title: Tossing the Caber

The competition of tossing the caber takes place, the caber so large it takes two men to lift into upright position.

Title: Throwing the 22lbs hammer. New record 92’-6”

Two competitors in kilts swing the hammer, the first falling over after a huge swing.

Title: Vaulting with Pole

Three pole vaulters make attempts and clear the bar.

Title: Throwing 56lbs weight. New record 34’ 7½”

Kilted contestants throw the hammer, one attaining a new record.

Title: Highlanders being Played Off the Field

A march past of pipers, drummers and clansmen with spears perform a grand finale march past.

Title: The End