SANDRA Stokoe, the new Chieftain for the 15th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships, will lead the way at the event, which takes place tomorrow.

Sandra, who is the incoming president of the Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Traquair Rotary Club, was born in Amble in Northumberland and trained as a nurse in Newcastle, before moving to the Borders.

Sandra said: "I am truly honoured to be asked to perform the duties of Chieftain for the 15th Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships on behalf of the Rotary Club of Innerleithen Walkerburn and Traquair (IWT).

"Rotary is always eager to support local clubs and societies and this is no exception: IWT Rotary has been a supporter of the Championship since its inception and this is a great honour for the club to be given the privilege of holding the position of Chieftain during my second term as President," she added.

"Hailing from Northumberland, where I have spent much of my life, I am not unfamiliar with the sound of the pipes, but of a slightly different nature, but nevertheless I can appreciate the skirl of the pipes echoing through the Tweed valley. 

"The society, has over the past years, brought the area to prominence with the Championships here in Innerleithen and this can be nothing but a bonus to the town. I look forward to carrying out my duties as Chieftain of the Championships and hope that the weather is kind to the competition."

The highly anticipated event gets under way tomorrow and Allan Johnston, secretary of St Ronan’s Piping Society, says the event will have something for everyone.

He said: "This year’s event will be taking place on September 10 again in the grounds of St Ronan’s primary School. 

"The site is excellent with good accommodation, parking and beer tent, side stalls with face painting, ice cream and hot snacks even pony rides. 

"And this year with our Grand Summer Raffle, kindly donated by Kilberry Bagpipes, Edinburgh, some lucky winner will win a full set of Scottish Small Pipes.

"Chieftain Sandra will be piped down to the school grounds from St Ronan’s Road about 10.45 am on Saturday to take over the reins from last year’s Chieftain Norman Scott," he added.

Sandra will take the salute from the massed bands at 5pm and (weather permitting) will be saluted by the participating bands as they parade about 5.30pm from St. Ronan’s Road, Queen Street, Horsbrugh Street and High Street to fall out in Hall Street."

As an added attraction to this year’s event the RSPBA Lothian & Borders Branch will be crowning their "Champion of Champions" the bands who have won overall during the competitive season. 

Entry to the event will be £3 pp (£2 concession) and children in buggies are free. Parking will be £2 per car.