The First Gourock Highland Games – 1956
The first Gourock Highland Games was held on Saturday 21st July 1956 to celebrate the official opening of the new playing fields at Gourock Park. It was considered that a Highland Gathering would have a wider appeal, particularly to women and children, than a sports meeting.
The playing fields were opened by Scottish Rugby’s John Bannerman, and the Games were presided over by Chieftain Colonel Duncan Darroch, Laird of Gourock. Indeed, the Darroch family presided over the Games for the next thirty years or so.
Eight pipe bands competed and the West of Scotland Highland Dance Championship, which is still held in Gourock Park today, was instituted, with fifty-three dancers taking part. Other events included a 14 mile road race, adult, junior and schools flat and relay races, handicap high jump, tossing the caber, tug-of-war and putting the 16lb ball.