A SCORCHER of a day made the return of Gourock Highland Games an ‘incredible’ success - with an estimated 5,000 crowd flocking to the event.

Sunday's spectacular was eagerly awaited by many, after being cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic.

It featured pipe band and drum major competitions, highland dance contests, heavyweight events, children’s entertainment and gifts and craft stalls.

George McLeary, long-term community volunteer and chieftain of this year’s games, describes the event as ‘a lovely memory to be cherished forever.’

George said: “It was a fantastic day in gorgeous sunshine.

"Gourock Highland Games are one of the first of the season and everyone agreed by the end of the day that this year’s event was a perfect way to kick things off.”

The games available, including tug-of-war and throwing of the Kempock Stane, were open to competitors young and old alike and saw people from across the country and beyond go head-to-head.

George added: “It was great to hear where everyone was from and how far they'd travelled to join the games here in Inverclyde.

"There were people came from Chile, America and Japan.”

George has been a pillar of the community for many years, heavily involved with both Greenock Police and the Greenock Royal Naval Reserve, as well as leading in the area’s annual Remembrance Sunday commemorations as parade commander.

He said it as an honour to be selected for the position at the helm of the games, giving out prizes as well as delivering the opening and closing speeches.

George said: “I am so honoured I got to follow in the footsteps of other great people and be part of this incredible day as the chieftain.

"I will never forget this moment."

Now the countdown is on to another big Battery Park showpiece, as the council prepares to host the British Pipe Band Championship on May 21.