Lewis Highland Games

The History of Lewis Highland Games

1920s Games

We have not been able to find out exactly when the first Highland Games took place in Lewis (but we are working on it ) but it seems it has always been in the Stornoway area. Research is ongoing but so far we have discovered that the event was probably well established by the time war broke out in 1914, possibly having originated in the late nineteenth century. The event was probably shelved during the war and we believe that the Co-operative Society ran a sporting event at Willow Glen Park by the grounds of the Lews Castle for one or two years around 1919/20.

The photograph shown (from the collection of Mr Alasdair Maciver) was taken at the Games in 1921 on the Willow Glen site. The man tossing the caber is Maclolm Calum Arnol MacIver, who stood 6' 3" and lived in the Foresters House within Lady Lever Park. He was the only man to toss the caber successfully that year.

When the event outgrew this park it was moved to Goathill Park. More recently the event was organised by the local football association at Goathill Park until the Tong Recreation Association accepted the responsibility of hosting the event when they opened their new hall and sports facility in 1975.

The project to build the new hall in Tong cost £70,000, a huge amount of money to have been raised by a community in those days. But this was just the start of the fundraising as the building had to be maintained. The TRA initially took on the running of the Lewis Highland Games as an annual fundraiser for the hall but later formed a separate organisation - The Lewis Highland Games Association - which now works in close partnership with the TRA.

The first Lewis Highland Games to be held at Tong in July 1976. Over 2,500 people attended the event, which was though to be a record for a rural event at the time.

Now the event can attract up to twice as many visitors and is still staged by a small army of volunteers from the village of Tong and its surrounding districts who pull out all the stops to ensure that locals and visitors alike have a fantastic day out!

The Lewis Highland Games overall winners in the Heavy Events

1976 Alex A. Macdonald 1986 James MacBeath
1977 Alex A. Macdonald 1987 Alastair Fraser
1978 Neil Macdonald, John MacPherson,
Alex A. Macdonald (1978 saw a 3 way tie)
1988 Alastair Fraser
1979 Alex A. Macdonald 1989 Alastair Fraser
1980 Neil Macdonald 1990 Jamie MacBeath
1981 Neil Macdonald 1992  
1982 Donald Norman Morrison 1993 Jamie MacBeath
1983 Alastair Fraser 1994 Uisdean Fraser
1984 Alastair Fraser 1995 Uisdean Fraser
1985 Alastair Fraser    

From 1996 the heavy events were split into two categories

LocalOpen

1996

1997

JohnMacfarlane

John Macfarlane

James MacBeath

James MacBeath

1998John MacfarlaneJimmy Barr
1998John MacfarlaneJimmy Barr
1999John MacfarlaneJames MacBeath
2000John MacfarlaneJames MacBeath
2001 John Macfarlane  
2002Stuart MorrisonIain MacKay

  Heavy Events   Strongman Events  
  Local Open Local Open
2002 Stuart Morrison Iain MacKay Stuart Morrison Stuart Morrison
2003 Stuart Morrison Stuart Morrison Stuart Morrison D Eastwood
2004 Stuart Morrison J. MacBeath Stuart Morrison Stuart Morrison
2005 R. Fraser R. Fraser Stuart Morrison Stuart Morrison
2006 R. Fraser R. Fraser A.J. MacLean A.J. MacLean

2007

2008

2009

R. Fraser

R Fraser

R Fraser

R. Fraser

R Fraser

R Fraser

A.J. MacLean

J Macfaralne

R Fraser

Hart

J Macfarlane

R Fraser