Both of this year’s Gold Medals are won by Glasgow islanders

Claire Macaulay and Ruairidh Alasdair MacLennan show off their Royal National Mòd Gold medals. Images by Willie Urquhart – WHFP.

Claire Macaulay’s final week living in Glasgow proved a busy but memorable one, winning the Royal National Mòd Gold Medal just days before she was due to say farewell to her adopted home.

After 18 years living in the city, Claire and family were due to move back to her native Ness in Lewis on Monday.

The 36-year-old teacher had previously won the Traditional Gold when the mòd was in Stornoway in 2016. She said: “Traditional is my more natural method of singing, so it was a big challenge to go for this competition.

“Kirsteen Grant, the conductor of Glasgow Islay Choir, has been a massive help to me.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet that I have won. I’ve had a million things going on, but I’m sure over the next few days, once I’ve had some proper sleep, I can start to savour it.”

Claire Macaulay was preparing to move back to her native Ness the day after her gold medal victory.

Claire, husband Donald, and their three youngest children were all making the move north.

“I won my first Gold at home and the second one in what I’d consider my second home. It’s all lovely timing,” added Claire, who topped off her successful mòd by being part of a winning quartet in a further competition on Friday.

Meanwhile, a good luck message in Gaelic from favourite team Partick Thistle helped inspire men’s Gold Medal winner Ruairidh Alasdair MacLennan.

The men’s gold medal winner Ruairidh Alasdair MacLennan returned to the mòd this year after a 13-year gap.

Ruairidh Alasdair — a 26-year-old BBC sports reporter from Glasgow, who has family connections to South Uist — is a long-time season ticket holder at Firhill.

He said the fact the mòd was in his home city had prompted him to take part this year following a 13-year gap.

“I’m surprised and delighted to have won — particularly in my home city as well,” he said.

“I hadn’t competed since I won the boys’ silver medal in 2006. And you know how it is — the more time goes on the less likely you are to go back to it.

“But we worked hard at it, and it has gone much better than I expected.”

He added: “I’m very fortunate to have had two such dedicated tutors help me along — not just to help me win the competition but even to get me singing at all.

“My mother, Ishabel T Macdonald, has been involved in the traditional music scene for many years, and over the years she mentored a number of other medallists. I was fortunate to be taught by my mother, and also Kenna Campbell. I can only put on record my thanks to them.”

Correction: We would like to apologise for an error in the caption which appeared on the front page of this week’s edition – Friday 25th October. The caption wrongly stated that Isabelle Bain and Crisdean MacKenzie were the winners of the Royal National Mòd Gold Medals when the winners were Claire Macaulay and Ruairidh Alasdair MacLennan as detailed above.

Isabelle Bain won the ladies’ Traditional Gold Medal, while Crisdean MacKenzie won the men’s Traditional Gold Medal. We would like to apologise for any confusion this may have caused.