TWENTY years ago this month, Largs last hosted the Royal National Mod Gaelic music spectacular.

It was just the third time the town hosted the competition, which celebrates traditional Gaelic music, after a wait of nearly 40 years since the event's previous visit.

The 2002 Mod was particularly special for Largs octogenarian John Angus Macleod, convener of the Largs Mod Committee.

Not only did John get the opportunity to see the 99th Royal National Mod reaching its climax in his home town but he got the opportunity to hear one of his songs performed in one of the festival’s biggest musical competitions.

He had written a special song with music by pianist Norma MacDougall, of Seamill, which was performed by Largs Gaelic Choir in the coveted Lovat and Tullibardine contest in Inverclyde Main Hall.

The event was spread across several venues in the town, including Inverclyde Sports Centre and the Vikingar!

MP Brian Wilson, who was one of the prime movers in bringing the National Mod to Largs gave a passionate speech, mostly in Gaelic, at the opening ceremony and said that the Scottish Parliament could do much to promote the language. 

The ceremony also saw the traditional crowning of the Bard, Myles Campbell, watched by Largs Gaelic speaking primary school pupil Siobhan McMaster.

It was a huge event in terms of the town's profile, with nightly television broadcasts showing Largs at it's very best.

Local winners photographed included the Kelburn Primary School Gaelic Choir, Susan McFadyen of West Kilbride, who won the Smith Mearns Trophy for open accordion play and Cumbrae school choir, who finished second to Largs Gaelic Choir in the Walking Song Competition. John Blair won the Largs Trophy, with Colin Fisher as runner-up. Colin, of Skelmorlie, was also second equal in the Silver Pendant and won the Morag Salver or Gaelic.