This year’s silver pendants won by Oban and Fort William competitors

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This year’s Royal National Mod silver pendants are heading to Oban and Fort William.

Julie-Ann MacFadyen, from Oban, won the women’s silver pendant on Wednesday, while Calum MacColla, from Fort William, won the men’s.

‘It’s lovely, I am delighted to win,’ Julie-Ann told The Oban Times. ‘I did not expect it. I am always so nervous singing.’

Former gold medallist, Oban/Taynuilt man Alisdair Barnett watched Julie-Ann win the pendant, as well as the Catherine Gemmell Memorial Trophy.

Alisdair, who also is the convenor of the Inverness mod in 2020, said: ‘I won the silver pendant in 1986 and Catherine was there when I won it. We were good pals. I went on to win the gold medal 10 years later and I expect Julie to do the same, but not take as long.’

This is Julie-Ann’s third year competing as an adult. She now lives in Edinburgh, ‘although west is the best’, she added.

She was not the only Obanite competing in the ladies category. Mary MacKinnon finished third in the silver pendant.

Julie-Ann said: ‘It was especially nice to see Mary singing. She sang so beautifully. It is lovely to see more Oban folk taking part.’

Calum McColla, a meteorologist from Fort William, won the men’s silver pendant.

Speaking to The Oban Times, he said: ‘It was a big surprise for me. It is a big jump from going from learners.’

For this competition, Calum had to learn four songs, however, he said the songs help him learn the language.