Birthday picnic and music planned as Walter turns 240

Plans are being drawn up to put flags from the Battle of Waterloo 1815, recovered by Sir Walter Scott, on public display at Abbotsford House. Pictured is the front of Abbotsford House. 13th June 2008. Picture by JANE BARLOW
Plans are being drawn up to put flags from the Battle of Waterloo 1815, recovered by Sir Walter Scott, on public display at Abbotsford House. Pictured is the front of Abbotsford House. 13th June 2008. Picture by JANE BARLOW
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Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, is to mark the novelist’s 240th birthday with two special events at the historic attraction.

Borders residents are invited to join the celebrations which take place on Sunday, August 14 and comprise events themed The Party at the Clarty after the original name of the property where Abbotsford now stands, which was bought by Scott in 1812.

The first event begins at 4pm with picnics on the Abbotsford Terrace and entertainment by Borders-based traditional musicians the Blain Brothers and a release of 240 balloons.

Visitors can bring their own picnic or pre-order one from the Abbotsford Café.

Admission costs £5.50 for adults and £3.50 for children aged six to 15. Children under six go free and the price includes a tour of the house.

The second event, Scott’s Auld and New, comprises a concert in the Abbotsford library followed by drinks and canapés.

The music will be based on Scott and the Borders and includes some pieces devised from Scott’s collection of manuscripts. The performers will be Elspeth Smellie, who will sing and play the clarsach, Christopher Keatinge on accordion and Matt Seattle who will play the Border pipes, guitar and fiddle.

Tickets cost £20 for adults and £10 for children up to 15 years old. Joint tickets are available for anyone wishing to attend both events and cost £22 for adults, £12 for children and £65 for a family ticket (two adults and two children).

Beverley Rutherford, marketing manager at Abbotsford said: “Sir Walter Scott was renowned for his love of entertaining and traditional music so we felt that it was only right to continue those traditions with these special events to celebrate his 240th birthday.

“The house is set to close for the start of renovations in September so this will be an ideal opportunity for Borders residents to see this wonderful attraction before work begins.

“We hope as many local residents as possible will join us to celebrate Sir Walter’s big day.”