THE Borders were ablaze celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee over the weekend.
Beacons were lit from Blainslie to the border, burning on the Eildons, at Penielheugh, Hume Castle and other prominent landmarks as communities came together to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign.
A highlight of Lauder’s many events was Sunday night’s sell-out concert, compered by Ian Brotherston, with live music spanning the six decades of Her Majesty’s reign from talented local artists, including Mick Whellans, Tich Frier, Alan Windram, June Meikle, Fiona Laing, Justine Blaszk, and Seven Brunettes and a Ginger.
Sunday’s community picnic drew about 500 people to the grounds of Thirlestane Castle. Combined with Saturday’s tea dance in the Public Hall and the lighting of beacons at Jeaniefield, Blainslie and on Lauder Common’s Staunchley Hill on Monday night.
Lauder community councillor Graeme Donald said: “Every event was a highlight and everybody involved a hero.”
In Selkirk, townsfolk turned out in force on Monday afternoon to watch Royal Burgh Standard Bearer Gavin Henderson perform the coronation of Knowepark Primary pupil Iona Clyne, aged nine.
The party, organised by Scott’s Selkirk, began in Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom and Queen Iona, preceded by Gavin, bearing the town’s millennium torch, made their way to the pend of the County Hotel where a crowd of more than 100 had gathered.
Scott’s Selkirk chairman Tommy Combe called for three cheers for Iona, Gavin used the torch to light a jubilee beacon and the crowd was kept entertained throughout the afternoon by Riddell Fiddles and singer Hilary Bell.
In Peebles more than 100 people attended the community council-organised lunch of fish and chips, ice-cream and cup cakes in the Burgh Hall on Sunday, which also included music by the Peebles Concert Band. On Monday evening over 200 people from the Royal Burgh watched as local Round Tablers lit and released 60 red, white and blue sky lanterns.
Jedburgh citizens held street parties and communities around the town celebrated with a family day at Edgerston.
At Midlem, near Selkirk, there was a flypast on Monday when farmer Robin Johnson dipped the wings of his RV7 two seater single-engine plane as villagers outside the hall enjoyed 1950s music, festive food, ice-cream and drink and games and competitions.
A commemorative oak tree was planted near the village Smithy by Gilly Dalton, of Lilliesleaf, whose grandfather, Brigadier General James Bruce Jardine, gave the land on which Midlem village hall was built.
Red, white and blue was the theme for Teviothead’s jubilee tea in the village hall on Sunday after the church service. The gable end of the church has been restored along with the church bell – and former local blacksmith Alex Burgon, who had worked on the bell in the past, rang it.
Saturday afternoon in Newstead featured a tea party in the village hall when the festivities culminated in a toast to the Queen.
More than 200 people attended Kirk Yetholm Jubilee picnic on The Green on Monday which also included games, a ping pong competition and quiz and Bari Manushi Zoe Keddie judged an inspired Jubilee hats competition.
Other Yetholm celebrations included a beacon party on Town Yetholm Green on Monday with party at The Plough Hotel and beacons were lit on the Venchen, Staerough and Wideopen hills around the village.
See www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk and next week’s Southern for Jubilee competition results.