Civic Week far from a damp squib despite rain

Colour bussers Maisie Wight, Rebecca Peddie, Zara Currie and Rachel Wamyss with Kelso Laddie Craig Logan.
Colour bussers Maisie Wight, Rebecca Peddie, Zara Currie and Rachel Wamyss with Kelso Laddie Craig Logan.
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Kelso Laddie Craig Logan returned the town’s 80-year-old standard unsullied and untarnished, if absolutely soaked, on Saturday on what he described as his favourite day of civic week despite the rain.

Saturday’s main ride to Yetholm saw the weather turn in a cruel twist after a week of blistering sunshine.

The act of remembrance at Kirk Yetholm war memorial.

The act of remembrance at Kirk Yetholm war memorial.

However, it failed to put a dampener on Craig’s big week.

“I enjoyed absolutely everything we did,” he said. “The highlights have to be Wednesday’s bussing, which thankfully all went to plan, and Thursday’s ball, which was a great night, but Saturday was my favourite day despite the weather. We were expecting it, so we just got on with it.

“The kids were smiling throughout, and that’s not easy in that weather.”

The 22-year-old joiner headed up a 230-strong mounted cavalcade for the annual visit to Yetholm, where he was greeted by huge support despite the torrential rain.

The colour bussing ceremony.

The colour bussing ceremony.

Reaching the village, Craig and his right and left-hand men Ian Wheelans and Fraser Hastie were greeted by the Rev Ian Clark at the war memorial, where Craig laid a wreath.

Riding on to Kirk Yetholm, he was met by Yetholm Community Council and this year’s Bari Manushi, Amberlie Allan, and Bari Gadgi, Joseph Mallen, who presented Craig with the traditional Yetholm jagger.

It was a special day too for Craig’s grandfather, 1964 Kelso laddie Alastair Neil, who joined him on horseback.

“I saw him at the racecourse in his riding stuff on Saturday morning, and it was a bit of a surprise,” he said. “I was up seeing him the other night and was absolutely buzzing still.”

Kelso Laddie Craig Logan with his left and right-hand men Ian Whellans and Fraser Hastie.

Kelso Laddie Craig Logan with his left and right-hand men Ian Whellans and Fraser Hastie.

In stark contrast to the downpour in Yetholm, Craig enjoyed the best of the weather earlier in the week for Wednesday’s colour-bussing ceremony, which defied the forecast to allow Craig to take guardianship of the burgh standard in glorious sunshine.

One of the most important evenings in the town’s week, it saw crowds lined six deep around the square for the poignant ceremony, which Craig admits he found a little nerve-wracking.

“I was fine all day because we had so many visits to make that I never had a chance to think much about it,” he said.

“But waiting up in the town hall to go out on to the stage, I was a bit nervous then.

Left and right-hand men Ian Whellans and Fraser Hastie.

Left and right-hand men Ian Whellans and Fraser Hastie.

“It was a different experience. Some people say it’s the best or worst thing you can do. I don’t know which, but I really enjoyed it.

Paying tribute to his lady bussers Rebecca Peddie and Maisie Wight, of Broomlands Primary School, and Rachel Wemyss and Zara Currie, of Edenside Primary School, he added: “The girls were absolutely fantastic.”

Saturday’s festivities were the climax to a week of rideouts, ceremonies and other events.

The ever-popular fancy dress parade brought laughter to the wet cobbles of Kelso on Saturday evening before the civic week came to a close on a more serious note with the returning of the burgh standard to provost Dean Weatherstone.

Craig added: “It has all passed really fast. Everybody said it would be quick, but it’s been even quicker than I expected. There’s no time to think about it, but we had seen everybody else’s, so we were ready for it to be our week.”

The award for the oldest rider to Yetholm went once again to ex-Kelso laddie Jimmy Hinnigan, and the youngest was six-year-old Jamie Wilson.

Kelso Laddie Craig Logan with the standard in the square.

Kelso Laddie Craig Logan with the standard in the square.