Dad and son hammer their way into history

Fraser Tough was elected as Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen's Standard Bearer 2017, and his father Alan Tough was appointed as the incorporation's Deacon.
Fraser Tough was elected as Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen's Standard Bearer 2017, and his father Alan Tough was appointed as the incorporation's Deacon.

A father and son made history this week when they were respectively appointed as deacon and standard bearer of Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen.

Fraser Tough, a joiner who works for his dad, Alan Tough, was elected as this year’s Hammermen standard bearer at the group’s annual general meeting on Tuesday night.

Fraser Tough, 30, of Selkirk, was elected as Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen's Standard Bearer 2017.

Fraser Tough, 30, of Selkirk, was elected as Selkirk Incorporation of Hammermen's Standard Bearer 2017.

He takes over the role from Graeme Legge.

The 30-year-old, of Clifton Road, Selkirk, grew up in the town and attended Selkirk High School before training at Borders College in Galashiels.

He lives with his partner, Melanie Hermiston, and says she “will keep me right”.

After joining the incorporation 12 years ago, Fraser is now keen to take on his responsibilities as standard bearer.

He said: “I’m really happy to have been appointed standard bearer as I’ve been wanting to do it for a number of years now.

“I am very excited to get started with my duties, and I am sure it is going to be a very busy year.”

Keeping things in the family, on the same night his dad Alan took over as deacon of the incorporation from Kevin Fairbairn.

Fraser added: “I don’t think there has been another situation like this before.

“It adds a new emotion to it, and to be honest I think my dad was more nervous than me on the night.”

Alan is also father to 26-year-old joiner Scott and Andrew, 32, a worker for Fochabers-based food company Baxters.

He joined the organisation back in 1977 after training at Galashiels Techinical College.

He was inspired to take up the trade from his own dad, Billy, a joiner all his life.

The 56-year-old hailed the flag in 1995, and his wife Linda was his lady busser.

He told the Wee Paper: “It’s a great honour and something that I have always had a hankering to do, but it’s never been the right time.

“I was standard bearer in 1995, and that has a deep effect on you. It changes your views within the incorporation.

“I work from home a lot of the time now, so the timing is just right. It’s a big commitment obviously.

“Linda knows what it involves, and she is also just delighted that her wee boy’s been appointed as standard bearer.”

He added: “I am looking forward to working with friends to ensure that this year’s common riding is the prestigious event that it should be.”

The election took place at the group’s annual general meeting, held at County Hotel.

The Selkirk Common Riding, a tradition in the town for over 400 years, will take place during the week starting Monday, June 12.

The riding of the marches will last for around four and a half hours before the riders return to Market Place for the casting of the colours at the main ceremony on Saturday, June 16.