Suddenly the first Saturday in December is almost here.
The bonnets are ready, the greenery and lights are up, and the shop windows have been decorated. Hopefully the weather will be crisp and clear - and the holes in the road will be filled in!
Every year Scott’s Selkirk celebrate’s the times of Sir Walter Scott, when he was sheriff of The Royal and Ancient Burgh, and on Saturday (December 6)the town is once again looking forward to welcoming visitors, old and new, to experience all that Scott’s Selkirk has to offer.
On Friday the town is transformed by hard–working helpers – with market stalls, stages, and Meg Dods’ kitchen in the County Pend. Security provided by Selkirk Youth Club keeps a watchful eye on it all overnight
The Scott’s Selkirk shop in the Market Place is open from 7am, when stallholders start to arrive. Costumes can be hired on the day if you haven’t got your one organized yet.
The event swings into action at 10am when the opening parade leaves from Mungo Park, led by the Flute Band, to the Market Place for the opening ceremony and wreath laying at the Scott statue.
Don’t miss Selkirk Rotary Charities Bazaar in the Victoria Halls from 10am to 3pm or Selkirk Parish Church’s First World War memorabilia – open all day Saturday and after the church service on Sunday.
In the High Street you’ll find Ye Olde Tea Shoppe in St Joseph’s Church hall, from 10am, Santa’s grotto, the North Wind Street Organ, birds of prey and a host of market stalls as well as horse and carriage rides.
In the Market Place throughout the day there is a full programme of musical entertainment, plus more stalls, performances by Creative Stage, and the Kick the Cat Cloggers
One of the most eagerly awaited experiences of the day is the re-enactment of Sir Walter’s court cases in his old court room below the town clock.
Tickets are available at the courtroom 45 minutes before each show The shows are: 11am and 2.30pm – The Hare in the Girn of Wire; noon, 1.30pm, and 3.30pm – The Bolting of the Jolted Colt.
In Halliwells House Museum – just off the Market Place – there are children’s craft workshops 11am,12.30pm, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Plenty of fun with paper, glitter and glue (£1 per activity).
The United Churches Carol Singers, Border Clansmen, Borders Youth Theatre Pirates and Bob Burgess the Scott’s Selkirk Toun Cryer will be also be out and about on the streets.
Selkirk has a host of permanent and pop-up shops to visit throughout the day
In the County Hotel you will find The Selkirk Players presenting Gibbie Proposes with performances at noon, 1.30pm and 3.15pm.
Also in the hotel there are Matt Seattle and Donald Knox at 2.30pm presenting Geordie Syme’s Parcel o Tunes. Geordie Syme, Toun Piper of Dalkeith and piper to the Duchess of Buccleuch, was the best piper of his day according to Sir Walter’s uncle, Thomas Scott of Monklaw, Jedburgh.
Following clues left in the Buccleuch family music library, Matt Seattle gives a taste of a virtuoso piper’s repertoire from the heyday of the Border piping tradition, and a preview of his forthcoming book of Geordie’s tunes, expertly accompanied by Donald Knox.
In the library in Ettrick Terrace, join Mark Douglas,Scottish Borders Council’s principal officer (built heritage & design), or a free, informal talk on the built heritage of Selkirk – buildings as they were in Scott’s time. That’s at 1pm and places can be booked at the Library.
Selkirk Country Dancers are at Connections in the Back Row at 1pm while at Rowlands in the West Port there are teas and coffee from 10am until 2pm.
Up the County Pend there is Meg Dods’ kitchen offering hot food, mulled wine, and musical entertainment all day long culminating with a ceilidh at 5.15pm.
Musical entertainment in the Market Place and Meg Dods’ Kitchen is provided by the town’s three town bands, Silver, Pipe and Flute, plus terrific regular performers the Back Row Buskers, Back Row Ceilidh Band, Beggar Girls, Carly Blain and Graeme Armstrong, Bogie’s Close Stompers, Carlenjig, Gael Force, Highline Fiddlers, John Irving and Sheila Sapkota, and, of course, Riddell Fiddles.
The end of the day timetable
•4.15pm: Torchlight procession leaves the Market Place for a parade around the town and mulled wine
•4.45pm: Closing Ceremony in Market Place
•5pm: Spectacular Belmont fireworks display, with Selkirk Silver Band
•5.15pm – 6pm: Meg Dods’ Ceilidh in the County Pend
•7.30pm: Scott’s Selkirk concert, County Hotel. Tickets from Scott’s Selkirk shop, Market Place
The Scott’s Selkirk committee hopes everyone has a wonderful day – and look forward to seeing you there.
A full programme will be available on the day from the Scott’s Selkirk shop, plus detailed timetables will be on display at the venues.