Kelso Laddie Callum saddles up for first time

2012 Kelso Laddie Declaration.  Kelso Laddie Callum Vickers  flanked by his right and left hand men Phil Hume and Murray Playfair after his declaration on friday.
2012 Kelso Laddie Declaration. Kelso Laddie Callum Vickers flanked by his right and left hand men Phil Hume and Murray Playfair after his declaration on friday.
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THE Kelso Laddie for 2012 – the town Civic Week’s 75th year – is Callum Vickers, writes Sally Gillespie.

The proud young man was introduced to crowds in Kelso Square on declaration night on Friday.

He said: “It’s a great privilege. I’m looking forward to the whole experience. I’m honoured to be elected 2012 Kelso Laddie and promise to endeavour to carry out my duties to the best of my ability.”

Kelso Laddies’ Association chairman Neil Hastie introduced Callum before Provost Fiona Scott sashed the 75th Laddie. He addressed the assembled crowd before leading everyone in the singing of “Kelsae Bonnie Kelsae”.

The 20-year-old plumber of Inch Gardens is the first in his family to take a leading role in the town’s celebrations.

His driving instructor dad Paul, mother Wilma, brother Sean, 23, and sisters Michelle, 36, and Sarah, 34, are delighted for the former Edenside pupil.

Callum said: “They are very proud and excited for it all to begin – they can’t wait for Kelso Civic Week to come round.”

This week Callum was starting horse-riding lessons: “I’ve never been on a horse. I can’t wait. I just want to get started and get on with all if it.”

Callum attended Kelso High School before studying at Borders College and gaining his apprenticeship with Dean Wilson of Coldstream, where he has worked for the last four years.

He enjoys golf and socialising, and says of the upcoming summer celebrations: “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and leading the cavalcade, the whole experience.”

He expects a highlight will be the ceremonial colour-bussing ceremony in Kelso Square on the Wednesday evening of the week-long event.

“I’m excited about it – but probably will be nervous beforehand,” he said.

Callum will be aided in his duties by Right and Left-Hand Men Phil Hume and Murray Playfair respectively.

There are four lady bussers – 11-year-olds Aimee Martin, Lauren Mackay, Betheny Millar and Lucy Murray.

Aimee, who attends Edenside Primary School, enjoys swimming, tennis, dancing and hockey. She said she was both proud and pleased to be chosen and would be following the Floors rideout on a bike.

Also from Edenside, Lauren will be undertaking her first rideout to Heiton during Civic Week and is looking forward most to the Wednesday evening colour-bussing ceremony, while Betheny, from Broomlands Primary, is “really excited and happy” to be chosen.

Lucy, also from Broomlands Primary, who plays hockey, netball and golf, said: “I’m really pleased and happy about representing the school and town.” She will be biking with Aimee to Floors. She’s also be getting a few tips from her aunt, Karina Wilson, who was a lady busser in 1984.

This year ex-Laddie Jim Henderson celebrates his silver jubilee, while Angus Balden marks 50 years since he led the town’s summer celebrations.