Hark ye gallant chiels o’ Kelsae, Dance and sing your cares away, Drink a toast – a bright tomorrow, Never, never dread that day.
So runs the chorus of the rousing seven-verse The Gallant Chiels o’ Kelsae which will soon be sung again with great gusto during Kelso Civic Week.
This year, Kelso Civic Week celebrations will be led by proud Calum Thomson, a 20-year-old joiner.
Kelsonians, their neighbours and friends will be out in force to support their Laddie and remember Provost Scott’s contribution to the life of this burgh.
Two of Calum’s most ardent supporters will be his parents David and Vera. Also lending family backing will be younger sister Emma. Calum’s right and Left-Hand men are immediate past Laddies Callum Vickers and Phil Hume.
Proud Calum of Tanners Court, told TheSouthern in April following his Declaration night: “I’m thrilled to bits. I’m looking forward to the Yetholm ride, the bussing, carrying the Burgh Standard on the Saturday and going to the other Borders towns visiting the other principals.”
The young golfer attended Broomlands Primary and Kelso High Schools before becoming a joiner for the Duke of Roxburghe.
He describes his horse riding skills as “mediocre”: he first took lessons last year to follow Callum and will be brushing up for the summer.
The Burgh Standard will be in his safe hands as it is bussed in the four corners of a packed Kelso Square – the largest in Scotland – by house captain Carly Thom, 11, and 12-year-old Fiona Lessenger of Broomlands Primary School, and from Edenside Primary School, p7 pupil Ellie Scott, 11 and vice-house captain, Holly Hay, 12.
Calum Thomson is the toast of Kelsae Bonnie Kelsae – but surely there will be a toast or two also for baker John Scott whose recipe for a Civic Week is standing the test of time.
Sunday July 14:
Family Day at Shedden Park, 1pm to 4pm; Sponsored bike race; Laying of wreath at war memorial, 6pm; Kirking of the Laddie in St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 6.30pm.
Monday July 15:
Children’s pet show, opened at 1.15pm by the Kelso Laddie in Tait Hall; Art exhibition opens at 3pm in Town Hall (open usually 10-5 and 7-9); Ride to Roxburgh, Heiton and Springwood, leaves Woodside Park 4.15pm; Gymkhana show jumping at Springwood Park, 7.30pm; Dance at Heiton, 10pm
Tuesday July 16:
Ride to Stichill, Hume and Ednam, leaving from New Industrial Estate 4pm (return to Square at 9.30pm approx ); Final of darts competitions at RBL at 7.30pm; Karaoke, RBL, 8.30pm - 11pm.
Wednesday July 17:
Children’s sports, Poynder Park, 1.30pm; Baby show, rugby club, starts 2pm prompt; Pipe Band, The Square, 6.30pm; Installation of the Kelso Laddie and Colour Bussing, The Square, 7pm; Torchlight procession, leaves Mayfield at 11pm; Fireworks display, The Cobby, starting at 11.15pm.
Thursday July 18:
Children’s fancy dress, Tait Hall, 1.30pm - 4pm; Ride to Floors Castle and cycle fun run, leaves Woodside Park at 4.30pm;
Friday July 19:
Fun Olympics swimming gala, swimming pool, 1.30pm; Whipman’s Ride, leaves The Square at 5.40pm, returning 8.45pm approx; Horse racing, Friarshaugh, 7pm.
Saturday July 20: Yetholm ride, leaves The Square at 8.30am, returning at 4.45pm; Caerwys Male Voice Choir, The Square, 3.30pm - 4.30pm; Fancy dress judging, Tait Hall, 6.15pm (procession leaves hall at 7pm); Presentation of cups and return of Kelso Standard at conclusion of the procession in The Square; Greeting Party, Tait Hall, 8.30pm to 1am;
Full details in the official souvenir programme which is available (£4) from local newsagents and Hector Innes (Photographer).