Kelso Laddie who’s grown up – fast

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It’s an old story – one day you’re a Laddie, the next, you’re a grown man.

But it happened with a difference to Philip Hume, who was named Kelso Laddie for 2011 last Friday and celebrated his 21st birthday the next day.

Phil joked after being introduced to cheering crowds in the town’s Square: “You couldn’t have planned it!” And he said of his appointment: “It’s fantastic, absolutely superb.”

Provost Fiona Scott sashed the young figurehead on the podium in the Square while onlookers cheered on a mild Friday evening.

Phil told the crowds: “I’m immensely honoured to be elected to this position. It will be a year to remember.”

A dispatcher for Universal Fibre Optics at Coldstream, he enjoys rugby – he went to Hawick Sevens for his birthday – and plays standoff for Kelso’s first XV. And he likes sport in general, he said.

But horse-riding is new to him: “I’ve had six lessons and it’s coming on great – I’m really enjoying it. I thought it would be quite scary up there but it’s not bad!”

He continued: “I’m looking forward to visiting the other Borders towns. I’ve grown up watching civic week. I used to go with my family and come and watch in the Square, I’ve always been a supporter.”

Now proud mum Isla and her partner Chris Lees have even more of a reason to enjoy the Tweedside celebrations in July.

Phil continued: “I’m looking forward to doing honour to the flag: that’s the biggest thing. If I can do that I’ll be happy.

And any challenges? “I’ve never been a good speaker so hopefully that will be better by the end of the summer.”

Phil will be assisted by his Right and Left Hand Men Murray Playfair and Robert Hogarth.

And the young women who will buss the flag during the summer festivities are Sienna Woodhead and Baillie Steele, both 11, from Broomlands primary school and Edenside primary head girl Lara Patterson, 11, and deputy head girl Jodie Osbourne, 12.

The two bussers from Broomlands compete with others in their school for the roles. Baillie, who has previously been part of Kelso Civic Week’s fancy dress parade on a float and enjoys singing, dancing and walking her dogs, said: “I’m really happy I got something as lucky as this to do and I’m really happy to be taking part for a second time.”

Sienna, who likes going out with her friends, said: “I’m very pleased I got this: I follow civic week every year.”

Lara, who will ride the Yetholm rideout, said: “I’m really pleased because I follow civic week every year and this time I’ll be taking part.” Her hobbies include swimming, gymnastics, horse riding, hockey, dancing

Jodie, who likes horse riding, singing and acting, said she was pleased and excited about her bussing role and she plans to follow the Laddie on horseback on the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday rides and maybe the long Yetholm ride on the Saturday.