Kirsten hoping to keep standard high in role

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Kirsten Darling has told of how proud she will be when she becomes only the second woman ever to cast a flag at Selkirk Common Riding.

The 33-year-old follows in Fiona Deacon’s footsteps after being named Selkirk Ex-Soldiers’ Association’s standard bearer for 2016.

She said: “Fiona really did set the standard. I really admired what she was doing, and it has opened the door for other women to apply.

“It is a great honour and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors.

“It will be one of my greatest achievements.”

Kirsten, born and bred in Selkirk, has followed the Common Riding all her life.

The first time she followed the standard bearer on horseback was when she was four.

She was in the Royal Air Force between 2000 and 2004, serving her time as a military chef.

After attending her training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, Kirsten spent time working in the junior ranks’ mess, sergeants’ mess and officers’ mess at various postings before settling at RAF Leuchars for her final two years’ service.

Kirsten has been with her husband Roland – who will buss the flag for her – for 11 years, and the couple have been married for two years.

She has a daughter Cora, 11, who attends Philiphaugh Community School, and two stepchildren – Stuart, 21, a shepherd, and Emma, 18, who has just completed her sixth year at Selkirk High School.

Kirsten has recently gone back into catering and currently works at the Waterwheel Cafe.

Before that, she worked at the HGS call centre in the town for seven years.

She also plays in the Selkirk Flute Band – alongside daughters Emma and Cora – and enjoys baking and decorating cakes as a hobby.

This year will be extra special for the family as Kirsten’s stepfather Kenny Firth celebrates his 25th anniversary as Selkirk Royal Burgh standard bearer.

Husband Roland will buss her flag at the 2016 Selkirk Ex-Soldiers’ Association Annual Dinner, Bussin and Dance on Friday, May 27.