New gazebos to gaze at

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Scott’s Selkirk has bought more than 20 new pop-up market stalls for this year’s festival, thanks to almost £13,000 of funding.

The Scott’s Selkirk Association celebrated a double windfall in October, when both funding applications for the new gazebos were successful – a £10,000 lottery grant from Awards For All, and a £2,747 donation from Selkirk’s Common Good Fund.

The money has paid for 24 new market stalls in all: 20 at 3m by 3m, and four larger, rectangular ones, with two at 3m by 4.5m, and two at 3m by 6m.

The organisers of the 12-year-old festival, which will be held in two weeks, hope the new tents will make life easier for them when they’re setting up and taking down the craft stalls in the Market Place and High Street.

“They all come in their own carrier bags. Two people take a leg out and they pop up – that’s it,” said Scott’s Selkirk’s relieved chairman, Maister Tommy Combe.

Scott’s Selkirk stalwart Viv Ross also praised the look of the new blue and white gazebos: “They’re lovely,” she said, pleased with their “medieval, pointy tops.

“The old ones were getting a bit tatty, and were labour intensive to put up,” Mr Combe said. “We’ve also had problems with gales, so we hope these will stay on the ground better. There are 56lb weights on each corner to hold the gazebos down – I know, because I unpacked them.”

Scott’s Selkirk, traditionally held on the first weekend in December, is for the first time slimming down its usual two-day programme to one day, Saturday December 1, to “revitalise the event”, the festival’s website www.scottsselkirk.com says.

“There will be Christmas stalls in the County Pend and Market Place, lots of street entertainment, and, of course, Meg Dods’ kitchen, plus performances in the County Hotel, and Connections,” the site continues.

“There will be some events on the Sunday – the church services, court cases, and communal carol singing in the Market Place after dark.”