The organisers of Earlston Civic Week’s 40th birthday celebrations this year have thanked everyone who took part in the “fantastically successful” festivities.
Nicola Driver, secretary of the organising committee, sent in her round-up of the week’s events.
“It was a week to top all weeks,” she writes, “thanks to the villagers who came out in force to support this, the ruby anniversary of the Civic Week.
“The week started off well on Sunday with the traditional church service, football fives and treasure hunts. Monday saw the return of the Monday night concert – an event brought back due to popular demand – and what a demand there was: extra chairs had to be brought in from the rugby club to ensure there was enough seating.
“Even then there were villagers standing at the back, with some children sitting on the floor. Local acts entertained the packed audience and a great night was had by all – even the committee did a small tribute to the sounds of the 70s.
“The Tuesday pet show, judged by vet Robert Young, was a hit again with a record number of dogs and bitches entered. All the competitors in the White and Black Hill races had a good, but extremely muddy run (see report on page 23). The sponsor, Milestone Garden and Leisure, was extremely pleased with the numbers entering the races, which exceeded last year’s records.
“Our Wednesday events were a party in the tent for the children – a fantastic playtime for all the village young ones – and the quiz night again broke records for the number of teams entered, with more than 30 this year. The committee has to thank Ivor and Yvonne Aitchison for giving up their free time in researching all the questions and organising the evening.
“Thursday proved to be another hit. The bowling was fully booked, and even with the earlier downpours the bowlers had a fantastic evening on the green.
“The bingo faithful came out in force to attend the marquee, with Bob and Lynne Austin and Jean Walker serving up another very successful bingo evening.
“Friday saw the senior citizens entertained in the afternoon with a tea party.
“Since this was our 40th year, we asked Mrs Keddie, an elder of the village, to cut our 40th birthday cake.
“Everyone had a slice to take home and enjoy. The Friday night cabaret took on a new format this year, showing vocalists Martin Bannan and Nyree’s Diva Show, who were introduced by Scottish comedian Chris Clarke.
“A large audience of all ages then danced the night away to Tramps Disco.
“After a successful night, we were looking forward to our finale on the Saturday, but unfortunately our dancing must have summoned rain, for throughout the night it was torrential.
“When we awoke on Saturday morning, the committee had to rethink its routes and plans for the fancy dress parade, because the gathering point was under water from the Turford Burn.
“We proved as a community that Earlstonians won’t be put off by a little overnight rain.
“The fancy dress parade was fantastic, with so much work put in by everyone who took part.
“Since it was the Civic Week’s 40th birthday we thought there might be a few entries on the theme of birthdays and the past four decades of Civic Week, but we were overwhelmed with the number and quality of all entries.
“The Melrose Pipe Band took the procession through the square and down to the rugby club for a fun 1970s disco afternoon.
“Unfortunately, for the second year, we had to cancel the pigeon liberation and the kids’ races, but the tent was buzzing with music and the children were well entertained by a traditional party.
“The floodwaters subsided, and that evening we were able to start our torchlight procession from the original point, led by the sounds of the bagpipes back to the Haugh for the grand firework finale to bring the week to an end.
“On behalf of the Earlston Civic Week committee, can I thank all the people of Earlston for turning out and taking part in the events during our 40th Civic Week celebrations.
“Without the support of the local community and our extremely loyal sponsors, there would be no week to remember.”