Joiner Alan Stewart was hailed as West Linton’s Whipman for 2013 at the Peeblesshire village’s Introduction Concert last Friday.
Penicuik-born builder Alan, whose passion for football gave him the nickname “Poacher”, said he was “extremely honoured and proud” to be chosen as this year’s Whipman.
Since studying at St David’s High School in Dalkeith, Alan Alan, 48m has played for many local amateur footballs teams, like Tweeddale, Penicuik Rovers and Dalmore, and now enjoys watching Hibernian, and also playing and coaching for Linton Hotspur. He is father to three children, Ryan (16), Katie (13) and Logan (eight), and husband to Susan, who becomes the Whipman’s Lass.
Susan, who was born in Edinburgh but studied at Penicuik High School, met Alan at a football dance in 1987, and the couple married in 1989. After moving to West Linton in 1994, Susan started her own Little Monkeys childminding business, and chaired both the toddler group and playgroup committees.
Learning to ride a horse should be easy for this sporty Whipman (his first riding lesson was on Wednesday), for he is a fan of skiing and golf. Susan loves hiking, and has trekked along the Great Wall of China, through the Grand Canyon and to Everest Base Camp – proving she has the stamina to lead the Lion Cub Scout Pack, while also studying towards a BA/BSc in mathematics and Statistics with the Open University.
According to the traditions of one of the Borders’ oldest festivals, residents of the district, including the villages of West Linton, Carlops, Newlands, Kirkurd, Lamancha and Dolphinton, voted on their choice of Whipman in a secret ballot in February.
Alan told The Southern: “The hardest part was keeping it a secret from West Linton, and the kids. But to see their faces on the night was fantastic.”
This year’s other principals were named as Jack Farrand (Barony Herald), Lily Doyle (Flower Girl), and Janette Blackwood (Presenting Lady).
The Whipman and Lass will be installed on Friday 31st May, before they lead the floats around the village.