Galashiels is going through a fair bit of upheaval at the moment, thanks to work on the new Borders railway and town centre improvements.
But none of it will be allowed to detract from the fun and enjoyment of the Braw Lads’ Gathering for Galaleans, or from the chance it affords townsfolk to pay homage to their burgh’s ancient traditions and history.
Braw Lad Gavin Young and Braw Lass Alice Mackay and their Attendants are already in festival mode, with the first event actually having taken place on Tuesday night with the Swimming Gala.
For Andrew Johnston, this will be his third and final Gathering in the role of president and he is also stepping down, after 17 years, as chairman of the Borders common ridings and festivals organisation.
“I’m very proud to have had the chance to be president. I’m sad it will be all over after this year, but I am still going to enjoy it as much as ever.
“I’m sure it will be another great Gathering,” he told us.
David Houston, chairman of the Gathering’s Executive Council, knows only too well a number of challenges have had to be overcome on the route to this year’s Gathering, mainly due to the rail works and road improvements.
“However, I’m sure this year will be as good as ever and I wish everyone an enjoyable and safe Gathering.
“All the changes will be good for the town in the long run.
“I would like to thank everyone for their continued support.”
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
7.30am Cavalcade assembles at Netherdale
8am - Braw Lad receives Burgh Flag at Burgh Chambers
8.40am - Raid Stane
9am - Fording Tweed at Abbotsford
9.15am - Visit Abbotsford House
9.45am - Fording Tweed at Boleside
10am - Gallop over Gala Hill
10.30 - Old Town Cross Ceremony
11am - Visit Laird of Gala at Old Gala House
11.30am - Cavalcade proceeds by way of Scott Street, Kirkbrae, Hall Street, Island Street, High Street, Channel Street and Market Street, to war memorial at noon for Final Act of Homage
Noon - Burgh Flag returned to President of the Gathering
7.45pm - Langlee Community Choir at War Memorial
7.50pm - Processional walk from Bank Street Brae to War Memorial
8pm - Roses Ceremony at War Memorial