Tweedside town sees sunshine, showers and smiles

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It was cloudy for much of the installation of the Laddie when Kelso’s historic Square was lined with crowds last Wednesday evening.

But just before the dancing of the Kelso Laddie’s Reel, it started to rain and, later, pour for the rest of the event.

Provost John Bassett sashed Kelso Laddie Ross Henderson and his Right and Left-Hand Men, Calum Thomson and Callum Vickers, before entrusting Laddie Henderson with the Kelso Standard and urging him: “Fear nocht, dae richt”.

To music by Jedforest Instrumental Band, the Laddie slowly descended the platform and made his way to the centre of The Square where Lady Bussers Abbie Burgher, Sophie Graham, Hannah Patterson and Erin Armstrong bussed the flag.

Returning to the platform, Laddie Henderson talked of his pride and the honour of being Kelso Laddie and said he would endeavour to carry out his duties to the same high standards set by his predecessors and return the standard, “unsullied and untarnished” at the end of the week.

Provost Bassett and Laddie Henderson presented Diamond Jubilee Ex-LaddieTom Laing with a shepherd’s crook. Kelso Laddies’ Association chairman Scott Forbes’ wife made the presentation to Golden Jubilee Laddie Alastair Neil.

And it was also 50 years ago this year that Kelso Laddies’ Association secretary Richie Allan first became involved as an assistant secretary. Chairman Forbes presented Richie with a tie pin as an appreciation for his five decades of service.

Afterwards, Richie told TheSouthern: “I was delighted: it goes to show your services are appreciated.”

Mrs Forbes again made a presentation to Silver Jubilee Laddie Douglas Harvey, whose thank-you speech took place during torrential rain.

Ex-Laddie Colin Dumma then presented the Ex-Kelso Laddies’ Club’s Achievement Award to Kelso Cricket Club groundsman Brian Lang, who has been involved with the club since 1988 and is a former chairman and president.

He has also been involved with Kelso Football Club since 1965 where he has served on the committee and cut the pitch. Additionally, he has chauffeured the Kelso principals to their commitments during Civic Week for 15 years.

Other events later in the week included the Grand Civic Week Ball at Springwood Park on Thursday night, which was attended by 560 revellers.

Earlier in the evening, 60-70 mounted followers, plus another 100 on bicycles, including many children, saddled up behind the Kelso Laddie for the ride to Floors Castle.

The historic Whipman’s Ride on Friday attracted around 60 to 70 followers. Ex-Kelso Laddies’ Club president Colin Dumma presented the Whipman’s Flag to Laddie Ross in the Square on Friday night before MC Colin Henderson recited “Taddie Us” and Margaret Dumma bussed the flag.

Speaking this week, Mr Henderson – Kelso Laddie in 1980 and uncle of this year’s incumbent – said the town’s Civic Week programme of festivities and ceremonials just seemed to get bigger and better.

“When you see the numbers out to support the events, even when raining, it’s obvious Civic Week continues to go from strength to strength,” he told us.

“Obviously I’m Kelso through and through and with Ross being Laddie this year, it helped make it even more special for the family and I thought he did really well.

“We had a bit of rain on the Wednesday and then again on Saturday afternoon, but overall it’s been a fantastic week.”




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