Going back to the days of the Shirra

Maistress of Scott's Selkirk, Viv Ross, and Sir Walter himself, actor John Nichol.
Maistress of Scott's Selkirk, Viv Ross, and Sir Walter himself, actor John Nichol.
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By the time Souters open their Wee Papers tomorrow morning, the town will have been magically transported into the era of Sir Walter Scott.

The Shirra will once more be sitting in his courthouse, the lords, ladies and gentlemen will be suitably attired in the street, and vendors will be selling their wares from market stalls.

The whinnies of donkeys and ponies from the Donkey Sanctuary will fill the air, as will the dulcet tones of the Town Crier.

Yes, it’s the annual Scott’s Selkirk celebrations, and once again it will be held alongside the Selkirk Sessions music festival, making the town centre and various surrounding venues thrum with life.

Maistress Viv Ross is looking forward to another fantastic weekend, made possible by the hard work of a diligent small committee of people.

She said: “Having the two events run concurrently has made my job an awful lot easier.

“The Sessions guys are able to deal with all the technical issues with the main stage, rather than me looking at a cable and thinking ‘what am I going to do with this?’

“We have a small committee, so running alongside the Sessions makes this whole thing manageable, and it secures the future for both events.”

The main stage is set up in the Market Place and offers a blending in between the two festivals.

Viv said: “Also in the town centre, we have Meg Dodds’ Kitchen [back at its old home in the Hermitage garden], donkeys and ponies from the Donkey Sanctuary at St Boswells, birds of prey, Boots the Performing Goat from Les Amis D’Onno – who is absolutely gorgeous, children’s games and the various market stalls.

“There is also an interesting talk in the library by Dr Malcolm Morrison, who is a guide at Abbotsford, about Thomas Pringle, who sent Sir Walter all manner of things from Africa, and we have children’s activities going on in Halliwells Museum as well.

“We also have two plays in the Courthouse, both new this year – The Strange Encounter and The Magnificent Laird, the latter of which no-one has event seen yet.”

The Strange Encounter is shown at 12.30pm and 3.15pm, while The Magnificent Laird is on at 11.30am and 2.15pm.

On a poignant note, wearing the Town Crier outfit this year – at least for a short while – will be Matthew Burgess, son of last year’s crier and former Wee Paper reporter Bob, who died earlier this year, shortly after retiring.

Bob still takes pride of place on the Scott’s Selkirk posters.

Market stalls will be open from 9am, while the music will be starting at around 10am.

Musicians include Gael Force, Carly Blain and Graeme Armstrong.