Hammermen nail their man for 2018 casting

Hammermen deacon Alan Tough congratulates Mark Easson on his appointment
Hammermen deacon Alan Tough congratulates Mark Easson on his appointment

Selkirk’s incorporation of Hammermen chose their standard bearer last Tuesday evening in the town’s County Hotel.

Mark Easson, 49, will fly the flag for the tradesmen at this year’s Common Riding.

Mark, a painter and decorator to trade, now teaches the art at Borders College in Galashiels.

And, while he is more used to waving a paintbrush than he is a flag, he is more than qualified to do the latter, with his father Jock being an ex-deacon of the incorporation, and his wife Lorraine’s father Jim Screen being a former Hammermen standard bearer.

Deacon Alan Tough was delighted to hand Mark the responsibility of flying the incorporation’s colours at the appointment night.

Alan, who is in his second year as deacon, said: “I am 100% sure Mark will do really well and we are set to have a fantastic casting!”

Mark told us: “I had been hinting at my oldest son to put himself forward and he said he wasn’t going to do it until I did.

“It seems a good time to do it as this year marks 25 years from when my dad was deacon. He was also a Hammermen’s standard bearer.”

Mark’s wife Lorraine will be his lady busser and while he has plenty of practising to do, he knows what will be the highlight of the day.

He said: “I’ve never really had a shot at the casting, and I know there will be a lot of training to do with not a lot of time left, but I’ve spoken to several lads who have been up there on the stage.

“They all say that walking out and preparing to cast the flag was the biggest thrill of their lives.

“There is no hiding place. I’m really looking forward to the whole experience.”

While he has been working as a lecturer at Borders College for 11 years, he has been full-time for the past four.

He said: “It’s brilliant, so rewarding. You get a great sense of achievement in bringing the young lads through their courses, to see them really enjoy what it is they are doing.”