A braw day is forecast for Galashiels folk

Galashiels' Braw Lad and Braw Lass, Greg Kelly and Kimberley O'May, are flanked by their attendants Greg Robertson,  Amy Thomson, Mark Hood and Alex Mundell at Lindean on Monday evening.
Galashiels' Braw Lad and Braw Lass, Greg Kelly and Kimberley O'May, are flanked by their attendants Greg Robertson, Amy Thomson, Mark Hood and Alex Mundell at Lindean on Monday evening.

Having brought a smile to all the town’s schoolchildren this week by sending them home for the summer holidays, Braw Lad and Lass, Greg Kelly and Kimberley O’May, will be grinning from ear to ear on Saturday.

With plenty of sunshine forecast, everything is in place for one of the best and most memorable Gala Days in recent years.

The culmination of the Braw Lads’ Gathering week brings townsfolk together to celebrate the town’s history and traditions, in supporting its young ambassadors.

In between the school visits on Tuesday and Wednesday, Greg told us: “Everything is going by so quickly this week, it’s all a bit of a blur.

“But I’m really enjoying it all, and it is an amazing feeling to have so much support. To have 144 riders on the Lindean rideout on Monday was absolutely brilliant.”

Greg said his favourite experience so far was at Hawick Common Riding, but he’s sure it will be beaten on Saturday.

He said: “Experiencing the atmosphere in the hut on the Thursday morning and riding on the Friday behind Hawick’s Cornet was a great experience,

“But I can’t wait until I am entrusted with the Burgh Flag at 8am on Saturday. I’m sure the morning will fly past, but the Scott Street gallop will etch itself into my memory.”

For those planning to watch proceedings on Saturday, the timings are as follows:

8am: The Braw Lad received the flag from the president of the Gatherning, Bill White on the balcony of the Burgh Chambers. The principals and their followers will then saddle up to ride to Netherdale via Tweed Road.

8.40am: The Raid Stane Ceremony at Netherdale, at the spot where lads from the town attacked and killed a band of Englishmen in 1337.

9am: The mounted cavalcade fords the Tweed at Galafoot.

9.15am: The principals pay a visit to Abbotsford House, before crossing back over the river.

10am: The cavalcade of riders gallop over Gala Hill. At the same time, the town’s bands play back into town towards the Auld Toon cross.

10.30am: The mixing of the roses ceremony at the Auld Toon Cross.

11am: Visit to Old Gala House to meet the Laird.

11.30am: The stunning gallop up Scott Street.

Noon: The Braw Lad dips the flag at the War Memorial, remembering those from the town who fell in battle.

12.15pm: The Burgh Flag is returned “unsullied and untarnished”.