Border towns ready to name their principals

Last year's Kelso Laddie, Craig Logan with his right and left-hand men Ian Whellans and Fraser Hastie and last year's Lady Bussers.
Last year's Kelso Laddie, Craig Logan with his right and left-hand men Ian Whellans and Fraser Hastie and last year's Lady Bussers.

It may seem like no time since the Border common riding celebrations came to a close at Flodden, but the season of festivals, civic weeks and ridings is almost upon us once again.

And the much anticipated announcements of each town’s chosen principals, are coming in thick and fast over the next four weeks.

With Melrose’s main man already announced, Coldstream’s principals out in the open and West Linton’s Whipman and Lass Elect also unveiled, it now falls upon remaining towns to announce their principals during the coming weeks.

The next announcements are due this Friday, April 20, with Galashiels announcing its Braw Lad and Braw Lass from the Burgh Chambers balcony at 8pm. The principals will dance with schoolchildren under the balcony before adults can meet them in the Volunteer Hall at the over 18s’ dance.

Chairman of the Braw Lads’ Executive Council, Jodie Millar, said: “We hope that the townspeople of Galashiels will turn out to support the declaration of the 2018 principals at the start of what will be a very exciting and memorable year for them.

“Whilst there have been many changes to the office bearers this year, I can assure everyone that the 2018 Gathering is shaping up nicely.

“The executive council is full for the first time in many years and we aim to make it a year to remember for everyone with some exciting changes planned.”

On the same evening the Kelso Laddie will be declared in the town square at 7.30pm. Kelso Pipe Band will be playing from 7pm.

Selkirk’s Royal Burgh standard bearer comes out the doors at the town hall carried shoulder high at 7pm on Friday, April 27.

This is followed by a dance in the Victoria Halls from 9.30pm.

And at the same time, Peebles Beltane will host an introduction night in the Burgh Hall from 7.30pm where the Cornet Elect and Lass will be named.

The two youngsters at the helm of Tweedbank Fair will be announced on Saturday, April 28 from the Tweedbank Community Centre at 6.30pm.

Hawick’s picking night follows on Wednesday, May 2. The halberdier and the Drum and Fife band will leave the town hall at 7pm to visit the Cornet Elect’s house to start proceedings. A walk round the town follows, culminating at the Town Hall for the congratulatory smoker.

Lauder will name its Cornet and Lass on Friday, May 4, from 7pm at the Town Hall, while Yetholm announces its Bari Gadgi and Bari Manushi the same evening in the Wauchope Hall at 7pm.

Melrose will hold an introduction night for the Melrosian Elect, the queen and her court from 7.45 in Market Square the same night too.

In Innerleithen, also onFriday, May 4, the St Ronan’s Games’ Standard Bearer-Elect, his Lass, the Principal Guest and the Lady Busser will be announced at 8pm.

The reel will be danced outside the Town Hall immediately after the introductions.

The Jethart Callant is named on Friday, May 11, and the announcement takes place in the square at 7.30pm.

On the same evening, the Langholm Cornet votes will be counted from 7pm and the result announced from the Buccleuch Centre at around 9pm.