Daniel is Lauder’s choice

Lauder picking night
Lauder picking night

There is no doubting Lauder’s Daniel Simpson when he says he has wanted to be his town’s cornet since he was just a small boy.

Daniel, 21,was confirmed as Lauder Cornet and Standard Bearer for 2015 at Friday’s election night, with his appointment welcomed by a large crowd outside the town hall.

Cornet’s Lass is Chevonne Ainslie, a nurse at Borders General Hospital.

Right-Hand Man is Ex-Cornet Craig Connell and Left-Hand Man is Ex-Cornet Cameron McNeill.

Daniel has been an ardent follower of Lauder Common Riding for years, and started riding as a youngster behind his uncle, Ex-Cornet David Megahy, who carried the standard in 2002.

Daniel, who works for Mitch Leitch Surfacing on the new Borders railway and has been a member of the 2010 Club for several years, says it has been hard keeping his appointment secret since he found out in February.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, since seeing my uncle as cornet. But if anyone had told me last year that 12 months on I’d be cornet for 2015, I’d have thought they were having a laugh because I wouldn’t have felt up to it,” he said.

“But when I was approached earlier this year to put my name forward, I had no doubts whatsover.”

Just how much he wanted to be cornet becomes clear when you find out Daniel, a former Lauder Primary and Earlston High School pupil, turned down the chance to spend this year in Australia to be cornet for 2015: “Yeah, I was in Australia last year and got the chance to spend this year there as well, but when I got the opportunity to be cornet there was only ever going to be one decision!”

After Daniel was congratulated by chairman, Ex-Cornet Ian Middlemiss, on Friday night, he was carried shoulder high through the town centre.

And Mr Middlemiss, who has taken over as chairman this year from Ian Fallas, was pleased with the way the evening went, despite the weather.

“It was umbrella season when we all came out of the hall, but it didn’t dampen people’s spirits and there was a very healthy turnout of people on the streets to support the cornet and we had Stow Pipe Band which was great.”

Mr Middlemiss also paid tribute to his predecessor, who has stepped down after six years in the role.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Ian Fallas, who did a power of work on behalf of the common riding over the years,” said Mr Middlemiss. “And I’ll be happy if I can continue where he has left off.”