This year’s Earlston Civic Week has gone down as one of the best ever, thanks to glorious sunshine and its ever-changing programme of events.
For the first time in as long as organisers can remember the sun shone on every single event of the annual festival, helping pull in bumper crowds.
“It was an enormous success, very much assisted by the weather,” Tom Burnham secretary of the event’s organising committee, said.
“The most impressive thing this year was the reaction to the scarecrows. We had never done that before and had well over 110 on display. Every time we counted them another one had sprouted up. The word spread quite rapidly and it was lovely, we’ll definitely repeat that next year.”
Throughout the week townsfolk enjoyed pool, dominoes, darts, bowling and football tournaments as well a treasure hunt, bingo, a pet show and disco.
Tuesday’s White Hill race was won by Ewan Christie and Jessica Hendry while first man and woman home in the Black Hill race were Alistair McDonald and Louise Mitchell.
“There were fewer people than last year in the hill race probably because of the burning sun,” Tom added. “But on the other hand it was done in a really fast time and it was a fabulous spectacle in the sunshine. It became a spectator sport for the first time- it’s usually been raining in the past.”
The week culminated with Friday night’s concert in the marquee, where 150 revellers enjoyed entertainment from Scocha, and Saturday’s fancy dress, sports, torchlight parade and fireworks.
Tom added: “Scocha were a phenomenal success, they never let us down. It’s the fourth time we have had them and they are as popular as ever.
“The fancy dress was it’s normal successful shape and size.
“The innovation there was the fire brigade joined the procession as far as the rugby club where it stopped and squirted all the kids with water, which was great fun.
“We had perfect weather for that afternoon’s sports, too. We had every conceivable manner of sports from wheelbarrow races to egg and spoon. We really went to town and kept going until everybody was exhausted.
“The fire works were much admired as usual and we had more than 100 torches making up the torchlight procession.”
Other changes this year included the moving of the pet show from the Tuesday to the Monday, and the return of a duck race for the first time in around six years.
Tom puts the success of these new events and changes down to the week’s innovative organising committee.
“We have a big committee over over 20 members, with a lot of young people on it,” he added.
“Every age is represented from 75 down to 20. The youngsters come up with a lot of great ideas, they really are very good. They are the future of the civic week and the future old wise ones.”