The beautiful market town of Kelso begins its week-long festival on Saturday, led by the third Kelso Laddie Hastie.
The 2015 Kelso Laddie, Fraser Hastie, 22, is maintaining a family tradition: Fraser’s dad Neil was Laddie in 1981 and his great uncle, Arthur Hastie, was given the honour in 1959. His Right and Left-Hand Men are Ross Henderson and Calum Thomson, and the Lady Bussers from Kelso primary schools are Leigh Anderson and Emily Scott, from Edenside, and from Broomlands, Rhianna Dagg and Mia Wight. This year’s Diamond, Golden and Silver Jubilee Laddies are George McCombie, George Swanston and Derek Lauder respectively.
Kelso Civic Week kicks off at 1pm on Saturday, July 11, with Orchard Park’s Tennis Challenge and the senior five-a-side football at Poynder Park, where the senior seven-a-side touch rugby starts at 5pm.
Then on Sunday, July 12, comes the Family Day at Shedden Park from 1pm to 4pm, with junior five-a-side football at 1pm, and quoiting for the Major Cox Cup at 1.30pm. Earlier in the morning, the sponsored 13.5-mile cycle race leaves Woodside Park at 9.30am, and the Kelso Crawlers 10K Run starts at 11am from the Cobby. The Kirkin’ of the Kelso Laddie follows at 6.30pm in Old Parish and Sprouston Church, after the wreath-laying at the war memorial at 6pm.
The next day, Monday, July 13, the Laddie opens the children’s pet show in the Tait Hall at 1.15pm, and the Town Hall’s art xhibition opens for the week at 3pm. The cavalcade’s ride to Heiton leaves Springwood Anna at 4.15pm, and returns for the gymkhana show jumping at 7.15pm. The dance at Heiton runs from 10pm till 1.30am, with live music, disco and karaoke by Gary Cleghorn (tickets £5).
The next ride to Stichill, Hume and Ednam leaves from Springwood Anna at 4pm on Tuesday, July 14, and the darts finals take place in the Royal British Legion at 7.30pm, with karaoke in the downstairs bar from 8.30pm till 1am.
On Wednesday, July 15, the schoolchildren’s sports runs from 1.30pm in Poynder Park, while the baby show at Kelso Rugby Club starts at 2pm. Later at 7pm in The Square comes the Installation of the Kelso Laddie and Colour Bussing, followed by the torchlight procession at Mayfield at 11pm, and the fireworks display at the Cobby at 11.15pm.
The children’s fancy dress runs in the Tait Hall from 1pm to 3.30pm on Thursday, July 16, before the cavalcade’s ride to Floors Castle leaves Woodside Park at 4pm. Later the Grand Civic Week Ball gets underway in Springwood Park from 8.30pm to 4.30am, with the Grand March at midnight. The Fun Olympics Swimming Gala commences at 1.30pm on Friday, July 17, in Kelso Swimming Pool, before the Whipman’s Ride leaves Woodside Park at 6pm, and horse racing at Friarshaugh at 7pm.
On Saturday, July 18, comes the Laddie’s Yetholm Ride, starting at 8.30am, returning to The Square at 4.45pm, where Calchou Ceilidh Band will play from 2.30pm till 4.30pm. The fancy dress procession starts at 7pm from Tait Hall, then the week concludes with the presentation of cups and the return of the Kelso Standard in The Square.