Fleshers install Jackie as their standard bearer

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The Incorporation of Fleshers have named their man for 2018 ... Jackie Johnston of Lilliesleaf.

The 58-year-old self-employed agricultrual excavator was revealed as Standard Bearer at the incorporation’s agm on Friday, April 20.

And it’s something he’s been looking forward to for a while.

He said: “I’ve been a friend of the Fleshers for around 12 years, and became a member three years ago.

“It really gets you when you see someone cast the flag close up ... it is going to be the experience of a lifetime.”

Jackie was born in Galashiels, and went to Lauder Primary School and Eyemouth High School, before his family moved to the area and he spent his last year at Selkirk High School.

He has been married for 30 years to wife Elizabeth, who he says “is a leaf lass through and through”.

She will be his lady busser.

The couple have two children, Christopher, who is 27 and works in Edinburgh, and 25-year-old Kerrie, who is a nurse at the BGH.

Jackie is expecting a bit of banter when people see a Gala man on the platform, but extending the incorporation’s reach for possible standard bearers was the only was it could stay alive, said Robert Black, who is spending his first year as deacon.

He told us: “Given that there’s only one butcher left in town, it’s a good thing that we opened the position up to the friends of the Fleshers a few years ago ... it was the correct decision.

“Jackie has been a great supporter of the Fleshers ... he’s been with us for a long time.

“He started out a bit quiet, but when he saw his friend Keith Hermiston cast our flag three years ago, he thought he would go for it.

“I am absolutely sure he’ll do a fantastic job.”

Robert, who was a Fleshers standard bearer himself, said becoming deacon was just an extension of that.

He said: “In for a penny, in for a pound!

“I’m delighted to take on the role and I’m really looking forward to it.

“It also gives Moira, my wife, the excuse to go and buy some new clothes!”