Fraser keeps up family tradition with Civic Week celebrations

MUM GILLIAN AND DAD NEIL HASTIE WITH SON FRASER (NEIL WAS THE LADDIE IN 1981)
MUM GILLIAN AND DAD NEIL HASTIE WITH SON FRASER (NEIL WAS THE LADDIE IN 1981)

Kelso is preparing for a gathering of Hasties during its annual Civic Week celebrations in July, according to the 2015 Kelso Laddie.

Fraser Hastie was confirmed as the town’s principal at a ceremony in The Square on Friday night.

And the 22-year-old is maintaining a family tradition. Dad Neil was Laddie in 1981 and Fraser’s great uncle, Arthur Hastie, was given the honour in 1959.

A delighted Fraser told The Southern: “It is fantastic to know that I am the third generation of the Hastie family to be Kelso Laddie.

“I have always enjoyed supporting the Civic Week. I never really thought, or believed, I would be the Laddie.

“But when I was approached about two months ago, my answer was an immediate ‘yes’.

AS IMAGE ONE WITH RIGHT HAND MAN ROSS HENDERSON and LEFT HAND MAN CALUM THOMSON

AS IMAGE ONE WITH RIGHT HAND MAN ROSS HENDERSON and LEFT HAND MAN CALUM THOMSON

“My dad and mum Gillian knew, but it was really top secret – and that was difficult, although it got easier as Declaration Night came closer.”

Fraser has been with Lloyd Land Rover in Kelso since January 2012 and is the company’s marketing coordinator.

He took up horse riding in 2004 and has saddled-up behind the Kelso Laddie on three occasions on the rideout to Yetholm. He’s also followed Yetholm’s Bari Gadgi and Bari Manushi on their rideout to Stob Stanes.

His twin brother Murray plays rugby for Kelso and his older brother Grant, 25, works for Aston Martin in Leamington.

The Colour Bussers – school pupils from the town – for the installation night have been named as Leigh Anderson, Emily Scott, Rhianna Dagg and Mia Wight.

And Fraser told us : “That night will be something really special for myself and everyone involved.”

As well as being Kelso Laddie, Fraser will also be given the title, The Lord Whipman, recalling the days when those who worked with horses bonded themselves into an organisation to seek better pay and conditions and to protect their rights.

Fraser’s Right and Left Hand Men are the Laddies from the past two years – Ross Henderson and Calum Thomson. The new Laddie told us: “I am truly looking forward to what lies ahead. It will be great to get round the other Border towns, learn about their traditions, meet their principals, and of course get to know all the Border songs. That will be something new to me because during the summer I haven’t ventured much beyond Kelso Civic Week.

KELSO LAD WITH L-R GEORGE McCOMBER 60 YEARS and GEORGE SWANSTON 50 YEARS

KELSO LAD WITH L-R GEORGE McCOMBER 60 YEARS and GEORGE SWANSTON 50 YEARS

“And of course there will be a great gathering of Hasties to join those in the town. We have relatives elswehere in Scotland and my brother Grant will be joining us.”

The diamond anniversary Kelso Laddie is George McComber and the golden Laddie is George Swanston.

Kelso Civic Week begins on Sunday, July 12 and Fraser will be installed on Wednesday, July 15 with the rideout to Yetholm taking place on Saturday, July 18.