Almost 350 Honda Goldwing motorcycles and their owners descended on Kelso for their week-long 35th anniversary ‘treffen’ event.
The 2015 treffen - the German word means’ gathering of friends’ - was the fifth time the Goldwing Owners Club of Great Britain picked Kelso for the event and it is all due to the welcome given by the townsfolk.
“We love coming to Kelso - we have held our treffen more times in Kelso than anywhere else now and it’s because of the great welcome we get,” explained treffen organiser, Helen Perkins.
Over 100 Goldwings took part in the special light parade, while 155 took part in the ‘Parade of Nations’ on Saturday and there was also a large number of spectators who took advantage of Sunday’s public open day at Springwood Park to view the Goldwings on display.
“We know the parades can be inconvenient for people in the towns we visit - some people are not happy about them. But that doesn’t happen here in Kelso, where we get a unanimously warm welcome and it’s the reason we love coming back to the town.”
The charity chosen to benefit from this year’s Treffen was Kelso Heartbeat, which provides community defibrillators.
A cheque for a whopping £930 was handed over to ex-Kelso Provost Margaret Riddell, for the charity - Mrs Riddell has been involved with the treffen since it first came to Kelso in 1999.
And she told us: “This is a fantastic event for Kelso. I was presenting the prizes at the weekend and they then presented me with this cheque.
“It is usually a split between money collected going to a local charity and as a cash prize to a lucky winner. So I was overcome when the chap who won the raffle immediately said he’d like to donate his prize to Kelso Heartbeat.”
That person was Goldwing owner David Bendelow and his cheque for £632 meant Kelso Heartbeat benefitted to the tune of over £1,500.
Although Goldwing numbers coming to Kelso have dropped significantly since 1999’s first visit attracted 1,000 machines, it is more the current economic climate than anything else.
“However, this year’s event still attracted riders from as far afield as Spain, France, Poland, Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria among other places,” added Helen Perkins.
“Springwood Park is the perfect venue for us and the showground staff are always a brilliant help making sure the treffen is a success.”