This year’s address at Ferniehirst was given by the head of the Kerr family himself, Lord Lothian, Michael Ancram, on what he believed to be his 66th time witnessing the annual visit to his ancestral home.
He said he was privileged to welcome the cavalcade once again and spoke with pride of the bond between the ancient castle and Jedburgh, strengthened each year by the callant’s visit.
“This annual occasion has been a source of joy to me,” he said.
“I have always been struck by the unfailing pride with which each new callant carries the standard and the evident pride that the people of Jethart each year take in their callant. You, Callant Irvine, are no exception.”
He added: “This meeting here today has always had great significance for me both historic and current.
“We have much in our history of which to be proud. You, Callant Irvine are a conduit of that pride, and we wish you every success for the remainder of this festival day and the rest of your time in office.”
Lord Lothian, alias Baron Kerr of Monteviot, also congratulated Alex Taylor for her “excellent” rendition of Walter Laidlaw’s ‘The Reprisal’, which he said “was delivered with a bit of Jim Miller-ism in it and really did get the mood of the occasion”.