Selkirk’s nostalgic weekend wink to the past was a great success, with the addition of the new farmers’ market bringing more visitors to the town.
Three years ago, the Scott’s Selkirk celebration was struggling to survive, but a change of date and a link to the Selkirk Sessions folk festival changed all that.
And now, with a brand, spanking new farmers’ market also adding to proceedings, it is going from strength to strength.
At Monday night’s Selkirk Community Council meeting, organiser Tommy Combe thanked Selkirk’s Common Good Fund committee for supporting the purchase of 17 new gazebos, in order that the market could take place alongside the other stalls and exhibits.
The musical acts from Selkirk Sessions – Gael Force, Carlenjig, The Bogie Close Stompers, Highline Fiddlers, Bob Liddle and Riddell Fiddles – kept people going all day at various points of the town centre, and the now famous plays in the Shirra’s former court room – TheTall Tale of the Tushielaw Trout, and (new this year) the Lady Varnishes – were as popular as ever, with local actor John Nichol taking on the role of Sir Walter Scott once again.
Matthew Burgess once more reprised the role of town crier ... a role his father Bob had made his own in the years before his death two years ago.
Meg Dod’s Kitchen was another popular haunt for visitors, providing refreshments and sustenance to keep the public’s feet tapping.
Les Amis D’Onno were back with another talented four-legged star – this time it was Billy Bowler the performing goat.
For Selkirk Sessions, from the Friday to the Sunday, there were several visiting musicians – most of whom now make an annual pilgrimage to the town and stay in the caravan park at the swimming pool.
They performed in openmic sessions at the town’s hostelries, as well as busking in the streets.
Organiser Davie Scott said: “Saturday’s excellent weather meant that there were plenty of people around the town centre, listening to the various musicians, which was great to see.
“We don’t have a set competition, because people aren’t that keen to take part in something like that, but we did have a couple of people walking around judging performances on the street as well as on the big stage.”
The winners were: Best individual performer – Dave Rodgers. Best group – Riddell Fiddles. Best audience participation (the Chorus Cup) – Gael Force. Best Under-18s –Carly Armstrong’s Highline fiddle group.
And on the Sunday, there was a chance to see what was happening in the town’s second artwork, funded by the flood protection scheme’s community project – the Black Bob Trail – the walk led by the Bannerfield Buskers.