The 80th Kelso Civic Week is well under way and lies in the capable hands of this year’s Kelso Laddie Craig Logan.
Since his kirking on Sunday, Craig has led cavalcades on Monday night’s Whipman ride, Tuesday’s visit to Stichill, Hume and Ednam and tonight he’ll lead the rideout to Floors Castle.
He got his hands on the town standard for the first time when more than 80 horses followed him in glorious sunshine for the whipman’s ride to Heiton and Friarshaugh. He became the 80th laddie to cut his initials into the sod at the trysting tree after hearing a humourous oration by Rev Bob King, who said: “For someone like me, who has only lived in Kelso for nearly three years, as I come to civic week and I see what’s going on with the great tradition that we have here, I am just bowled over by it.
“There is nowhere else that experiences anything like expect here in the Borders, and of course the Kelso one is superb. It includes young people and old people, it includes great generations and people have this incredible history.
“Craig, you will never, ever not be a Kelso Laddie. From this moment you will always be one. The tradition will continue and that is such an important thing. I stand here as a member of the chuch, and the church doesn’t always get it right. I wish we could get as many people into our churches each week as we get to all the things in the square. But what we do have is our tradition. And we do have a great tradition now of inclusivity, on including every single person no matter their race, creed, colour, sexuality or whatever it happens to be. And that to me is such an important thing, and it’s the same here tonight.”
He told Craig: “You are stepping into an incredibly historical pair of shoes. You are going to cut your initials into the sod there for the 80th time and that is a huge tradition to be hanging on to.”
On Thursday there’s a children’s fancy dress party in the Tait Hall from 1pm and 3.30pm. The ride to Floors Castle leaves Woodside Park at 4.00pm as does the cycle fun-run. The cavalcade returns to the Square at 7.30pm. The ball in Springwood Park begins at 8.30pm, while the pool competition is the Red Lion at 8pm.Tomorrow there’s a swimming gala in the pool from 1.30pm and the Kelso Laddie visits the shows from 7.30pm to 9pm.
Saturday’s main rideout leaves the Square at 8.30am arriving at Yetholm war memorial at 11.15pm. The cavalcade leaves at 1.30pm and returns to the Square at 4.45pm. Blackthorne Ceilidh Band will play in the Square between 2pm and 4pm. That evening’s fancy dress procession leaves the Tait Hall at 7pm. The presentation of cups and the return of the flag in the Square concludes Civic Week after the fancy dress. We’ll have full coverage in next week’s paper.