Melrose Festival continues after a flying start

Melrosian Harry Fletcher leads the cavalcade on the 2018 Melrosian's rideout.
Melrosian Harry Fletcher leads the cavalcade on the 2018 Melrosian's rideout.

It’s all eyes on Melrose this week as its annual festival picks up the pace.

Melrosian elect Harry Fletcher, the young man at the helm of this year’s celebrations, carried out his first duty, laying a wreath at the town war memorial, before his kirkin’ in the parish church, on Sunday.

Lauder Cornet Chris Rogerson and his left-hand man Greg Scott.

Lauder Cornet Chris Rogerson and his left-hand man Greg Scott.

That was followed by football and netball tournaments, and Monday night’s rideout, which attracted almost 200 followers.

Tuesday’s slightly wet fancy-dress contest proved as popular as ever and was followed by last night’s family bike ride.

The 21-year-old graduate, who learned to ride especially to take on the role, is being supported this week by his left and right-hand men Struan Hutchison and Russell Mackay.

Tonight’s installation of the Melrosian and crowning of the festival queen begins at 7pm in Melrose Abbey, or in the parish church if wet.

Tomorrow, the Melrosian visits care homes, schools, nurseries and hospitals, followed by a ball at Annay Road rugby ground at 8pm.

The festival concludes on Saturday. A tour of ceremonies begins in Market Square at 8.50am, with visits to Newstead, Trimontium, Gattonside, Abbotsford, Darnick Tower and then the abbey.

The sports start in Gibson Park at 2.30pm, and Melrose and District Pipe Band will play in Market Square at 7pm, followed by a festival dinner in Melrose Rugby Club at 8pm.