Michael lays foundation for Weavers’ big day

2011 Weavers Standard Bearer, Michael Quinn.
2011 Weavers Standard Bearer, Michael Quinn.

JCB operator Michael Quinn has dug up the courage to cast the Weavers’ flag for this year’s Common Riding.

The former Laidlaw and Fairgrieve employee was elected as Weavers Incorporation Standard Bearer at the craft’s annual general meeting in the Town Arms on Friday night. And although he is the first Quinn to be appointed to a Standard Bearer position in Selkirk, his daughter Amy was Braw Lass in Galashiels four years ago.

Deacon Alister Reid Boxmaster Les Ruthven and SB Michael Quinn

Deacon Alister Reid Boxmaster Les Ruthven and SB Michael Quinn

The 46-year-old told The Wee Paper: “It is always something I wanted to do and I thought I would just go for it this year.”

Brought up at Ladyschaw Drive, Michael attended St Joseph’s and the High School before starting work in the dyehouse at L&F. He also worked in the wool blending department, but left the firm shortly before it folded in 2000 to work with his father as a machine operator.

Michael added: “There was a time when the mill was really busy and we were working 12-hour shifts in the dyehouse. I enjoyed working at L&F. There were some fantastic characters in those days. You could have a good laugh and you were not tied down by health and safety.”

He currently is employed by Hawick-based Borthwick Groundworks, which has taken him across the Borders and Scotland, notably working on the Edinburgh bypass.

Living in Galashiels with wife Karin, Michael also has a son, Shaun, and a stepdaughter, Amanda, who has two children herself.

A drummer in Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band, he also enjoys hill walking.

And Michael is now counting down the days to Hail Smilin’ Morn.

“It is in seven weeks,” he said, quick as a flash, “but it did not really hit me that I was Weavers’ Standard Bearer until the Wee Paper phoned. “I have always been involved with the Weavers. The highlight will be the casting on Common Riding Day.”