A bit of rain can't wipe the smile off Adam's face as he performs the casting.

Adam flies the flag in super style for Selkirk

Royal Burgh Standard Bearer Adam Nichol fulfilled his childhood dream on Friday, by casting the town’s colours in the Market Place.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:10 am

From a young lad swishing a broom handle around the garden, to an accomplished and popular representative of the town, Adam has come a long way.

However, although it was a Hail Smilin’ Morn indeed for Souters as the First Drum was sounded at 6pm, the weather tried its hardest to make it difficult at the casting, the event Adam was most looking forward to.

Adam said: “The whole day was brilliant from start to finish, it all went by in a bit of a blur.

“However, as we came up to the casting, the rain began to fall. All the flags were placed on a rack and the rain was collecting on the poles.

"I did take some time before starting my cast to do my best to dry it off … some people thought I was nervous, but it was just a case of me not wanting it to fly out of my hands.

"I was certainly not nervous, I was smiling throughout. It really did meet and exceed my expectations.”

Adam provided a perfect cast to the tune of Up Wi The Souters O’ Selkirk, performed superbly by the town’s Silver Band, and the large crowd rewarded him with a massive cheer in the final few notes.

The representatives of the town’s associations then took their turn on the podium, each following Adam’s superb display in what is one of the Common Riding’s most emotive events.

They were: Neil Purves for the Hammermen, Stu Harkness for the Weavers, Struan Legge for the Fleshers, David Hislop for the Colonials, and Keith Rodgerson for the Merchant Company.

Willaim Mein provided the last cast for the Ex Soldiers, ending his cast in the traditional manner, dipping the flag for two minutes silence, remembering those in the town who fell in service of their country, followed by the band playing The Liltin’.

Provost for the Common Riding, Keith Miller, congratulated Adam for impeccably carrying out his duties by riding the boundaries and finding them in good order, and thanked him for returning the flag “unsullied and untarnished”.

And although the rideout went by in a flash for Adam, he said he enjoyed every bit of it, including coming back in at the Toll to more cheers from his townsfolk.

Adam said: “There were a couple of hiccups on the ride, as one horse sadly died and the Musselburgh Honest Lad had a wee fall at the Three Brethren.

"Other than that, it was really superb, especially at the Toll.

"I would certainly advise any other young lads out there to do it … we have the Young Souters’ Association that encourages young laddies to get involved in the Common Riding, whether it be riding the boundaries or casting for one of the crafts.

"It’s a fair journey, but it really is worth it.”

And Adam is now looking forward to continuing to represent his town at other town's festivals.

He didn’t have too much of a rest before riding Melrose’s rideout on Monday.

He said: “It was a bit of a shock to the system getting back to normality, but I can’t wait for all the other rides.”

All the photos in our gallery were taken by Grant Kinghorn, who was Royal Burgh Standard Bearer himself 20 years ago, while his late father George performed the duty 50 years ago.

Adam said: “The whole day was brilliant from start to finish, it all went by in a bit of a blur.

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