Callant Gregor can’t wait to yell battle cry

The town of Jedburgh came out in force on Friday night to welcome 2022 Callant Gregor Paxton into the ranks.

Jedburgh Callant Gregor Paxton emerges from the Courthouse carried by his Right and Left Hand Men, Euan Munro and Nick Arnold. Photos: Bill McBurnie.
Jedburgh Callant Gregor Paxton emerges from the Courthouse carried by his Right and Left Hand Men, Euan Munro and Nick Arnold. Photos: Bill McBurnie.

Like all other Borders towns, Jed has been forced to wait for two years to hear those immortal words “Jethart’s Here”, traditionally yelled by the Callant on Festival Day.

And Gregor, like other Borders representatives, has had a long two-year wait before he was introduced to the large crowd.

The 26-year-old bricklayer at Jedburgh building contractor Gibson and Hall told The Southern: “This means everything to me. 2020 was supposed to be my year and it’s been a long time coming.

2022 Jethart Callant Gregor Paxton emerges from The Courthouse on Friday. Photo: Bill McBurnie.

"However, I believe the wait will only serve to make me appreciate it that much more.

"I think everybody’s looking forward to it, evidenced by the crowd on Friday night. They were smiling and singing like I’ve never heard it before. The whole town is buzzing, and so am I.

"I just can’t wait to yell the battle cry.

"I’ve been following the Callant on horseback since Jack Fraser represented the town in 2014, and it’s all I’ve wanted to do since.”

Gregor is all smiles as the crowd cheers. Photo: Bill McBurnie

Gregor’s family is deeply entwined in the town’s festival, with his mother’s cousin Scott Irvine being Callant in 1991 and his own cousin, Scotland rugby legend Gary Armstrong OBE, serving as Herald from 2010 to 2012.

This year, the Herald is Rob Reid, and Gregor will be further aided in his duties by his Right Hand Man Euan Munro and Left Hand Man Nick Arnold.

And he says his Lass, 23-year-old qualified veterinary nurse Samantha Martin is also delighted that the secret's out.

He said: “Samantha has helped me keep quiet about it all for the last two years and she's delighted it’s all going ahead at last."

Gregor Paxton carried aloft by his left hand man Nick Arnold and right hand man Euan Munro with Rob Reid his Herald for a reception in the Town Hall. Photo: Bill McBurnie.

Gregor will be riding his own horse Chick, an ex-racehorse, throughout the festivities, and he says he’s looking forward to representing the town at the other Borders towns’ events.

He said: “Representing the town is the biggest honour, and I hope I do a good job.

"It’s been all I could think about for ages, and I hope the people of Jethart enjoy the festival.”