This year’s Kelso Laddie will not go short of advice as he prepares to lead the town’s civic week this summer.
Mark Henderson will follow in the footsteps of his brother Ross, the 2014 laddie, father Jim, who led 1987’s civic week, and uncle Colin Henderson, the 1980 laddie.
The 22-year-old was introduced to waiting crowds in Kelso Square by his uncle Colin on Friday evening.
Mark said: “Being Kelso Laddie was always something I would have wanted to do, but it was just a case of being able to get the chance. It’s a blessing to get a shot.”
He first followed on horseback behind 2013 laddie Callum Vickers.
“That was my dad’s 25th anniversary year. I have riden every year since on the Tuesday night and Yetholm ride.
A keen golfer and cricketer, Mark has worked at the town’s Plexus electronics factory for the last seven months.
He will be supported by his mum Wendy, a medical secretary at the Borders General Hospital at Melrose, and dad Jim, a foreman at Forbes Plastics in Kelso. His brother Ross is currently playing rugby in Australia.
“They are all delighted,” Mark added. “Since Ross was Kelso laddie, mum and dad have had a couple of years off , but they’re looking forward to doing it all again.
“My dad hasn’t ridden for a few years but has every intention of getting back on the horse now.”
And it’s his family’s close ties with the civic week that has made Mark determined to make the most of every second this summer.
“I was not here to follow my dad obviously, but seeing all that my brother did and the enjoyment he got out of it has me so excited that it’s my turn,” he said.
“I will enjoy every minute this summer.”
This year’s lady-bussers are Edenside Primary School pupils Ellie Burton and Madison Wemyss and Broomlands Primary School pupils Cody Watson and Skye Nairn.
Mark will be supported by right and left-hand men Sean Hook and Craig Logan
His lass will be his girlfriend of 18 months, Kim Fleming, Yetholm’s bari manushi in 2011.
The couple, of Springwood Rise in Kelso, have two dogs, called Toby and Russell.