Members of Teviotdale Young Farmers will pay homage this weekend to two of its members who died in tragic circumstances in recent years.
A memorial walk will be held on Sunday, May 19, for George Crawford, who was struck by a car last year aged 20 while studying at Harper Adams University, and 19-year-old Zach Fox, who died in a farming accident near Denholm in 2014.
Starting at the Greenyards, Melrose at 11am, the young farmers will walk to Minto Hill, where the two boys both have a bench, back to back.
The group’s chairman Scott Thomson, said: “Zach and George were both keen members of Teviotdale and they certainly brought lots of laughter and good times while they were around.
“It was a great shock to everyone losing two keen members in such a short time, but this has certainly brought the club closer together, while remembering the lives of Zach and George.”
Zach’s mum, Jill Fox, told us: “Zach was a proud member of Teviotdale Young Farmers Club. As a family our lives changed forever when he was killed.
“Memories mean so much and the walk will create new memories for us.
“Susan and Peter Manner, George’s grandparents, placed a bench on top of Minto Hill for Zach, as well as Jackie Graham and Bob Blake ... all of whom had worked for them.
“George often rode his bike to this bench and sent photos to the group. His death shocked the community as Zach’s did before. Another bench was placed back-to-back with Zach’s, facing Melrose, for George.
“I look up to the Minto Hills and think of George and Zach looking down on us, smiling.”
Members on the walk will be raising money for the George Crawford Legacy Trust, which was launched on April 26 by George’s parents Cameron and Mary, with a drinks reception, attended by more than 180 people at their home, Pavilion House, near Melrose.
Cameron said the couple have started the trust “to help us adjust to the new life we have been presented.”
He added: “One of the highlights of the launch night was when a bottle of whisky, donated by our friend and neighbour Doddie Weir, was auctioned and raised a fantastic price of £500 .
“This, along with the raffle and ticket sale, raised a good amount and set the trust on its way.
“The purpose of the trust is provide financial help to various groups and projects.
“As George was a very sociable person and had an affinity with people, we wanted the money to go to help others.
“Already, £2,500 has gone to the Riding For the Disabled’s Borders Branch to purchase a new horse (Alfie) plus a donation to the Injured Jockeys Fund of £2,500.
“We are also getting involved in a project to help youths in disadvantaged urban areas to be trained to take part in pony racing and provide all-round training of horse care. A pilot has been ongoing out of London and 45 youths now work full-time.
“We also want to provide local youngsters with financial bursaries to help with sporting goals or educational needs.”
The next event to raise money for the trust is a mammoth cycle ride from Melrose to Harper Adams in Shropshire – approximately 325 miles.
Cameron said: “Twelve of us are undertaking the challenge, which we have called “Harper Adams or Bust”, planned for June 2 -5 of this year.
“We will be stopping at the cemetery outside Melrose, to pay our respects to George before we set off.”
George’s pal George Brewis, who is also taking part on the ride, has set up a fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/george-brewis