Tradition preserved in the Royal Burgh
Covid-19 has robbed Borders towns of their beloved festivals and Common Ridings for the second year running, but many have planned socially-distant private ceremonies to keep tradition alive in these torubled times, and the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Selkirk is one of them.
The Ex Standard Bearers Association wreath was laid at the Flodden Memorial at 7am on Thursday morning by Golden Jubilee Standard Bearer Peter Scott, accompanied by chairman Gary Guthrie, treasurer Graham Pittman and secretary David Mitchell.
Other members of the association laid floral tributes, along with family members in their own time, on behalf of themselves and ex-Standard Bearers who could not return, including Silver Jubilee Royal Burgh Standard Bearer David Hope.
On Friday morning, ex-soldiers chairman Stuart Lunt laid a wreath as normal at 5.30am at the war Memorial, on behalf of that association, followed by the United Crafts – The Hammermen, Weavers and Fleshers, the former being laid by Deacon Robert Black.
The Riding of the Marches was completed by the two appointed Burleymen ex-standard bearers Stuart Coltherd and James Cheyne, all in in private.
Several Souters walked up to the Three Brethren for a rendition of Hail Smiling Morn at 9am, and in the afternoon, the Flag Applicants – those who are waiting to be Standard Bearer – sang common riding songs outside Riverside Nursing home, The Bield sheltered housing complex and Thornfield Care Home, a gesture greatly appreciated by the older generation.