In common with all Selkirk’s casting associations, the town’s Colonial Society holds an annual bussin ceremony at the common riding in June.
During this ceremony, the Colonial Society’s standard bearer has his ribbons ‘bussed’ and these are subsequently carried aloft in the common riding procession on the Friday.
The society had always stored its used ribbons in boxes and thought that all was well. However during the past year it was discovered many ribbons were seriously deteriorating, with several actually having disintegrated. Action was urgently required to safeguard the remaining ribbons for future generations. A spokesman said: “We have now been in existence for over 100 years and our banner has been carried in every common riding since 1911, with the exception of war years. The ribbons belong to our former standard bearers and their families and it is important the society ensures they are preserved. Imagine the thrill of a first-time visitor to Selkirk being able to view their grandfather’s bussin’ ribbon. It would be disastrous if we allowed them to disappear.”
Society members therefore took the decision to preserve all the ribbons in sealed display units with each of these spanning a decade. Recognising this would be a significant drain on resources, an appeal was made to all society members at home and overseas.
The spokesman added: “Virtually by return the society was inundated with offers of support, many from overseas, demonstrating the place it holds in the hearts of ‘exiles’.