Spirits are high for Souters as they get set for the big day

Craig Monks leads the junior rideout through Market Place last month.
Craig Monks leads the junior rideout through Market Place last month.

Souters are praying for a Hail Smilin’ Morn tomorrw as Royal Burgh Standard Bearer Craig Monks prepares to ride the marches on Selkirk Common Riding’s main day.

Craig and his attendants Adam Nichol, Liam Cassidy, Conall Fairbairn and Andrew McColm, have spent this week attending ceremonial events and visiting the town’s schools and homes in turn.

Standard Bearer Craig Monks with Faith Blair at Saturday's picnic.

Standard Bearer Craig Monks with Faith Blair at Saturday's picnic.

“It’s been great fun going around the schools,” Craig said. “Our last visit was to the high school and we certainly wound them up.”

Turning his thoughts to tomorrow, Craig added: “I’m not sure how to feel.

“It’s a mix of nerves and excitement, which is keeping me quite level so far.

“I’ve hardly slept as it is, but the adrenaline will see me through.

“My attendants are all primed and ready. They’ve had just as much fun as me this week. A couple of them are new this year, so I’m not sure they’ll know what has hit them tomorrow.

“It’s been an amazing week and I just hope the rain stops.”

And whatever the weather, thousands of Souters, exiles and visitors will without doubt be out to enjoy the day.

Celebrations begin with Craig being woken, as is tradition, by the town’s flute band at 4am.

An act of remembrance takes place at the war memorial at 5.30am.

The first drum sounds at 6am,the foot procession arrives at Victoria halls at 6.30am, and at the same time riders will gather at Back Row.

The Standard Bearer will accept the flag from honorary provost Keith Miller at 6.45am before leading the cavalcade up the Three Brethren and back to the town in a gallop up the Toll around 9.40am.

At 11am all eyes will turn to Market Place where Craig and the standard bearers for the various trades and associations will cast their flags in the shadow of Sir Walter Scott’s statue.

At 11.10am, thousands will fall silent for a two minute silence, before the burgh flag is returned unsullied and untarnished.

Racing at Gala Rig starts at 2pm, and the common riding ball follows at 7.30pm in the Victoria Halls.

Saturday’s games and a gymkhana take place at Philiphaugh from 1.30pm.with the band leaving Mungo Park statue at 1pm.