Forth to Selkirk do merry men go; The first Saturday of December, be it frost or snow; Festivities, mirth and follies aplenty; Fireworks and cheers; Selkirk’s streets won’t be empty.
Plans for Scott’s Selkirk, which will be held next Saturday, are well under way, and Selkirk will be transformed as the town relives a little of its history and celebrates its connections with one of Scotland’s most famous writers, Sir Walter Scott.
The annual event promises to be action-packed and will start with a costume parade from Mungo Park led by the Mistress of this year’s event, Edith Scott, along with Provost David Anderson and, of course, Sir Walter. Selkirk’s own Flute Band will escort them along to the Market Place for the opening ceremony at 10.15am.
Mistress Scott said: “We’re hoping for a big turnout during the day and hopefully we will be blessed with good weather. We don’t mind being cold, as long as it’s dry.
“There is really a lot of entertainment this year and we hope people will come along and enjoy themselves. Everybody who comes to Scott’s Selkirk, especially if they are in costume, are part of the whole event. Costumes can be sourced from the Scott’s Selkirk shop on a refundable-deposit basis, for adults and children.”
Visitors will have the chance to ride in a rare 1850 horse-drawn carriage which was restored last year by owners Cornhill Carriage Company. One big difference this year will be the change of venue for Meg Dods’ Kitchen, which has been housed at The Hermitage in the grounds of The Southern Reporter, and when the building went up for sale another venue had to be sought. The County Hotel came to the rescue and offered its car park, from where volunteers will serve delicious traditional food and fabulous musical entertainment.
The Royal Burgh will be abuzz with street entertainment, all of which will be announced by the new Town Cryer, The Southern’s Bob Burgess. Visitors will have the chance to see two of Scott’s cases re-enacted in his old courtroom. Selkirk players will put on four performances in the County Hotel function room, as will Elspeth Smellie and Matt Seattle.
The Borders Youth Theatre pirates, North Wind Street Organ, French Prisoners, Border Clansman and United Churches carol singing will all be performing in the High Street and Market Place, Connections will have the Selkirk County Dancers and The Border Clansman – Flodden film show.
Halliwells House will host a children’s craft workshop. Selkirk Sheriff Court and tunnel under the A7 will be open to the public from 10.30am, and the library will feature Dr Sandra Mackenzie, learning officer with the Abbotsford Trust, and Alasdair Hutton, chairman of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club – places for this can be booked at the library. Selkirk Rotary Club will host its annual charities bazaar in the Victoria Halls, and Ye Old Tea Shoppe will be in St Joseph’s Church hall from 10am. There will also be a schools and children’s competitions in conjunction with shopkeepers’ windows.
There will be 22 market stalls this year, in both the Market Place and the High Street with a good selection of gifts to buy.
Before the closing ceremony the popular torchlight procession will start at 4pm and make its way round the town, with the closing ceremony at 4.35pm. To end the day the highlight will be the Belmont Fireworks display with Selkirk Silver Band.
Mistress Scott said: “People come at night just to see the fireworks and Scott’s Selkirk are lucky to once again have the generous sponsorship from the local Belmont garage.
“The organisers would like to remind animal lover and pet owners in the Market Place, Kirk Wynd, Halliwells and Back Row areas to take appropriate precautions to protect their pets from the noise of the fireworks.”
Meg Dods’ will remain open until 6pm and the Grand Scott’s Selkirk Concert will start at 7.30pm in the Victoria Halls. Tickets are on sale in the Scott’s Selkirk shop or phone Edith on 07718 786841.
A great line-up has been booked for this not-to-be-missed concert.
z DETAILS OF THE SCOTT’S SELKIRK FULL PROGRAMME WILL BE FEATURED IN NEXT WEEK’S SOUTHERN REPORTER.