WATCH: Kelso in USA sends greetings to Kelso in Borders

The mayor and leading citizens from a US city have now sent video greetings to the people of their Kelso namesake here in the Borders.

Recently The Southern reported how local Kelso piper Sandy Devers and his son, Paul, were heading to America for a short holiday and planned on visiting the city of Kelso in Washington State.

They carried a gift and message from Kelso provost John Bassett and the hope was there might be scope for some kind of twinning arrangement between the two Kelsos.

Mr Devers attended last week’s meeting of Kelso Community Council to tell members of the warm welcome he and Paul, a young actor, had received on their arrival.

The county seat of Cowlitz County, Kelso, which lies 125 miles south of Seattle, has 12,000 residents and was founded in 1889 by Peter Crawford, a surveyor from Kelso in the Borders.

A keen piper, Mr Devers is a native of Glasgow and moved to the Borders 18 months ago, and is chief executive of the Hawick-based Streets Ahead charity.

He told councillors when he and his son arrived in Kelso in the United States, they were met by an official a party of four and taken to a reception with various leading citizens of the city.

“They were happy to see us and were delighted with the gift from Kelso,” said Mr Devers.

“They showed us around the city and are really keen on pursuing status as a sister city with Kelso, similar to what they already have with a city in Japan. They are fiercely proud of the Scottish heritage of their city.”

In a video message, Kelso city mayor David Futcher told his Borders counterparts: “We really appreciate Sandy stopping by and are looking forward to doing more with our namesake, Kelso, in Scotland.

“We’d like to follow up on the twinning arrangement and we look forward to being a part of that and developing a strong relationship over the coming years.”

Mr Devers said the best way forward might be some low-key contacts in the first instance.

Provost Bassett agreed, adding: “I think it’s a great opportunity and I’d like to see some contacts getting started; perhaps contacts between the two high schools and local organisations.”