Torrential rain which could easily have put a dampener on Yetholm Festival’s rideout to Stob Stanes, only helped the village’s community spirit shine even brighter.
That’s according to this year’s Bari Gadgi Stefan Cameron and Bari Manushi Emma Wauchope, who were the principals tasked with leading last week’s games, competitions and social evenings.
And despite the foul weather, last Wednesday rideout to Stob Stanes was, as ever, a highlight.
“It was absolutely soaking,” Stefan, 22, said. “But it was still great. It really brought out the spirit of everyone who was riding.
“We had between 60 and 70 followers, which considering the weather was great.
“It was my first ever rideout so it was a difficult one to be starting off with, but everyone kept me quite right.
“I was pretty nervous, and I don’t normally get nervous.
“But apart from the weather it was great to be at the front of a cavalcade – if a little surreal.
“I’ve watched the rideouts my whole life in the village so to be in one and at the front was so very surreal.”
For the first time Kris Smith gave the oration from atop the stone and invited each rider to dust the stone with petals while making a wish.
In doing so he carried on the tradition started in 1983 by his grandfather Tom and until last year carried out by his father Stuart.
And for Bari Manushi Emma, 25, seeing such a good turnout of horses, despite the weather and flood warnings which were in place, was a real highlight.
“I honestly really enjoyed it,” she said. “I thought and feared there would be about 30 of us just going through the village.
“It was really fun to lead the ride, head on, and to see them all coming up behind you.” Closer to home and away from the winds and rain at Stob Stanes, the community’s halls, sports field and pubs, played host to more than a dozen other events throughout the week.
Sunday’s Kirking in the church was followed by a host of sports and games throughout the week as well as a village lunch, bingo and the festival ball.
Thankfully the sun made a welcome appearance to round off the week at Saturday’s sports, although the rain earlier in the week did leave the Bowmont River too high in the Haugh for the traditional duck and boat race to safely take place.
“We had our alternative duck race, which was interesting to say the least.” Stefan added. “The ducks were all poured onto the bouncy castle and Emma and I, dressed as ducks, bounced them all out to decide the winners.
“The sun did come out though and it was a great day with a really good turnout at the playing fields.”
Emma added: “I have never really expected to find myself dressed up as a duck bounding plastic ducks out of a bouncy castle, but it was good fun.
“We had loads of support at the kids and adult races.
“I’ve ridden Stob Stanes many times before, but have never really done the whole week’s activities before and it was great getting to do so much with people of all ages throughout the village.”
Paying tribute to festival chairwoman of the last five years, Susan Stewart, who steps down this year, Emma added: “She does such a good job as head of the committee.
“We made a presentation of flowers at the festival ball to thank her for all her years of hard work.” Youngest rider last Wednesday was Mary Tweedie and the best turned-out riders were Tamara Jeffrey and John Cook. Oldest rider was Douglas Gibson and the principal trophy went to 2018 Kelso Laddie Sean Hook.
The best boat was won by Max Lee, who was best all round boy. Chloe Wight had the best dressed duck and best overall girl was Caitlin Butler.
See all our photos from the week in our gallery here: https://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/in-pictures-yetholm-festival-week-1-4949249
Full Festival Week results were as follows:-
Ladies Darts Zoe Keddie Dixon
Runner up Lesley Dougal
Quiz Night Winner Team The Quite Magnificent 7
Mixed Darts Winner Raymond Yeomans and Nicola Collin
Runner Up John Scott and Zoe Keddie Dixon
Dominoes Winner - Lizzie Grindell
Runner Up - Johnny Wallace
Mens Darts Winner Brian Tait
Runner Up John Scott
Car Treasure Hunt Dream Team
Quoits Winner – Kevin Lee
Pool Competition Mark Younger Runner Up John Scott
Le Boule Winners Raymond Yeomans, Anne Yeomans and Dave Christie
Runners Up John Collin, Natasha Gray and Mark Antony Keddie
Beetle Drive Adult Winner – Vicki Wauchope. Runner Up – Susan Stewart
High School Winner – Tamara Robson Runner Up – Alex Redpath
Primary School Winner – Caitlin Butler Runner Up – Abi Butler
Duck Race Winner
1st Ben Crichton-Seager
2nd Mark Henderson
3rd K Purdie
Patrons Cup (for Music Provided) Netta Harvey
Target Golf Adults- Mo Morrison
Child - Kay Sinton