Sports champs all set to fly the flags at Riverside Park

Coun Rory Stewart (Festival Convener), John Steede (Jedburgh Border Games treasurer) and Kennie Hogg (Jedburgh Border Games President).
Coun Rory Stewart (Festival Convener), John Steede (Jedburgh Border Games treasurer) and Kennie Hogg (Jedburgh Border Games President).

The jewel in the crown of the Border Games athletic scene is set to take place on Saturday – Jedburgh Games is the occasion and Riverside Park the setting.

And this year there is more than a ripple of excitement in the air as the Jedburgh Games Committee get set to mark not one but two historical events.

In recognition of the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and the 325th Anniversary of the Battle of Killiecrankie, the committee have organised a procession at this year’s sports meeting, with replicas of the original flags captured by the Jedburgh weavers at both encounters heading the march.

The gold and green flags were integral to the Jedburgh Border Games celebrations from its inception in 1853 until they were destroyed in the fire that gutted the Corn Exchange (museum) in 1898.

And as a gesture to commemorate the march to the original Games events, held on the Dunion Moor, when the original flags were proudly carried at the head of the procession up Castlegate, two identical pennants have been beautifully recreated locally.

Saturday’s parade will take place at around 3pm, led by Jedburgh Royal British Legion Pipe Band, and will march from the entrance to Riverside Park before completing one circuit of the running track. The Bannockburn flag will be carried by this year’s Jedburgh Grammar School male sports champion, Kyle Amos, while the Killicrankie flag will be borne by Jedburgh Grammar School female sports champion, Jazmine Tomlinson.

Jedburgh Games president Kennie Hogg told The Southern: “Since the fire there have been two world wars and I feel that a little bit of Jedburgh’s history got lost along the way.

“It’s great to see the flags back now and hopefully they will make Saturday’s Games all the more special.

“We would also like to extend our grateful thanks again this year to all our sponsors who help make this traditional event in our calendar an annual success.

“The very best of luck to all participants and a happy, fun-filled day to all spectators.”

A free bus to Riverside will be provided for spectators, picking up at Crossroads, Howden Road, Square and the phone box at Bongate.

Times: morning – down 10.15am; up noon; afternoon – down 1.15pm; up at finish of games.