Jethart Callant Nick Arnold and Kelso Laddie Sean Hook led their first rideouts to meet one another in a gloriously sunny Morebattle on Sunday.
After a formal meeting the principals’ parties joined town provosts Harvey Oliver and Dean Weatherston, from Jedburgh and Kelso respectively, on the guests platform.
Former Kelso High School head teacher Charlie Robertson, gave this year’s address, and spoke of the part young people must in the future of both towns’ festivals.
“It was a wonderful sight to see both cavalcades approaching the village through such stunning borders countryside,” he said. “A very special day when the two towns of Kelso and Jedburgh, so often rivals, can come together to celebrate their common heritage and history.
“Just as importantly the ceremony reflects our present, seeing these representatives of our towns giving their time and talent, showing they care about their communities and that they are proud of their communities giving us auld yins great hope for the future.”
Jethart Callant Nick Arnold spoke of the history behind the tryst and said: “It’s very much an honour to lead the Jethart cavalcade into Morebattle and meet the Kelso Laddie at the famous trysting tree.
“This ceremony dates back to the very of our town’s festival in 1947 and it’s a privilege to be part of it. I am sure this tradition will continue to be as special for decades to come.” Thanking the crowds for the warm welcome, Kelso Laddie Sean Hook said; “It’s a great honour to be meeting Callant Arnold and his supporters at the trysting tree here today. It’s a tradition that has gone back many years and I am sure it will continue for many more to come. Thanks to this tradition Jethart and Kelso have a very close bond and I know this year will be no different.”
The principals, supported by their henchmen ex-callants Brodie Irvine and Gary Hogg and ex-laddies Craig logan and Ian Whellans, laid a wreath at the village war memorial before dancing a reel with Morebattle Primary School pupils Tilly Bourne, Finlay Hogarth, Jessie Norris and Zoe Cowe.