Search for this year’s Border principals under way

The 2018 principals from across the Borders gather for the traditional group photo at the waterin' stane in Lauder.
The 2018 principals from across the Borders gather for the traditional group photo at the waterin' stane in Lauder.

Young Borderers wanting to fly the flag for their home-towns at their common ridings, festivals or civic weeks this summer are being urged to step forward.

Selkirk, Galashiels, Innerleithen and Lauder are among the few towns in the Borders that ask young folk to put their own names forward rather than waiting until they are approached, and all four are now inviting applications for 2019.

In Selkirk, applications are being sought for young men wanting to be this year’s royal burgh standard bearer or an attendant.

Last year’s royal burgh standard bearer, Peter Forrest, is urging anyone interested to get their applications in, saying: “To be picked as attendant or standard bearer is a great honour and something that I aspired to when I was younger.

“It something that anyone picked would love doing.

“It’s all good fun, and you meet loads of new folk and friends from other towns.

“I waited nine years to be standard bearer, and it was definitely worth the wait.

“It’s a great experience and one I would recommend to anyone thinking of getting involved.”

Common riding rules state that the standard bearer must be an unmarried man, if possible a native of Selkirk, and have ridden the burgh marches at least twice as an attendant.

Those wishing to serve as attendants, of which four will be elected, should also be young men and natives of Selkirk if possible.

Preference for those roles is given to applicants with experience of following at the town’s common riding.

Young Souters have until noon on Saturday, February 16, to apply.

Applications should be send to Selkirk Common Riding Trust clerk Johnnie Thomson at 19 West Port, Selkirk, TD7 4DJ.

This year’s main common riding day will be Friday, June 14.

Young men hoping to lead Lauder Common Riding as cornet and stardard bearer for the royal and ancient burgh have until Friday, February 22, to get their applications in.

Applicants should be 18 or over, of good character and preferably have ridden the marches before.

They should be made in writing marked ‘application for cornet’ to Lauder Ex-Cornets’ Association secretary Linda Wilson at 62 West High Street, Lauder, TD2 6TE.

Lauder’s festivities are the last in the Borders and this year run from Sunday, July 29, to Saturday, August 3.

St Ronan’s Border Games committee is also looking for nominations for a standard bearer and principal guest to lead its 192nd anniversary celebrations.

It is asking Innerleithen townsfolk to help the selection committees by nominating deserving candidates.

They have until Friday, March 1, to submit nominations, in writing, to Keith Belleville at Braeside, Wells Brae, Innerleithen, EH44 6JE, or by email to KJBelleville@aol.com.

Nominations must include the name and address of the prospective candidate, the post they are being put forward for and a reason why.

It must also be signed and have the name and address of the proposer.

The standard bearer will introduced on Friday, May 10, and will lead this year’s games week from Saturday, July 13, to Saturday, July 20, before going on to serve as a right and left-hand man until 2021.

The principal guest will serve a one-year term as an honorary appointment. They will give the main address during the Cleikum Ceremonies and present St Ronan and the dux girl with their medals.

The principal guest is often someone associated with the town through his or her activities or interests or who has shown a commitment to the life and work of the community.

Galashiels Braw Lads’ Gathering is also looking for anyone wishing to be considered for the positions of braw lad and braw lass for 2019 to step forward.

Applications should be submitted to gathering clerk Hazel Hunter by the end of today at 27 Melrose Road, Galashiels, TD1 2AT, or emailed to hazelahunter@googlemail.com

The successful applicantions will be chosen by members of the event’s executive council and announced to the town on Friday, April 26.