THE 2011 Coldstreamer, Steven Bell, has the dubious honour of being the first person to be removed from office by the Presenting Coldstream Committee and his father James Bell, an Ex-Coldstreamer himself, has resigned as chairman of the committee.
Vice chair of the committee, Martin Brims, confirmed this week that they had taken the unprecedented step.
“It is with regret that after careful consideration and full discussion within the Presenting Coldstream Association Committee, the committee has taken the decision to withdraw the office of Coldstreamer from the 2011 Coldstreamer, Steven Bell,” said Mr Brims, speaking on behalf of the committee.
“This decision to dismiss the Coldstreamer was taken in response to a complaint of misconduct.
“The committee gave full consideration to whether sanctions other than dismissal would have been appropriate, and a number of solutions, which would have avoided the need for the committee to consider dismissal, were presented to the Coldstreamer and the complainant for consideration.
“Regrettably, there was no scope for agreement between the two parties. The committee was subsequently presented with a formal complaint, and the committee concluded that given the nature of the complaint and the circumstances surrounding it, they had no option other than dismissal.
“It was necessary for the committee to take this step in order that preparations can be made for Coldstream Civic Week 2012.
“Equally, it was important that prospective principals for 2012 were aware of the situation and the possibility of changes to ceremonial procedures for 2012.
“In addition, as a consequence of the circumstances surrounding the complaint, the committee were offered and accepted the resignation of its chairman, Mr James Bell.”
No details of the incident that resulted in the Coldstreamer’s dismissal have been given by the committee or either party but it is believed to involve both Steven and James and that it was James who made the official complaint to the committee about his son following their involvement in the 2011 Riding of the Edinburgh Marches on Sunday, September 11.
James Bell told ‘The Berwickshire’: “It was Presenting Coldstream Association’s committee that made the decision to remove Steven. I had tendered my resignation prior to that meeting and was not involved in their decision so I cannot comment on it.”
It is all so different from the installation ceremony in April and the sashing ceremony at the start of Civic Week in August, when both Steven and James spoke about their pride in the town and in being Coldstreamer.
At the sashing ceremony in Henderson Park when James spoke about the 60 years of the Civic Week celebrations he said: “I wonder what the 1951 committee would think of their Civic Week now if they were here today.”
He may well be rueing those words now as the 1951 committee would probably have plenty to say about the current situation.
The first hurdle for Presenting Coldstream to overcome is deciding who will replace Steven in laying the wreath at Coldstream war memorial during the Remembrance service on Sunday, November 13.