Duns Summer Festival kicks off

Edith Stuart is crowned Wynsome Mayde by crowning lady Rhona Burchick.
Edith Stuart is crowned Wynsome Mayde by crowning lady Rhona Burchick.

This year’s Duns Summer Festival, the 68th, kicked off in time-honoured fashion on Sunday morning with the kirkin’ of the reiver, reiver’s lass and wynsome mayde o’ Dunse at Duns Parish Church.

During the ceremony, Duns Reiver Josh Herbert, reiver’s lass Melissa Redpath and wynsome mayde Edith Stuart each received Bibles from minister Stephen Blakey.

MP John Lamont joins the procession from the Kirkin ceremony to the opening ceremony in Duns Square.

MP John Lamont joins the procession from the Kirkin ceremony to the opening ceremony in Duns Square.

Shortly after, the sun shone down on Market Square in time for the crowds gathering to watch the opening ceremony. It saw summer festival committee chairman Doug Redpath hand over the town standard to Josh before his lass bussed the standard.

And the sun stayed out for that evening’s family cycle run from Market Square, along Castle Street and through Duns Castle Estate before returning to the square. All participants were given medals for their efforts.

For the first time this year, Monday’s events included a historical walk organised by Live Borders Museum Service.

Of course, Monday’s main event was the crowning of 11-year-old Edith Stuart as wynsome mayde o’ Dunse.

Duns Reiver Josh Herbert and Reiver's Lass Melissa Redpath.

Duns Reiver Josh Herbert and Reiver's Lass Melissa Redpath.

Prior to the crowning ceremony, a procession, led by Duns Pipe Band, including the riever, his lass, right-hand lass Nicolle Burns, wynsome mayde elect and her maydes of honour – Ellie Jo Sullivan, Keira Thomson, Ellie Lyons and Amy Walker – headed to Duns Public Park.

There crowds gathered to watch as smiling Edith was crowned by crowning lady Rhona Burchick.

Monday’s best turned-out pony and rider prize was awarded to Ryan Wilson.

Serving in her third year as chairwoman of the Duns Summer Festival committee, Ann Lindsay, said: “Monday was amazing as we had a really good turn out and the weather was great.

The Wynsome Mayde O'Dunse Edith Stuart travels in style after the crowning ceremony.

The Wynsome Mayde O'Dunse Edith Stuart travels in style after the crowning ceremony.

“We were back in the public park, which is a lovely venue where everyone just really enjoyed themselves and the children really soaked up the atmosphere.”

The first rideout of the week also took place on Monday, with more than 30 horses riding through the town’s streets. The mounted cavalcade was joined by the by Josh, Melissa and Edith shortly after the crowning of the wynsome mayde ceremony.

Despite rain preventing a cricket match taking place on Tuesday, there was a large turn out for the service at Duns Law and the Bruntons.

The rideout saw the revier, his lass, attendants and lead rein take part in a cavalcade from Market Square to Duns Castle Nature Reserve in commemoration of the encampment of the covenanting army in 1639.

Travelling by carriage, the Wynsome Mayde's party after the crowning ceremony.

Travelling by carriage, the Wynsome Mayde's party after the crowning ceremony.

Ann added: “It’s great to hear about the history of old Duns from Mr Hay, and the Rev Blakey led a great service.

“I believe there were around 25 horses turned out for the parade, small in number, but they were joined by the Berwickshire hounds, which was a lovely sight to see.

“The wynsome mayde was then led down to Duns on a pony, which she thoroughly enjoyed.”

Last nights events included the traditional riding of the bounds during which reiver Josh cut the sod at Harelaw Craigs.

An ex-reivers’ duck race also took place at Langton Mill.

There is still plenty more to come however, with today’s rideout to Longformacus leaving at noon from Market Square.

On the bed race circuit.

On the bed race circuit.

Walking treasure hunt sheets will also be available from Ann Lindsay in Market Square from about 11.45am.

That will be followed by a 5k fun run at 6.30pm and the reiver’s dinner and ball at 8pm in Duns Volunteer Hall.

On Friday, the time-honoured hand ba’ game will commence at 6pm in the Market Square , where, at 10.30pm, that night, the torchlight procession will meet.

On Saturday, the evening’s closing ceremony will see the reiver hand back the town standard to the Rev Blakey for safe keeping. That will follow the traditional Whitchester rideout which sets off from Market Square at 9am.

Go to www.facebook.com/DunsSummerFestival for more details.

More photos – pages 8 & 9

Bed Race

Bed Race

Fun and games can get messy at Duns Reivers Week events.

Fun and games can get messy at Duns Reivers Week events.

Are they trying to draw attention to something!

Are they trying to draw attention to something!

Competitors in the bed race.

Competitors in the bed race.

the 2017 Duns Reiver at the opening ceremony.

the 2017 Duns Reiver at the opening ceremony.