The skirl of the pipes echoed across Eyemouth harbour on Saturday evening as this year’s herring queen at last made it out to sea.
A piper joined herring queen Colbie-Kate Ross and her court – Maisie Sanderson, Jodie Black, Leona Maltman and Abbie McKirdy – as they sailed around the bay on the lifeboat Barclaycard Crusader.
Poor weather conditions meant the arrival of the herring queen, due to take place on the first day of the festival, had to be postponed.
However, a clear sky and a perfect tide allowed Cobie-Kate, her court and her lady-in-waiting, Kareen Patterson, to sail out to greet David Spouse and his friends on his new boat, Tranquility BF7.
Kareen said: “Colbie-Kate is a truly inspirational young lady who never ceases to amaze me in what she achieves.
“Her maids are friends of the best calibre. They will all be friends for life, and the Eyemouth Herring Queen Festival cements this. I was a maid with Colbie-Kate’s mum in 1991 and our friendship has never faltered.
“The bad weather on the Saturday was a sign that she would have a fabulous day indoors. This was very true.
“The church service was the most intimate and heartfelt Eyemouth Herring Queen Festival service I have ever had the pleasure to witness.
“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen to guide the girls through their week.”
She thanked the herring queen committee for helping Colbie-Kate fulfil her dream, adding: “Colbie-Kate is a great believer in dreams, as we all should be, because without a dream how do you expect dreams to come true?”
That day also saw crowds gather at the beach for a fun-filled afternoon of activities for a family It’s a Knockout-style event including a pie-eating contest and a tug-of-war.
Members of Eyemouth United Football Club were also in attendance, offering tips to all ages, while children also enjoyed obstacle courses.
Later, once herring queen Colbie-Kate had arrived back on shore, a Wacky Races-type event took place at the leisure centre.
This over-18s event saw teams of four race self-built transport around the town in fancy dress, taking on numerous challenges along the way.
At 9pm, gatherers dressed in pyjamas proceeded through the town led by Eyemouth Pipe Band, for the time-honoured torchlight procession.
However, excitement mounted at 10.30pm on the bantry as a dramatic finale to the festival took place.
Dalkeith-based Pyromancer Fireworks put on a colourful display, sponsored by Eyemouth Holiday Park.
Wendy Lough, of the festival committee, said: “The week has been awesome. We have had such a great week.
“Colbie-Kate finally got out in the boat on Saturday, and luckily the weather was just perfect for it.
“She got out at 7pm, and the lifeboat guys did her proud and gave her a really good turn around the bay, which is very important for the festival.
“The festival had great support from the community regardless of the weather.
“Whether it was sunny or raining, all the events experienced a really good turnout.”
“Colbie-Kate and her court were also amazing.
“They never stopped smiling no matter what they were tasked with, and they’re families have been great throughout the week too.
“The beach games on Saturday were amazing and everyone had a great time and a great laugh.
“Whole families turned out, including grandparents, who all played together and that is how it should be.
“The day gave families the time and opportunity to play together which is something that doesn’t happen enough these days.
“Everything was well attended and all the events were so well supported and the community really put their heart into the week.”
The week ended on Sunday with the service of the sea in the Eyemouth United Congregational Church on Sunday evening at 6.30pm.