Ross Foreman was officially installed as Duns Reiver for 2014 in the Good Friday sunshine last week.
Stepping up from serving as Right Hand Man to outgoing Reiver Scott Lackenby, Ross was joined for the ceremony by his Lass, Lauren Burns and newcomers to the Reiver’s party Darren Aitchison and Stacey Wilson who are this year’s Right Hand Man and Right Hand Lass.
New chairman of the Duns Summer Festival committee, Alan Aitchison said self-employed joiner Ross, who is of course as known for his vaulting, looked set to be a fantastic Reiver. “His commitment and enthusiasm rubs off on every one; I’ve every faith he’ll do a brilliant job. And of course he’s had some great coaching from Scott who’s mentored him right from the start.”
Moving onto Lauren, Alan said: ”Lauren’s family are steeped in Reiver’s Week history. Her dad and brother have both been Reiver and two of her aunties have been Reiver’s Lass.”
Right hand man Darren is also from a family who are no stranger to Reiver’s Week festivities.
“His family are stalwarts of the festival,” Alan commented. “His brothers Kevin and Martin have both been Reiver and his dad Ian is an ex-chief marshall for the rideouts.”
“Stacey hasn’t actually got any family connection to Reiver’s Week but she’s a very accomplished horse rider who’s been doing the rideouts since 2003 so I’m sure she’ll do a sterling job.”
Sharing the Reiver’s Week limelight this year is Wynsome Mayde elect Shannon Bates and her maydes of honour Isla Grieve, Jade Longstaff, Zara Todd and Kirsten Blair-Simpson.
Joining Alan in helping to organise this year’s event is new President of Duns Summer Festival, Doug Redpath, whose brother and nephew have both enjoyed a turn as Reiver.
An inaugural installation dinner took place in Duns on Saturday night when a crowd of around 80, including representatives from other Borders towns, enjoyed speeches and performances from Duns Pipe Band, Brian Hogan, Bobby Hanlon, former Summer Festival president Anne Affleck and current Duns Citizen of the Year Billy O’Brien.
Also in attendance was Duns’ first ever Reiver, David Young, who received a standing ovation.
*This year’s Reiver’s Week begins on Sunday, July 6.