There was an early Christmas present for Eyemouth High pupil Ailsa Landels last week as she was chosen as 2014 Eyemouth Herring Queen.
Next year is a special one for the Herring Queen festival as it will be mark the 70th queen, making the role an even more important one for Ailsa, who was recently seen in Eyemouth Youth Drama Group’s pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’.
Ailsa was one of a number of girls who put themselves forward for the privileged position which is currently held by the 2013 Queen Devon McNab.
The decision on who should get to wear the crown for the 2014 fell on the shoulders of a panel made up of representatives from various Eyemouth organisations and businesses.
The selection process for the new Herring Queen actually began in October, just two month’s after this year’s festival finished, when potential candidates were given a talk in school by representatives of the Herring Queen Committee together with a pack containing all the relevant information they required to help make the decision as to whether or not they would like to stand for election.
After applications were submitted and a selection panel was chosen Ailsa and the other candidates were asked the same set of questions and marked on their responses as well as the information on their application forms.
Ailsa emerged as the highest scorer and was duly elected.
“I’m really excited about being queen, although I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” she told ‘The Berwickshire’.
“When my name was announced I couldn’t believe it; I turned to my mum and she was crying and smiling at me.
“I’ve always thought it would be great to be Herring Queen as my family have been in Eyemouth for over 400 years and I’ve been taking part in the festival since I was little.
“I’m really chuffed that I have been chosen for a particularly special year for the event and I’m so glad I’ll have my four best friends beside me.”
Joining Ailsa in next year’s festivities will be her maids Isla Dempster, Sophie Ritchie, Cerys Smith and Miranda McFarlane.